Junior World Ski Orienteering Championships: Ups and downs for Maria

Posted on | February 14, 2010 | Category: News

Maria Nordström, Sweden has won the silver medal at Long distance and now the gold in the Sprint, but she finished the first race of the Championships in great discomfort.

In last year’s Championships in Sweden she won three gold medals and a bronze. – Last year the first gold was so unexpected. This year people had greater expectations for me, but it’s good to win again, she says.

It is also very good that she has come back to her best after her experience at the start of these Championships in Miercurea Ciuc, Romania. On the first competition day, early in the race, her nose started to bleed and that lasted for almost the whole of the rest of the course. Blood on the map-holder made it difficult to navigate correctly and she lost time. But in the Long and Sprint everything worked well, and after the Sprint the Swedish national anthem was again played for her. – I started safely so as not to make mistakes because it’s important to avoid mistakes. Once I was going well I speeded up a bit, she says.

Next year there are new opportunities; she has still one year left in the junior class. Just a couple of weeks before the Championships in Romania, Maria took part in the Junior World Championships in cross-country skiing. Her best performance was bronze in the relay.

Marie got a medal in every race

Another female who has done very well during these Championships is Marie Asprusten from Norway. She is the only woman to have won an individual medal in every race. On the Sprint there were just 11 seconds between Maria and Marie. The Norwegian has had great success, but she has taken a decision not to train seriously for the sport as a senior. – I will not stop taking part, but when I participate it will be just for fun. There are so many other things I also want to do. I took this decision about not training hard a while ago, she says.

– Sport is life

Stepan Malinovsky is still only 17 years old, but he is a very keen sportsman and won the Sprint ahead of his team-mate Mikhail Utkin.

– Sport is life, says the Russian. He had a quite comfortable victory; the gap to Mikhail Utkin, who won both Middle and Long earlier in the Championships, was 18 seconds. Utkin had made no mistakes and said he had his best individual race of the Championships. That makes Malinovsky’s race really impressive.

The sprint winner started ski orienteering ten years ago when he took part in a local competition. Now he is one of the world’s best. He is studying at St. Petersburg Engineering University.

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