Matthias’ final World Cup race

Posted on | October 15, 2013 | Category: Arena

Since 2004 Matthias Merz has been one of the very best orienteers in the world. From now on, however, he is no longer aiming at individual international success. Neither is his team mate Matthias Leonhardt.

Matthias Merz participated at the World Championships for the first time in 2004 in Sweden, and since then he has taken part in all World Orienteering Championships. In 2007 he achieved his best international result: long distance World Championships gold in Ukraine. In addition he has got a relay gold from 2009. Totally the Swiss has nine World Championships medals.

Verdenscup-finale Baden i Sveits, 30 kilometer nordvest for Zürich Søndag 6. oktober 2013
Matthias Merz in the final race of his World Cup career. Photo: Erik Borg

Lately Matthias has been suffering from some injuries, but that is not the main reason for the 29-year-old Swiss to retire from his top orienteering career.  “The main reason is that I don’t feel I have the full motivation to go on and do the sport as hard as it’s needed. Something is missing. The injuries is besides that also a reason for stopping”, he says.

During the World Cup final weekend in Baden, 30 kilometres north west of Zurich, Matthias showed that he ends his career on top level: He was fifth and ninth in the two final races, and finished fourth in the overall World Cup.

His team mate Matthias Leonhard has also reached the end of his career. His biggest moment was at the World Orienteering Championships in Trondheim, Norway in 2010 when he won gold in the sprint. At that time his last name was Müller. He also has three bronze medals from World Championships. The last one he got in the sprint in Lausanne a bit more than a year ago. This year it was a disappointment for him not be the in the World Championships team in Vuokatti.

Verdenscup-finale Baden i Sveits, 30 kilometer nordvest for Zürich Søndag 6. oktober 2013
Matthias Leonhardt sprinting in Baden. Photo: Erik Borg


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