Niggli-Luder and Novikov head IOF World Rankings

Posted on | October 26, 2004 | Category: News

With the World Cup Finals completed and the 2004 World Cup champions determined, the 2004 European foot-orienteering season is nearing its end.

Simone Niggli-Luder, Switzerland, has again proved to be the strongest woman orienteer taking the season as a whole. She won one gold medal in the World Championships (WOC) and two in the European Championships (EuOC), and gained top placing in the World Cup standings overall by a significant margin. She proved unbeatable in the top sprint races, and won both the EuOC and World Cup Final in long distance. These successes have given her a 91-point lead in the IOF World Rankings.
Heli Jukkola of Finland and Sweden’s Jenny Johansson hold the next two places in the Rankings, with just 10 points separating them. Both have been consistently strong throughout the season, and each gained one individual medal – Jukkola the WOC middle distance bronze, Johansson the EuOC sprint silver. Norway’s Hanne Staff, who is this year’s World and European Champion at middle distance and the long distance silver medallist at WOC, is world-ranked fourth as she reaches the end of a long and distinguished international career.
Fifth in the Rankings is Finland’s Marika Mikkola, WOC long distance bronze medallist, whilst the World Champion at long distance, Karolina A Højsgaard (Sweden) is ranked sixth.
Valentin Novikov, Russia, holds the overall lead in the men’s IOF World Rankings, ahead of Thierry Gueorgiou, France, and newly crowned World Cup victor Holger Hott Johansen, Norway. Novikov is WOC silver medallist in middle distance and has scored highly in a number of other ranking events this year including O-Ringen in Sweden. He may well have been more closely challenged by Gueorgiou if the latter had not been unable to run in the World Cup Finals through injury. Fourth-placed Emil Wingstedt (Sweden), European sprint Champion, also missed crucial World Cup Final races because of illness.
Two EuOC medallists from Finland hold fifth and sixth places in the Rankings: Jarkko Huovila (silver in middle distance) and Mats Haldin (silver in long distance).
Scores from designated Ranking Events held in all parts of the orienteering world are used to compile the IOF World Rankings; a competitor’s best four scores in the season count. The complete World Rankings list, including details of the counting results of the leading runners from all active orienteering nations, is to be found by clicking on World Rankings on the Home Page of the IOF website, www.orienteering.org.

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