Ski Orienteering World Championships: Russian dominance in sprint; favourites take first gold medals

Posted on | February 26, 2007 | Category: News

The first race in this year’s World Championships in Ski Orienteering, the sprint, was won by the two hot favourites for gold in these championships, Tatiana Vlasova and Eduard Khrennikov.

Khrennikov’s victory was by an impressive 13 seconds over compatriot Vadim Tolstopyatov, whereas Vlasova won by the narrowest of margins, finishing one second faster than fellow Russian Olga Novikova. Finland took bronze medals in both races.

Russia is one of the strongest ski orienteering nations, and quite a number of their athletes will feel themselves in with a chance of a medal or two as the week progresses. Eduard Khrennikov, a clear winner in the men’s World Cup standings last year, and Tatiana Vlasova, second overall in the World Cup, are the hot favourites for medals. But there are many other athletes, particularly from the Scandinavian nations, who will be bending every sinew in their aim to be on the podium at the end of the day in the remaining three races.

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The best in the men’s sprint race.

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Staffan Tunis took his first international individual medal on the sprint.

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Liisa Anttila has been among the best in world for many years. On the sprint she earned one more medal.

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Erik Rost from Sweden finished as number five and his best achievement ever.

Twenty-five nations are represented at the Championships, including Australia, Japan, New Zealand and USA. 88 men and 48 women are registered to take part in the event, which comprises sprint, long distance (mass start), middle distance and relay races.

The races are being held just a short distance from the capital city Moscow. Only one competition area is being used: Planernaya is a large area at a height of 120-170 metres above sea level with some steep hills but also partly flat. Mixed forest prevails, but there are also some open areas.

Full results will be found on each race day on the World Championships website, www.wsoc2007.ru, which you can access with a click on the link to the right of this news item. Reports and photos will appear in this news section throughout the week.

Remaining World Championships Programme

Tuesday 27 February Long Men 25.5 km., women 13.5 km.

Thursday 1 March Middle Men 11.6 km., women 7.7 km.

Friday 2 March Relay Men 3 x 8.4 km., women 3 x 5.8 km.

Leading results, sprint

Women, 2.9 km.

1. Tatiana Vlasova RUS 12.01

2. Olga Novikova RUS 12.02

3. Liisa Anttila FIN 12.04

4. Tatiana Kozlova RUS 12.04

5. Erica Johansson SWE 12.08

6. Hannele Valkonen FIN 12.15

Men, 3.5 km.

1. Eduard Khrennikov RUS 13.20

2. Vadim Tolstopyatov RUS 13.33

3. Staffan Tunis FIN 14.00

4. Andrey Gruzdev RUS 14.15

5. Erik Rost SWE 14.17

6. Tomas Löfgren SWE 14.19

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