Sprinting towards The World Games

Posted on | May 25, 2009 | Category: News

With only two months to go to The World Games, the national federations have nominated their teams to Kaohsiung. The best athletes from all IOF regions will be competing in sprint and middle distance in Chinese Taipei in mid-July. The reigning sprint world champion Andrey Khramov is of course one of the favourites in Kaohsiung; the Russian has had a very good start to the season with victories both in the Finnish Huippuliiga and in the Swedish Elitserien sprint. However, a victory at his most important event of the year won’t come easy. One of Andrey’s biggest contenders is the reigning long distance world champion Daniel Hubmann (SUI), who has got three world championship silver medals in sprint, but no victory so far. Could he win at The World Games?

Or perhaps the winner will come from the North: the very strong sprint and middle distance runner Peter Öberg from Sweden has recovered from the injuries he had earlier this season and seems to be in good condition. The Finns Tero Föhr and Pasi Ikonen, short distance world champion from 2001, are also going to fight for medals.

In the women’s class, Minna Kauppi is one of the favourites for both sprint and middle distance. The Finn is the reigning middle distance world champion and has two silver medals from the sprint. But Minna will have to fight for the victory: Signe Søes from Denmark has had a very good beginning to the season; she won both Spring Cup and Elitserien sprint before Tiomila. Czech runners Dana and Radka Brozkova will have a say too – both in the individual competitions and in the mixed team relay. And Australia is sending to Kaohsiung the sprint world champion from 2006, Hanny Allston. After a year’s silence it seems that Hanny is back on top: last weekend she won the Australian WOC selection race by close to 10 minutes.

kopio_orienteering_world_champion_2006_hanny_allston_danish_crown_prince

Hanny Allston, Sprint World Champion in 2006
Photo: Erik Borg

The regional champions will also be interesting to follow at The World Games: keep your eyes open for names like Mike Smith (CAN), North American middle distance champion; Dmitriy Tsvetkov (RUS), European long distance champion; Oceania champion Simon Uppill (AUS) and South American champion Leandro Pereira Pasturiza (BRA). In the women’s competitions the Chinese Li Ji and Hao Shuangyan will challenge the Asian champion Yoko Bamba (JPN). Reigning Oceania champion Lizzie Ingham (NZL) will meet a strong Australian team (Hanny Allston and Kathryn Ewels) to compete against. Both Yoko and Lizzie won all individual distances in the previous regional championships.

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