Posted on | March 23, 2016 | Category: Newsletter
The 2015-2016 SkiO World Cup kicked off in the far north in Ylläs, Finland, 27 November – 2 December. The location and the time of year meant that there were only just enough daylight hours to fit in SkiO races during the day. Nevertheless, the sun shone on most of the race days.
After the first round, Tove Alexandersson was already in the lead, after securing two victories and a sixth place. Three points behind was Mariya Kechkina, Russia, who was placed second in all three races. The winner of the Sprint, Russia’s Tatyana Oborina, held the third position in the standings.
Eduard Khrennikov headed up the men’s standings after the first round, ahead of Ulrik Nordberg in second position, with Erik Rost in third.
Fast forward to 14 January, Oberwiesenthal in Germany, and the organisers of second round of the World Cup were able to confirm the go-ahead of the event just one week before the arrival of the athletes. There had not been enough snow until then. Despite this, the organisers managed to create the tracks in time, and the competitions could take place.
After the first few races, a theme could already be sensed, when Erik Rost and Tove Alexandersson won both their sprint and middle distance races. Erik went on to win the long distance, where Tove took a second place. In the relays, Sweden was also on top, winning the sprint relay and the men’s relay.
Just over a month later, the stakes were high as the European Ski Orienteering Championships were set to take place in Obertilliach in Austria, 29 February-5 March. They also had some nail-biting weeks without snow, before it finally came. Then, during the competitions they had almost too much of it, with heavy snowfall at times during some races. However, this did not deter the athletes, who were there to compete for both championship titles and World Cup points.
Sweden and Russia continued to do well, with Sweden’s Tove Alexandersson winning the print, whilst Lars Moholdt of Norway won the men’s sprint, and Russia winning the mixed relay. On the third race day, Norway’s Lars Moholdt and Russia’s Mariya Kechkina were the big winners, each securing a gold medal on the middle distance.
With one individual race left, Tove Alexandersson and Erik Rost had both secured unreachable leads in the World Cup standings, which meant double gold for Sweden. However, there was still plenty of excitement due to the battle of the second and third place in the men’s race, between Lars Moholt (NOR) and Eduard Khrennikov (RUS). There was also a battle for the win in the Nations Cup, between Sweden and Russia, which was settled in the final race: the relay. By winning both the men’s and the women’s relays, Sweden cemented their place at the top of the Nations Cup, followed by Russia in second place and Norway in third.
Text: Kirsty McIntyre
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