World Cup: Swiss runners in form for PostFinance Sprint

Posted on | June 22, 2012 | Category: News

This weekend the annual PostFinance Sprint is being held in St. Gallen, Switzerland as part of the second round of the 2012 World Cup. This spectacular race, fully televised live by the Swiss TV company Schweizer Sportfernsehen, is one of the key races of the season for home runners Simone Niggli and Matthias Merz and provides a fine curtain-raiser for the World Orienteering Championships in Switzerland starting in just over 3 weeks’ time.

The Sprint on Sunday afternoon takes place in the old town centre of St. Gallen with its many narrow streets and alleyways and small parks. The field is limited to 40 runners – the top 40 in the World Cup standings after the 4 races already held. The fourth race in the 2012 season is in fact the previous day – a Middle distance race in pre-alpine terrain around the village of Appenzell, with the finish in the village itself.

Simone Niggli started the World Cup season in style, even by her standards, winning all three individual races at the European Championships (EOC) in Sweden last month. The last two times she has competed in the PostFinance weekend races, in 2009 and 2010, she won both races, and she is of course favourite to do so again. Olav Lundanes, Norway, won the Middle and Long distance races at EOC but has had few really good Sprint races; it will be fascinating to see if the up-and-coming Swede Jonas Leandersson can repeat the form he showed on home ground in winning the EOC Sprint last month. Daniel Hubmann, winner of both Post Finance races last October, is unfortunately injured and cannot therefore participate. There are still several other members of the very strong Swiss team who will fancy their chances of a place on the podium at the end of the day.

The Middle race on Saturday is open to all elite runners selected for their national teams, and 94 men and 78 women from 23 nations are registered to take part this weekend. The terrain is pre-alpine forest and pasture with some steep slopes and runnable valleys. The women run 6.3 km with 220 m climb and the men 7.0 km with 290 m climb, and the estimated winning time for both races is 37 minutes.

TV transmission of the Sprint is from 13.10 until 16.00 Swiss time. Leading results and reports from the two days of racing will appear here, and full results can be accessed by clicking on the World Cup link on the right of this page.

 

Leading World Cup standings, 22 June 2012

Women

  1. Simone Niggli SUI 300 points
  2. Minna Kauppi FIN & Tatyana Riabkina RUS 140
  1. Lena Eliasson SWE 127
  2. Tove Alexandersson SWE 95
  3. Maja Alm DEN 87

 Men

  1. Olav Lundanes NOR 200
  2. Valentin Novikov RUS 140
  3. Jonas Leandersson SWE 127
  4. Matthias Merz SUI 125
  5. Daniel Hubmann SUI 93
  6. Oleksandr Kratov UKR 90

 

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