World Orienteering Championships, Middle distance final: clean sweep for Niggli, men’s gold to Russia

Posted on | July 12, 2013 | Category: News

Leonid Novikov on his way to victory. Photo: Erik Borg

Simone Niggli achieved her dream result today – a third individual gold medal on the technically difficult and rocky terrain west of Vuokatti in Finland. The men’s gold medal went to Russia’s Leonid Novikov, who here won his first major race at top international level.

Niggli’s win was by a convincing 1 minute and 45 seconds over Tove Alexandersson, Sweden. Third was Merja Rantanen, Finland, 49 seconds slower than Alexandersson, and Minna Kauppi was fourth for the second time in the week. No-one came through the race without error; Niggli lost 30 seconds on the first control, only 300 m from the start, but recovered to run a particularly dominant long leg across the hilly terrain and complete the course without further serious error. Alexandersson lost some time on the same long leg, running well away from the straight line mainly on paths. Minna Kauppi made several small errors, including visiting control 11 before no. 10.

On a warm and sunny summer day, the men’s race was held first. Thierry Gueorgiou made an uncharacteristic early error and although he forged on in typical style and caught up a lot of time, it was not quite enough to beat Leonid Novikov who mastered the conditions and technical challenges extremely well. Gustav Berman, Sweden ran a solid race to take the bronze medal.

The final event, the relay, takes place tomorrow afternoon.

Leading results, Middle distance final

Women

1. Simone Niggli SUI 35:25

2. Tove Alexandersson SWE 37:10

3. Merja Rantanen FIN 37:59

4. Minna Kauppi FIN 38:39

5. Irina Nyberg RUS 38:45

6. Annika Billstam SWE 38:49

Men

1. Leonid Novikov RUS 37:45

2. Thierry Gueorgiou FRA 37:54

3. Gustav Bergman SWE 38:21

4. Matthias Kyburz SUI 39:08

5= Fabian Hertner SUI & Daniel Hubmann SUI 39:16

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