Worthy World Champions in Middle distance

Posted on | March 23, 2011 | Category: News

Photo: Erik Borg

The weather conditions put the competitors to a real test at the World Ski Orienteering Championships in Tänndalen, Sweden. A low pressure front from the North Sea climbed over the Scandinavian mountain range to Tänndalen and brought hard wind and heavy snowfall to the Championships. Russia’s young Polina Malchikova and Finland’s Staffan Tunis did not let the challenging weather disturb their concentration and took convincing victories with almost flawless performance.

In the women’s race, all the favourites and yesterday’s medalists made bad mistakes and lost their way during the race allowing a new trio, Polina Malchikova, Alina Trapeznikova and Stine Olsen Kirkevik, to take the medals. “I only focused on my own race, did not let the conditions influence me, and kept my orienteering under control through the whole race”, said Malchikova. “We often have to train and compete under very difficult weather conditions in Russia so perhaps we are more used to it than our competitors.” The 24-year-old university student from Krasnoyarsk has earlier reached top 10 positions in World Ski Orienteering Championships and World Cup, but this is her first individual world championships medal.

For Staffan Tunis, this was not the first time on the podium at the World Ski Orienteering Championships. Tunis already had five individual medals from the 2007 and 2009 World Championships and, as in yesterday’s Sprint, he has lost the gold with only a few seconds in several occasions. “Finally. A gold medal and it’s mine. I already started to believe that the brightest medal wasn’t meant for me, but now I have it”, said the relieved winner at the finish. Tunis has always performed well in big events and has two individual gold medals from the European Ski Orienteering Championships. “I have always known I have what it takes to be a world champion. Now I have proven that to others too.” The silver medal went to Russia’s Andrey Lamov 22 seconds after Tunis. Lamov was leading the race towards the last third of the race, but in the end Tunis was simply physically stronger. Sweden’s Peter Arnesson again took the third place.

For more interviews from the World Ski Orienteering Championships, please visit the Around the Arena section on the bottom of the IOF home page.

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