Injured at qualification – victory when it counted

Posted on | June 17, 2011 | Category: Arena

Linnea Gustafsson got her first World Cup triumph in Porvoo.

Linnea Gustafsson hit her knee on a stone at the first control of the Nordic Orienteering Tour Stage 1 qualification race in Porvoo. Despite the injury, she managed to take her first World Cup victory in the Sprint final.

“I got a bit afraid when I hit the stone. I thought I would have to quit the race, but then decided to try a bit harder”, she says. As a result she became the winner after a great race in the final.

On the podium she had two more Swedes celebrating with her: Lena Eliasson took second place and Annika Billstam finished third. “It was a Swedish sprint. A city where it was not that tricky to do the orienteering”, Lena Eliasson comments.

The winner, Gustafsson, also has a silver medal from the 2009 World Championships Sprint. “I am maybe running a bit slower, but on the other hand I have more experience”, she compares her performance in the two races.

Linnea has suffered from injuries for the past year and hasn’t been able to work on her running as much as she would have wanted. “I have done all kind of alternative training and the result shows that it’s working”, she says. During the last weeks two thirds of her training has been running. “But I love all kind of training even if running is the best.”

She walked with a bandage on the injured knee after the qualification but most importantly she had finished and qualified even if the knee affected her concentration and caused her some mistakes. Warming up for the final she felt some pain but in the race itself she had no problems. In the end she took the victory with an eight seconds’ lead.

The Swedish women, Annika Billstam (left), Linnea Gustafsson and Lena Eliasson, took a triple win at the Porvoo Sprint.

Photos: Erik Borg

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