Junior World Ski Orienteering Championships: A strong team is the secret

Posted on | February 17, 2007 | Category: News

The very good team environment is the secret of the Swedish success at JWOC in ski orienteering. ‘The blue and yellow’ have taken all the relay gold medals and six of the twelve individual medals awarded prior to the final race, the long distance.

The Swedes have, of course, a very strong team of athletes. But that’s probably only part of the success: “It’s really nice to be in the national team. There are so many humorous people”, says Thomas Carlsson, one of the athletes who won gold in the relay. “You get support from the others in the team”, says Stina Häggström, one of the other gold medallists in the relay.

Sweden won two big victories in the relay. In themen’s class, Daniel Nordebo set up a gap of 37 seconds in front of Norway on the first leg. “It’s often easier to go out in front with such a gap. You can race calmly. Those who are trying to catch you up will often get stressed”, says Thomas Carlsson, who skiied the second leg. The difference was almost the same after two legs, and on the last leg Johan Edin secured the victory.

In the women’s class it was a really clear Swedish victory. Stina Häggström hadn’t done so well in the individual races, but did the first leg because of good results at home in Sweden. “You often have to experience lack of success before you can get success”, says Ylva Grape, the female coach.

Stina was fifth, just seconds after leaders Norway, at the first change-over. On the second leg Helene Söderlund moved up to first, and Eva Svensson was really alone on the last leg. She finished about half a kilometre ahead of the second-best team.

For Eva the gold was her fourth in JWOCs in ski orienteering.”And this gold is the nicest. It’s nicer to win gold together with other people”, she says.

The Czech Republic took silver after a great leg by Hana Hanciková. The world champion in sprint was fastest of all on the last leg. Finland took third place. The Finnish men were also third, and Norway’s men ended with silver, just as last year.

The Russians ended up without a medal. That’s unusual; last year the Russians won both classes.

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