Junior World Ski Orienteering Championships: “My best-ever birthday”

Posted on | February 17, 2007 | Category: News

Taras Kashchuk became 19 years old and world champion on the same day. “This is my best-ever birthday”, smiles the Russian.

The junior from the Moscow region gained a comfortable victory. 67 seconds was the gap to number two, Olli-Markus Taivainen. “The race was good, but sometimes it was difficult to read the course on the map and I had to take it a bit slower and look carefully at the map”, he says.

The JWOC organisers in the end sited all the competitions in Sportgastein. The area was not big and the long distance course had some crossings. But the organisers’ achievements have been incredible. They started mapping the area for the races only two weeks before the championships, after they changed the venues for the races because of little snow and then, later, too much snow. Due to all the changes and also the weather during the week, one has to take one’s hat off for the Austrians, with the Breitschädel family in front.

The Russian winner on the long distance was really happy about the venue for the flower ceremony – on the summit of a mountain more than 2000 metres above sea level. The participants used gondolas to get up there. “It was great to be at this picturesque place”, says Taras. He has still one year left as a junior and he is of course already thinking about Bulgaria next year. “There my goal is to take three individual golds”, he smiles. He celebrated the gold medal and the birthday with the banquet, cakes and good friends. “And of course no alcohol”, he states.

Eva again – with her best race

In the women’s class it was very tight on the long distance, but Eva Svensson managed to win again. “Wonderful to get yet one more gold”, smiles the Swede. She had her best race of the week on the long distance. On the course she made only one little mistake. “It was good for me that there was a lot of skiing. I had an advantage with my skiiing skills”, she says.

Her team-mate Helene Söderlund, who took her second silver of the week, was beaten by only 17 seconds. “I am very satisfied. I had my best race too, and even though I made a little mistake it is just what Eva did. I am very often 10-20 seconds after Eva in cross-country skiing as well. This here is a bit like normal”, smiles Helene.

The winner felt very nervous before the long distance. Also during the race she felt nerves, but she did everything well.

– It couldn’t be so easy to keep your focus in the fourth competition in five days?

“That wasn’t a problem. Outside the competitions there has also been a lot of fun in the Swedish team with not too much focus on the races. It’s such a good team”, smiles Eva.

Hani Hanciková from the Czech Republic also showed her strength again. She took bronze just ahead of the Norwegian Marianne Mellby Larsen, who has also had a fine games with good races the whole week.

Eva, for whom this was her tenth medal from a JWOC, wasn’t the last person to finish the banquet. She still has a lot of big competitions to come this winter. “I didn’t really want to get ‘flu. I also feel that the best time to celebrate good results is after the races, like being at the flower ceremony. It is also even better when so many of the Swedes have done so well”, she says.

Leading results

Women, 9.9 km., 19 controls

1. Eva Svensson SWE 47.27

2. Helene Söderlund SWE 47.44

3. Hana Hanciková CZE 49.37

4. Marianne Mellby Larsen NOR 49.40

5. Tiia Tallila FIN 51.07

6. Therese Salin SWE 51.24

Men, 12.0 km., 24 controls

1. Taras Kashchuk RUS 54.08

2. Olli-Markus Taivainen FIN 55.15

3. Daniel Nordebo SWE 56.07

4. Stanimir Belomazhev BUL 56.18

5. Øyvind Watterdal NOR 56.46

6. Andrey Bazhenov RUS 57.10

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