Sigurd Dæhli, Norway – multi-talented medal winner

Posted on | December 21, 2018 | Category: FootO, Newsletter, SkiO, TrailO

The first person ever to win World Championship medals in three different orienteering disciplines: that is the distinction achieved by Sigurd Dæhli when the Norwegian open relay team took the silver medals at last year’s World TrailO Championships in Lithuania. And now this year he won three gold medals at the World Masters Orienteering Championships in Denmark, and he has achieved fourth place in the European Cup in TrailO with several outstanding performances.

Dæhli, now 65, was one of several Norwegians who were competing in both Foot and Ski Orienteering in world championships in the mid 1980’s. He was well-known as a strong Foot Orienteer already in the 1970s – he won the Nordic individual gold in 1977. His first World Championship success was in FootO in 1981 in Switzerland, when he ran last leg for the Norway men’s relay team that took gold, a sweet victory over Sweden by 32 seconds. Two year later in Hungary he won another FootO medal, the bronze in the Classic race where all three medallists were Norwegian. Dæhli finished 3.29 down on winner Morten Berglia, with Øyvin Thon taking the silver medal.

This year he shared the distinction of ‘doing the triple’ in the World Masters with Simone Niggli, Switzerland (W40) and Karleric Fransson, Sweden in M90. He won the Sprint by 6 seconds, the Middle Distance by 1.21 and the Long Distance by 2.57.

Fast and strong on skis
Meanwhile he was getting fast and strong on skis too, and in the World Ski Orienteering Championships in 1982 in Austria he was bronze medallist in the individual race behind the Finns Olavi Svanberg and Pertti Tikka. Here his margin from gold was 3.17. There he figured in the silver-medal relay team too, skiing last leg and finishing 2.10 down on Sweden.

Two more SkiO relay medals followed: in 1984 (Italy – bronze) and then a memorable gold in Bulgaria in 1986, where he took first leg and handed on to Lars Lystad, Audun Knutsen and Vidar Benjaminsen. Bulgaria were second, a whole 15.08 down – one of the biggest lead margins ever in a world championship race.

TrailO ambitions
One of Dæhli’s big ambitions now is to win a TrailO Relay gold medal with his team – then he has Relay golds in all three disciplines. There is no truth in the rumour that he is training hard to be in the Norwegian team at the next World MTBO Championships!

Next generation also winning medals
Sigurd’s son Magne has now added to the number of WOC medals in the Dæhli family. He now has three gold and two silver medals as a long-term member of the very successful Norwegian FootO relay team.

Sigurd Dæhli World Championship medals

2 Gold – FootO Relay 1981, SkiO Relay 1986

2 Silver – SkiO Relay 1982, TrailO Open Relay 2017

3 Bronze – SkiO Individual 1982, FootO Individual 1983, SkiO Relay 1984

Text by Clive Allen

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