WOC Long Distance: Tove Alexandersson again victorious

Posted on | August 25, 2016 | Category: WOC news

Tove Alexandersson in the arena passage        Photo: Erik Borg

The finish to the women’s race was intensely exciting as Tove Alexandersson, Sweden gradually closed on the time of Natalia Gemperle, Russia, and with her trademark strong finish on the last loop finally won by 26 seconds. Bronze medallist is Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg, Norway.

On a very wet day in the forests east of Strömstad, Saila Kinni, Finland was a leader for quite a while from a relatively early start time – 22 started after her – and her final position was a creditable fifth, her best-ever individual WOC result. Anastasia Denisova from Belarus also put in a good time at this stage and was sixth at the end. But soon the spotlight turned on Natalia Gemperle and 2-minute-earlier starter Judith Wyder, who had come together and were setting a new higher tempo. They were still together at the arena passage; Wyder was the fastest into the finish right at the end, but her early mistake put paid to her medal chance today. For Gemperle this was one better than the Middle race where she won the bronze medal.

Meanwhile Tove Alexandersson was reported 2.50 slower than Gemperle at the first split time point, but this was whittled down to 0.21 at the second split and just 3 seconds at the arena passage, where she was running together with Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg. These two made no mistakes on the final loop, and their long sprint for the line was fast enough to ensure gold and bronze respectively. A fine result for the Norwegian who is now aged 40.

The course featured a 1.7 km leg 1-2 after a very short run to the first control, with 3 distinctly different route choice alternatives; no time for much pre-planning here. Control 4 was 15 metres inside Norway! The long leg 5-6 provided a further opportunity for an excursion into Norway for those preferring a longer distance track run, and Nordberg did just that whilst the other leaders took a more direct but more physical and technical route.

Leading results

  1. Tove Alexandersson SWE 86:24
  2. Natalia Gemperle RUS 86:50
  3. Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg NOR 88:25
  4. Judith Wyder SUI 88:43
  5. Saila Kinni FIN 94:14
  6. Anastasia Denisova BLR 94:22
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