World Cup Sprint Final: tight victory for Yannick Michiels, clear one for Maja Alm

Posted on | May 25, 2017 | Category: Arena, News

Photo credit: Matias Salonen

Yannick Michiels, Belgium took a close victory by just 2 seconds today over Matthias Kyburz, Switzerland in the Sprint Final – a first-ever World Cup win for Belgium. Maja Alm, Denmark won by 10 seconds ahead of Tove Alexandersson, a better route choice in the middle of the race proving decisive.

The courses were set in a residential area containing a number of uncrossable boundaries and also some detailed small blocks of parkland, with a spectator run-through before a short finishing loop.  An surprise result amongst the first six in the men’s race was that of the Spaniard Antonio Martinez Perez who ended fifth. He was 5th starter on the course and set a very good time of 12.53, but this was overtaken shortly after by 9th starter Emil Svensk who was 4 seconds quicker.

There was then quite a gap in time before Matthias Kyburz stormed in to take a clear new best time. Of the final starters in the race, it was second-last starter Michiels who fared best, and in a frantic finish just got ahead. Last starter Martin Regborn SWE finished fourth.

Two Russians, Natalia Gemperle and Galina Vinogradova, set identical times from early positions in the start list in the women’s race. It was Karolin Ohlsson SWE in mid-race who broke the mould, finishing 6 seconds quicker. Her time was eventually closely challenged by Sabine Hauswirth SUI, who lost precious seconds through indecision not far from the finish and ended 2 seconds slower, and Line Strand SWE who tired a bit towards the end but was 2 seconds quicker than Ohlsson.

Tove Alexandersson started out in very determined fashion and was the clear fastest until a poor route choice from control 14 to 15 lost her about 10 seconds. This was followed by a small hesitation a bit later. Meanwhile Maja Alm was picking all the best routes, and was the clear favourite for victory as she came to the spectator passage. Her trademark sprint finish sealed the victory.

Sweden excelled with three placings in the first four. Helena Jansson, in the winning Sprint Relay team yesterday, made some mistakes today and ended in ninth place.

Tomorrow is a rest day, and competition resumes on Saturday with the Middle Distance races.

Note: an article posted earlier contained incorrect results and comment for the men’s race. Apologies for the mistake.

Leading results


  1. Yannick Michiels BEL  12:28
  2. Matthias Kyburz SUI  12:30
  3. Emil Svensk SWE  12:49
  4. Martin Regborn SWE  12:50
  5. Antonio Martinez Perez ESP  12:53

6= Frederic Tranchand FRA & Vojtech Kral CZE  12:59


  1. Maja Alm DEN 12:18
  2. Tove Alexandersson SWE 12:28
  3. Lina Strand SWE 12:43
  4. Karolin Ohlsson SWE 12:45
  5. Sabine Hauswirth SUI 12:47

6= Natalia Gemperle RUS, Venla Harju FIN & Galina Vinogradova RUS  12:51


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