World Orienteering Championships, women’s relay: 20th gold for Simone

Posted on | July 21, 2012 | Category: News

The women’s relay title went to Switzerland today following a commanding performance from Simone Niggli on the last leg. Sweden took the silver medals and Norway the bronze.

Sweden was soon at the front of the pack, and Annika Billstam handed over in the lead to Helena Jansson.  Switzerland was close behind and third at the changeover was USA, courtesy of a fine run by Alison Crocker. At the end of the second leg, Sweden led Switzerland by 42 seconds with Russia and Norway changing over together, 2.57 down on the lead. But Simone Niggli quickly got ahead of Sweden’s Tove Alexandersson and had a lead of 2 minutes 24 seconds by the end. Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg (Norway) was stronger than Tatiana Riabkina (Russia) on the day and brought Norway into a comfortable third place.

The other podium places went to Finland and Denmark. Minna Kauppi ran very strongly for Finland to end a very good week for her, but she started out too late to have a chance of a medal in the often fast terrain.

The race used the same arena as for the Long distance final, with a spectator passage about 10 minutes before the changeover/finish. The mass start led straight into a hectic downhill sprint and then steady climb until the runners disappeared into the forest. With 4 TV controls and other in-forest shots, interspersed with lots of live tracking, spectators were kept in touch with the action throughout.

Leading results, women

1. Switzerland (Ines Brodmann, Judith Wyder, Simone Niggli) 1:44:54

2. Sweden (Annika Billstam, Helena Jansson, Tove ASlexandersson) 1:47:18

3. Norway (Silje Ekroll Jahren, Mari Fasting, Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg) 1:48:11

4. Russia 1:48:38, 5. Finland 1:51:41, 6. Denmark 1:52:21


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