A tough long distance race with most of the World Elite on place – just across the road from the WOC 2012 long distance. That was the setting for the WOC selection race long distance for Switzerland, Finland and France Wednesday. Again two Swiss victories: Matthias Merz for the men and Simone Niggli for the women.
The map above shows the mens 15.6 kilometer course – which Matthias Merz finished in just above 90 minutes.
Double for the Swiss men
The Swiss team did again show a very strong performance – taking the two first places with Merz ahead of Fabian Hertner – with Matthias Kyburz in 4th. With two Top 3 places in the selection races, Hertner should have a WOC start in his pocket now even if his start of the season has not been good. The race of Merz looked a lot like a WOC medal race – with a constant very good performance without any bigger mistakes – and good route choices all the way.
- This is terrain is very similar to the terrain I have at home, Merz said after his victory. – You have to fight all the way - and there are a lot of choices all the way which have to be made.
The Swiss trio was split by the Norwegian Olav Lundanes, who seems to be one of the biggest threats to a gold medal for Switzerland at home ground in July.
- I manage to fight well, Lundanes said to orientering.no after the race. This was a good run through, even if my body feels tired. There is also still something to work on technically.
Looking at the performance index, Lundanes is the one on the start list who shows real potential to beat Merz – but the last part of the race is not good enough. Hertner and Kyburz have good performances, but their highest level is clearly below that of Merz and Lundanes in this race. Finnish Fredric Portin and Danish Tue Lassen are two other runners which can be noticed as having very high performance in large parts of the course – although both make too many mistakes to be in the Top 6.
Inconsistent among the women
After “only” 4th place on the middle distance on Tuesday, Simone Niggli was back on top on the long distance – winning ahead of Minna Kauppi (Finland), Ines Brodmann (Switzerland) and Sara Lüscher (Switzerland). But the race was not a top race for Niggli – 2 minutes lost on a long route choice leg to number 6, and also several other time losses leads to a “hilly” performance index curve. The highest level is far above all the competitors, but significant parts of the course are well below the usual standard of Niggli. Kauppi does a very consistent race, but her highest level is well below Niggli – unlike yesterday when Kauppi had some fantastic parts in the race. Note also how the highest level of Tone Wigemyr, Anne Margrethe Hausken and Sabine Hauswirth is well within the medal fight – although all three had unstable performances in this race.
Results & Maps
Men Elite (HE), 15 600 m (75)
1 Matthias Merz OLG Rymenzburg SUI 1:30.51 +0.00 5.49
2 Fabian Hertner OLV Baselland SUI 1:33.23 +2.32 5.59
3 Olav Lundanes Team Norway NOR 1:34.26 +3.35 6.03
4 Matthias Kyburz OLK Fricktal SUI 1:35.54 +5.03 6.08
5 Baptiste Rollier ANCO SUI 1:37.36 +6.45 6.15
6 Anders Nordberg Team Norway NOR 1:38.03 +7.12 6.17
7 Fredric Portin Team Finland FIN 1:38.40 +7.49 6.19
8 Raffael Huber OLG Säuliamt SUI 1:38.42 +7.51 6.19
9 Marc Lauenstein ANCO SUI 1:38.43 +7.52 6.19
10 Andreas Kyburz OLK Fricktal SUI 1:38.53 +8.02 6.20
Women Elite (DE), 11 300 m (56)
1 Simone Niggli OLV Hindelbank SUI 1:20.41 +0.00 7.08
2 Minna Kauppi Team Finland FIN 1:24.31 +3.50 7.28
3 Ines Brodmann OLG Basel SUI 1:27.10 +6.29 7.42
4 Sara Lüscher OLC Kapreolo SUI 1:27.12 +6.31 7.43
5 Tatiana Ryabkina Hellas RUS 1:27.14 +6.33 7.43
6 Sabine Hauswirth ol norska SUI 1:29.37 +8.56 7.55
7 Tone Wigemyr Team Norway NOR 1:29.39 +8.58 7.56
8 Isabelle Feer OLG Goldau SUI 1:29.52 +9.11 7.57
9 Rahel Friederich OLG Basel SUI 1:30.06 +9.25 7.58
10 Saila Kinni Team Finland FIN 1:30.21 +9.40 7.59