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WOC Middle Qual: Live from 13:00 CET

Thierry Gueorgiou is back on the start line today for the WOC middle distance qualification. That will give both him and everybody else a first answer as to wether he can get yet another middle distance title.  The middle distance is the most open race – and the middle distance is also the race where the chances are biggest for favourites missing the Top 15 which is required to go to the finals.

The middle distance terrain is very difficult from the long and relay terrain. This Jura terrain can be considered as a “light edition” of the terrain in France last year – the tricky parts being nearly up to the level from last year’s Savoie terrain although with somewhat better runnability, but with open, fast areas which should make speed adaptment very important.

The qualification terrain is at lower altitude than the final terrain – featuring less open fields. The forest is dense with large depressions, stony areas and rocks. The visibility is often limited, and the speed is not very high – although significantly higher than in the extreme areas in France last year.

Maps Sex Courses Length (km) Climb (m) Controls
Winning time
(min.)
Map Scale Contour
interval
Bois Rond Men A,B,C 4.8/4.9 160-170 15 26 1:10’000 5 m
Bois Rond Women A,B,C 4.1/4.2 120-130 17 26 1:10’000 5 m

Course planners: Pierre-Alain Matthey and Luc Béguin

Today’s program.

  • Middle Qual: Women from 13:01 CET – Men from 14:11 CET- 2 minutes start interval

Live services and other useful links:

With this terrain description, it is difficult to get around Thierry Gueorgiou as the big favourite. Gueorgiou has struggled with an injury which has set the French “King of Middle” on the sideline since the European Championships in the middle of May. Even with nearly no running for close to two months, Gueorgiou will be the biggest gold favourite if he decides that he is on the start line. With uncertainty around the French technical mastermind, the fight for gold opens up. Olav Lundanes of Norway, reigning European Champion middle distance from Sweden, is probably the biggest runner up along with Swiss Baptiste Rollier who has prepared extremely well for this race, Swedish Peter Öberg who surprises year after year by coming from an outsider position and taking a medal, Valentin Novikov – the “EOC middle specialist” and Carl Waaler Kaas – the champion from Trondheim in 2010. But the list of potential gold medalists is even longer: Fabian HertnerTue LassenFrancois GononMarc LauensteinOleksandr Kratov and several others have the potential to be up there on the WOC middle distance if they hit the jackpot.

In the women’s class, this is probably where Simone Niggli is the least favourite – but after 5 World Cup victories of 5 possible this season she is still the gold favourite. The middle distance is the best opportunity for gold for Swedish Helena Jansson. The third big favourite is Minna Kauppi of Finland – showing very impressive running on parts of the Swiss and Finnish WOC tests middle distance. Probably one of these three will take the title – with EOC medalist Tatiana Riabkina as an outsider – but behind these three we have several runners who might get to the top on a top day: Swedish Tove Alexandersson can either win a clear victory with a perfect race – or miss the finals if she has one of the races like she had a JWOC this week. Ida Bobach from Denmark – last year’s silver medalist is also one who can take it home. Also count in the other Swiss women.

Men 2011

. Thierry Gueorgiou
. Peter Öberg
. Olav Lundanes
4. Oleksandr Kratov
5. Jonas Vytautas Gvildys
6. François Gonon
7. Tue Lassen
8. Matthias Müller
9. Philippe Adamski
10. Baptiste Rollier

Women 2011

. Helena Jansson
. Ida Bobach
. Judith Wyder
4. Minna Kauppi
5. Natalia Vinogradova
6. Maja Alm
7. Marianne Andersen
8. Merja Rantanen
9. Annika Billstam
10. Amélie Chataing


About Jan Kocbach

Jan Kocbach is the founder of WorldofO.com - taking care of everything from site development to writing articles, photography and analysis.

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