Live from 11:31 CET! None of the Top 6 men from WOC Long 2011 are on the start in today’s WOC long distance. Actually only 2 of the best 10 from last year are on the start – and only 4 of the best 10 women from 2011 are on the start. But that does not mean these are not strong start fields!
In the women’s class, there is yet another twist: The biggest favourite – Simone Niggli – was not starting last year. This will be a very interesting race indeed!
The long distance is the toughest race in the World Orienteering Championships – expected winning time for the men’s 18.3 km long course is 96 minutes – the women have 80 minutes for 12.4 km. The WOC long distance goes in typical Swiss “Mittelland” terrain – the final being far less runnable and with more height differences than the qualification. There is said to be a lot of varied vegetation – according to looking at the old maps, big parts of it is with quite bad runnability making it necessary to use a lot of paths and road running to get fast from A to B. For each leg, the runners are faced with the question: Fight along the shortes route or run around and potentially loose time if the direct route has good runnability. You can never know if you took the right choice – and probably no runner will take the right choice for each leg. The biggest fighter who makes the least mistakes will probably be the winner at the end of the day. The terrain has some deep valleys and steep slopes (see old maps further down in this article). Course planners: Roland Hirter and Dieter Hulliger
|Maps||Sex||Courses||Length (km)||Climb (m)||Controls
Useful links & info:
- Program Thursday July 19th: Long Final: Women from 11:31 – Men from 12:01. GPS. Big Screen (streamed)
- Start interval 3 minutes
- Live results, live web TV and live GPS tracking available from the WOC 2012 LiveCenter
- LiveBlog organized by the WOC 2012 organizers in cooperation with World of O
- WOC 2012 Team overview with results and pictures – now also from middle final
- Historical WOC results sorted by year
Reigning World Champions: Results WOC Long 2011
Below the Top 10 from 2011 are shown. The starters this year are shown in bold red text (Helena Jansson qualified for the final, but is out due to injury).
This “Mittelland” terrain suits the Swiss runners especially well – and the biggest favourites in this race among the men is no doubt Swiss Matthias Merz. Merz won the Swiss long distance test race in an impressive manner – and must be counted as the main favourite along with EOC gold medalist Olav Lundanes. Also among the big favourites is the WOC Sprint gold medalist - Matthias Kyburz – who has shown impressive shape all spring and might very well take the gold medal if he can get manage to get out his maximum performance. And don’t forget the last Swiss runner Fabian Hertner: An unstable spring, but whenever he hits the controls, nobody is faster. He proved with a bronze medal at the middle distance – with an extremely strong finish – that he is up to it. Another man to count on is the Russian silver medalist from middle – Valentin Novikov. Novikov has been (in)famous as the man who always is in the lead early but always cracks before the end – but at the European Championships he kept his speed nearly all the way. Edgars Bertuks was the man of the day on Tuesday’s middle distance. He also won his long distance qualification heat, and has shown impressive shape. But he can’t do it again, can he? The Swedish men – with Anders Holmberg living in Switzerland as the biggest contender – are not among the biggest gold favourites, but they may be up there and fight as well. Also count in the other two Norwegians in the fight for medals – especially Anders Nordberg who is hungry for gold after getting silver before. French Philippe Adamski is the one on the start list who got the best placement last year (7th). Probably not strong enough for gold – but could be in for the medals.
- Matthias Merz
- Olav Lundanes
- Matthias Kyburz
Biggest outsiders: Valentin Novikov, Fabian Hertner, Anders Nordberg
Among the women, the long distance is the discipline where Simone Niggli is the biggest favourite. Here the fast-running Swiss can often afford to make some mistakes – and still be on top when the medals are delivered. Tatiana Riabkina was the only one close to Niggli at the European Championships in Sweden – she may yet again be the main contender at the World Championships. Minna Kauppi is a woman of big comebacks after mistakes on the orienteering course – it would be quite fitting for the Finnish star if she came back on top this year after the famous 1st control mistake at the World Champs long distance in France last year. Reigning world champion Annika Billstam is also among the favourites, she showed with her bronze on sprint and 6th place over the middle distance that she is in shape. And again: Anne Margrethe Hausken can surprise and be up there – so can Czech Dana Safka Brozkova who is always up there when it really counts. Ida Bobach and Sara Lüscher are among the outsiders.
- Simone Niggli
- Minna Kauppi
- Tatiana Riabkina
Biggest outsiders: Annika Billstam, Ida Bobach, Anne Margrethe Hausken
Below you see old maps from the area.