[Updated with analysis and splitsgraphs] Surprise Gold to Søren Bobach (Denmark). Judith Wyder (Switzerland) handles the pressure and wins the women’s sprint at WOC 2014. The sprint in Venice was spectacular and exciting – Denmark was the big winner with three medals at the first day of the World Championships 2014.
The other medals went to Daniel Hubmann (Switzerland) and Tue Lassen (Denmark) in the men’s class and Tove Alexandersson (Sweden) and Maja Alm (Denmark) in the women’s class.
Men’s analysis: Hubmann had it in the pocket at control 18
The men’s race was decided on the very last controls – were Søren Bobach secured gold ahead of Daniel Hubmann. Hubmann had it all in his pocket a few controls before the finish (control 18) with an 8 second lead, but lost a massive (for sprint) 14 seconds to Søren Bobach on the leg to control 19. When Bobach – sitting in the leaders chair waiting – saw Hubmann doing this route choice, you could see a smile forming on his mouth. Which turned into a cry of joy a few minutes later when Hubmann came too late to beat him. Tue Lassen finished third after losing a few seconds to Bobach along the way.
Daniel Hubmann had an exceptionally good start of the race – running “superman speed” for several legs in a row early in the course. Bobach’s mistake to control 11 could have costed him the victory – but he got the “help” he needed from Hubmann to take the victory. Note also that Belgian outsider Yannick Michiels started very well before he got a big mistake.
An interesting part of this happy Danish story: Bronze medalist Tue Lassen spent many, many hours drawing a near-perfect orienteering map of the Venice area – a map which Gold medalist Bobach used in his preparations. After the race, Bobach reported that none of the legs were any surprise – he could mostly just take a quick look at the map and know the best route choice. According to the Danish coach, the Danes used 4-500 hours for theoretical preparations for the WOC sprint – were any other teams better prepared?
Women’s analysis: Alexandersson and Eliasson fastest – Wyder most stable
In the women’s class Swedish Tove Alexandersson had the best start – having a clear lead at control 8. Mistakes to control 9, 10 and 12 cost the Swedish runner a lot of time – and suddenly Judith Wyder was in a clear lead which she never let go off. Alexanderssons very good finish was not enough to even get close to Wyder. Lena Eliasson (also Sweden) got close though – even leading the race between control 9 and 11 – but a mistake in the end with the bridges cost her victory and even the medal. In the end Tove Alexandersson got closest and took silver with a good finish – and Maja Alm (Denmark) won the bronze medal. Judith Wyder won gold because she was the most stable runner – not doing mistakes. Both Alexandersson and Eliasson were probably faster, but orienteering is all about the combination of running and navigation – and there Wyder was the best today!
You find the split times from both final and qualification here in Winsplits:
Results and winner pictures
1 Judith Wyder Switzerland 15:32,0
2 Tove Alexandersson Sweden 15:43,9 +0:11,9
3 Maja Moeller Alm Denmark 15:45,7 +0:13,7
4 Nadiya Volynska Ukraine 15:46,9 +0:14,9
5 Lena Eliasson Sweden 15:59,1 +0:27,1
6 Rahel Friederich Switzerland 16:06,9 +0:34,9
7 Galina Vinogradova Russia 16:11,5 +0:39,5
8 Goril Ronning Sund Norway 16:29,9 +0:57,9
9 Venla Niemi Finland 16:31,4 +0:59,4
10 Emma Klingenberg Denmark 16:35,6 +1:03,6
11 Julia Gross Switzerland 16:47,2 +1:15,2
12 Tessa Hill Great Britain 16:52,1 +1:20,1
13 Lizzie Ingham New Zealand 16:52,2 +1:20,2
14 Anna Narhi Finland 17:03,8 +1:31,8
15 Anne Johanne Lind Norway 17:04,1 +1:32,1
1 Soren Bobach Denmark 15:37,2
2 Daniel Hubmann Switzerland 15:39,3 +0:02,1
3 Tue Lassen Denmark 15:41,4 +0:04,2
4 Jerker Lysell Sweden 15:48,1 +0:10,9
5 Matthias Kyburz Switzerland 15:52,4 +0:15,2
6 Jonas Leandersson Sweden 15:58,0 +0:20,8
7 Yannick Michiels Belgium 16:04,7 +0:27,5
8 Jan Prochazka Czech Republic 16:08,0 +0:30,8
9 Jonas Vytautas Gvildys Lithuania 16:09,4 +0:32,2
10 Martin Hubmann Switzerland 16:10,7 +0:33,5
11 Robert Merl Austria 16:13,9 +0:36,7
12 Oystein Kvaal Osterbo Norway 16:18,0 +0:40,8
13 Murray Strain Great Britain 16:21,8 +0:44,6
14 Kiril Nikolov Bulgaria 16:23,1 +0:45,9
15 Martin Regborn Sweden 16:26,4 +0:49,2