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WOC Mixed Sprint Relay: Victory for Switzerland

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[Updated with maps] Switzerland’s Judith Wyder ran Switzerland to gold when the first World Championship in mixed sprint relay was decided in Trento, Italy today. Belgium and Denmark had a clear lead after two legs, but Switzerland’s Matthias Kyburz basically decided the race on the third leg were he brought Switzerland into the lead.

Switzerland’s winning team consisted of Rahel Friedrich, Martin Hubmann, Matthias Kyburz and Judith Wyder. Denmark finished second and Russia took bronze.

Perfect start for Denmark

Emma Klingenberg gave Denmark a perfect start on the first leg – giving Denmark a 3 second lead ahead of Russia. Switzerland’s Rahel Friedrich was 8 seconds down in third place – and the last top favourite Sweden lost 50 seconds with Helena Jansson – finishing down in a 14th place. Jansson lost her shoe after 10 meters of the race – and had to run significant parts of the race with only one shoe! The first part with the shoe halfway on – the second part barefoot.

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Yannick Michiels – a man for the future

Yannick Michiels ran a fantastic second leg for Belgium – bringing Belgium from 12th place and up into the lead. Denmark’s Tue Lassen also did a good race, and returned back only a few seconds behind. Down to Switzerland with Martin Hubmann – a big gap of 21 seconds had now opened.

Gleb Tikhonov kept Russia in the game – finishing between Denmark and Switzerland – 11 seconds behind Denmark and 15 seconds behind Belgium.

“Waiting game”

I felt physically stronger, and did not feel that I had to push the maximum

The third leg featured the big fight of the day: Reigning World Champion sprint Søren Bobach against the best sprinter the last years – Matthias Kyburz – for Switzerland. Kyburz felt physically very strong, and managed to close the gap to Bobach quite fast. Then Kyburz started playing the “waiting game”.

– I practically run behind Bobach for most of the race, Kyburz comments. – I felt physically stronger, and did not feel that I had to push the maximum to stay there.

Still Kyburz stayed behind, and waited for Bobach to do a mistake – knowing that he did not need to run away at front with sprint champion from Saturday in Venice, Judith Wyder, on the last leg.

Run into a shop

– I missed a passage and then ran into a shop

– Ahead of the race we thought that the race would develop in a way were many teams would be in the game in the start, and then one team after another would make a mistake and disappear from the lead. The important thing was to not be the team going out. And this is exactly how the race developed, Kyburz says.

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The decision happened towards the end of the third leg when Bobach did a mistake.

– I missed a passage and then ran into a shop, Bobach says. – This cost me around 10 seconds. And soon after I had the long forking [in the park]. In total that was the gap up [to Switzerland].

And the gap for Kyburz was in the end a massive 18 seconds down to Russia (Andrey Khramov) and Sweden (Jonas Leandersson) in shared second – with Denmark another second behind.

“Easy job” for Wyder

The last leg was then an “easy job” for Judith Wyder. With 18 seconds lead, she did not have to do the race of her life to get Switzerland the gold medal.

– I did a normal race – nothing special, a smiling Wyder commented after the race. – I saw Maja on the second last control, but knew that the gap was big enough if I did not do any mistakes.

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Maps and GPS-tracking

Below you find links to maps and GPS-tracking. Note that the GPS-tracking is not very accurate in these narrow streets.

Results
1 Switzerland SUI 18:59:46 48:36 (1) 57:41 (1) 59:04 (1) +00:00
2 Denmark DEN 18:59:40 49:05 (3) 57:48 (2) 59:07 (2) +00:03
3 Russia RUS 18:59:53 49:10 (4) 57:55 (3) 59:15 (3) +00:11
4 Sweden SWE 19:00:56 49:04 (2) 58:00 (4) 59:25 (4) +00:21
5 Ukraine UKR 19:00:41 49:36 (5) 58:51 (5) 60:15 (5) +01:11
6 Great Britain GBR 19:01:38 49:59 (8) 59:01 (6) 60:24 (6) +01:20
7 Czech Republic CZE 19:01:27 49:38 (6) 59:07 (7) 60:32 (7) +01:28
8 Finland FIN 19:02:13 50:13 (9) 61:29 (8) +02:25
9 Lithuania LTU 19:00:58 60:16 (8) 61:44 (9) +02:40
10 Australia AUS 19:02:24 50:59 (11) 60:26 (10) 61:45 (10) +02:41

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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9 comments

  1. Nick Glazyrin

    congratulate team of Switzerland on a victory! Russians Perfectly! Good fellows!

  2. Congratulations to the medal winners. Well done!

    However, I must say that GPS in a city sprint does not work. This was basically: How to totally confuse TV-viewers in 2 seconds.
    Even the TV commentator and the expert commentator lost track (yes, they are still competing themselves). Runners were all over the place – spread in all directions. Running on water, through buildings … And the commentators trying to explain what was happening.
    This is NOT how to promote orienteering as a TV sport.

    • It is human to make a mistake, but to make total chaos you need a computer :)

    • Vinogradov Mike

      I guess that there are too narrow streets in Trento. I saw a lot of nice GPS-broadcasting in other cities and towns. But in my opinion – best solution is moving cameras (small electro-cars, running cameraman, etc.).

  3. Vinogradov Mike

    Whats the current situation with World Cup standing in Mixed Relays?? It is not easy to find information about it. I understand that it is unofficial World Cup discipline, but it should be some calculations about it.

  4. Can somebody advise me how to follow the GPS-tracking provided by the IOF live center without having to submit the code for every leg of the relay separately.

  5. Am I the only one concerned about the fairness of the city sprint races? To hear that the Danes spent hundreds of hours preparing a map and using streetview so that they knew every street and laneway surely is wrong. I thought orienteering was supposed to be about navigating through unfamiliar terrain? Hardly unfamiliar. Is is right to expect that the winning team will be that which can make the best use of technology?

    And to hear that a Swiss runner knocked over a waitress in the sprint relay,accidentally or not, is also troubling. Medals in this race are decided by seconds and there is lots at stake. Will the winning country be the one that is willing to knock over the most pedestrians in order to get ahead ? Not only fairness but safety concerns raise their head.

    I have serious doubts about these races….