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EOC Sprint Relay: Russian GOLD after intriguing battle!

eoc2016sprintrelay

[With maps and results] At the start of the last leg it looked like Sweden was the certain winner – then Denmark emerged as the clear winner candidate. But Russia’s Galina Vinogradova kept her head cool and orienteered safely to GOLD for Russia.

At the start of the last leg Sweden’s Helena Jansson had a clear 20 second lead to Russia’s Galina Vinogradova with Switzerland’s Rahel Friedrich another 9 seconds behind. The big favourite Denmark was 1:17(!) behind after some time losses at the second and third leg. At this stage of the race everything pointed towards gold for Sweden – with Jansson usually being a safe and strong runner.

At this stage of the race everything pointed towards gold for Sweden – with Jansson usually being a safe and strong runner.

Orienteered their way to victory

Orienteering is however the key element in this sport – and this is how Russia won the relay today. It started already on the first leg where Natalia Vinogradova (not related to Galinia Vinogradova on the last leg) came first after steeling meters on Swiss Judith Wyder due to better orienteering in many places. Second leg runner Gleb Tikhonov lost a few seconds, but kept Russia in the top. Third leg runner Andrey Khramov – veteran with EOC Gold medal back in 2008 on the relay – lost some seconds to Swedish Jonas Leandersson (who is in great shape these days; deciding 10Mila for SNO less than a week ago). But with only 20 seconds up to leading Sweden, Galina Vinogradova was in perfect position at the start of the last leg.

sprintrelay_winners

Russian Gold medal team. Photo: EOC 2016.

sprintrelay_podium

Russia wins ahead of Denmark and Switzerland. Photo: EOC 2016.

Sweden misses first control on last leg

Helena Jansson did however have a really bad start for Sweden on the last leg – two years after she lost a lot of time at the first leg of the WOC Sprint Relay in Trento, Italy after loosing her shoe. On the way to the first leg she did not see that a fence made it impossible to run a straight route choice – and thus turned around, changed her route choice, and lost significant time. Meanwhile Denmark’s Maja Alm ran a good route to the other forking control (there was not significant difference in the time for the two forkings, though) – and caught more than 45 seconds on Jansson. Below is a comparison of the routes of the two.

denma

The other top teams also lost time to the first control, and a few controls later Alm had brought Denmark up into the lead of the Sprint Relay – from a hopeless situation 1:19 behind! On top of that, Sweden skipped the 5th control and was disqualified.

Alm ran the wrong way out of the 16th control and lost more than 20 seconds – and Russia’s Galina Vinogradova could run past to celebrate a clear victory

Now everything looked like Denmark would take another Sprint Relay victory. But then to the 16th control – with Alm in a seemingly safe lead ahead of Russia – Alm ran the wrong way out of the 16th control and lost more than 20 seconds – and Russia’s Galina Vinogradova could run past to celebrate a clear victory and the first ever European Championships gold medal in Sprint Relay went to Russia. Denmark finished second while Switzerland took the bronze medal.

almsmiss

Maps

EOC Sprint Relay 2016 - leg 1/4

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com
EOC Sprint Relay 2016 - leg 2/3

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com

GPS tracking

Results

1. RUS 1 ( 4) Russian Federation 63.01

Vinogradova Nat 15.44 ( 1) Tikhonov Gleb 16.01 ( 9) Khramov Andrey 15.31 ( 3) Vinogradova Gal 15.45 ( 2)

2. DEN 1 ( 3) Denmark 63.15

Klysner Cecilie 16.19 ( 3) Lassen Tue 16.20 (10) Bobach Soren 15.34 ( 4) Alm Maja 15.02 ( 1)

3. SUI 1 ( 1) Switzerland 63.28

Wyder Judith 15.47 ( 2) Kyburz Andreas 15.56 ( 8) Hubmann Martin 15.42 ( 6) Friederich Rahe 16.03 ( 4)

4. FIN 1 ( 7) Finland 64.15

Rantanen Merja 16.19 ( 3) Raitanen Topi 15.17 ( 2) Niemi Alexi 16.40 (10) Harju Venla 15.59 ( 3)

5. CZE 1 ( 8) Czech Republic 64.45

Kosová Denisa 16.26 ( 5) Procházka Jan 15.45 ( 5) Král Vojtěch 15.23 ( 2) Knapová Jana 17.11 ( 6)

6. FRA 1 (18) France 65.28

Chataing Amélie 17.13 (11) Tranchand Frédér 15.34 ( 3) Basset Lucas 15.52 ( 7) Vercellotti Léa 16.49 ( 5)

7. GBR 1 (10) Great Britain 66.32

Ward Charlotte 16.59 ( 9) Hodkinson Peter 15.47 ( 6) Jones Kris 15.38 ( 5) Shepherd Jo 18.08 ( 9)

8. EST 1 (14) Estonia 67.27

Rihma Annika 16.27 ( 6) Mitt Raido 17.24 (16) Kivikas Kenny 16.24 ( 8) Kaasiku Evely 17.12 ( 7)

9. AUT 1 ( 9) Austria 67.29

Kadan Ursula 16.42 ( 8) Merl Robert 15.50 ( 7) Reiner Matthias 16.42 (11) Ramstein Laura 18.15 (11)

10. BUL 1 (17) Bulgaria 68.22

Grigorova Anton 17.09 (10) Nikolov Kiril 16.38 (11) Sirakov Ivan 16.28 ( 9) Gotseva Liliana 18.07 ( 8)

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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