Home / Orienteering News / WOC 2017 Middle Favourite Preview – LIVE from 09:30 CET

WOC 2017 Middle Favourite Preview – LIVE from 09:30 CET

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[First man starts 09:32, last man 12:14, first woman 12:58, last woman 15:14 (all times CET, local time one hour later)].  Tove Alexanderssonis big favourite in the women’s race – the men’s race is wide open with 10-15 runners who can win on a good day. Read on for a preview of the favourites for WOC 2017 Middle.  

Whereas the long distance was extremely tough, the terrain for the middle distance is a lot faster – although still relatively green and partly with reduced visibility.

Women: A double Double for Alexandersson?

Tove Alexandersson (Sweden) won both the Long and Middle distance at the World Orienteering Championships in Strömstad, Sweden last year. With a clear victory on Tuesday’s Long distance, Alexandersson is favourite for the Middle distance as well – and with that the double for the second year in a row. If Alexandersson is in normal shape and makes a perfect race, nobody is able to beat her – that is nice to know in order to use enough time for the orienteering.

Russia’s Natalia Gemperle took Bronze at WOC Middle last year, and already has two individual medals from this championships: Silver on Sprint and Bronze on Long distance. Gemperle has increased her level and stability this season, and could be ready for her first individual WOC Gold medal.

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Another runner who can challenge Alexandersson is Alexandersson’s team mate in the Swedish Team, Helena Jansson, who was in third place on the Long distance until she made an 8(!) minute mistake. Jansson is strong and usually technically excellent – and extra hungry after the mistake on the Long distance.

Svetlana Mironova has shown earlier that she can top her form and perform at her best when it really counts. She has been counted as a Long distance specialist, but in this championships she instead runs the Sprint Relay and the Middle distance. That also means she does not have the tough long distance in her legs, as many of her competitors have.

Emily Kemp (Canada) finished 4th at the WOC Middle distance last year, but did not impress that much at this year’s Long distance. The Middle distance terrain should however fit Kemp better, and it will be interesting to see if the Canadian can get her and Canada’s first ever WOC medal.

Emma Johansson (Sweden) took Bronze at WOC Middle in 2015, and has shown good shape this year. Also look out for Swiss Sabine Hauswirth who showed excellent physical shape at the Sprint Relay, and who also had good speed at the Long distance, although she struggled technically. The Middle distance is however a completely different type of terrain which also should fit the Swiss runners better than the Long distance terrain.

Norway’s Marianne Andersen is a very interesting start. Andersen was one of the big stars of the sport between 2005 and 2011 – with a silver medal from EOC Middle in Estonia 11 years ago in 2006. Last year she was finally back on high international level after struggling with injuries since 2011. This year her level has increased another notch, and it would definitely be a nice fairy tail if she took another medal in Estonia 11 years later.

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There are also a number of outsiders for the medals, including Nadiya Volynska, Marika Teini, Andrine Benjaminsen, Anastasia Denisova and Lina Strand.

World of O’s medal tip:
1. Tove Alexandersson
2. Natalia Gemperle
3. Helena Jansson

Main outsiders: Marianna Andersen, Emily Kemp

Below is a list of the Top 20 women middle distance runners  at the start, according to a point system which weights medals in the biggest championships the last years highest.

1. Tove Alexandersson  SWE Gold WOC Middle (2016), Gold EOC Middle (2016), Silver WOC Middle (2013), Silver WOC Middle (2012), Bronze WOC Middle (2014), Gold WC #2, Middle (2015), Bronze EOC Middle (2014), Gold WC #7, Middle (2014), Gold WC #1, Middle (2014), Silver WC #1, Middle (2016), Gold WC #3, Middle (2013), Silver WC #8, Middle (2013), Silver WC #5, Middle (2013), Gold WC #9, Middle (2011), Gold JWOC Middle (2012), Gold JWOC Middle (2010), Silver JWOC Middle (2011), Gold JWOC Middle (2009) Ranked Gold in World Ranking.
2. Helena Jansson  SWE Gold WOC Middle (2011), Gold WC #2, Middle (2017), Gold WC #1, Middle (2016), Gold WC #6, Middle (2015), Gold WC #1, Middle (2013), Silver WC #7, Middle (2014), Silver WC #1, Middle (2014), 8th WOC Middle (2015), 8th WOC Middle (2014), Silver WC #13, Middle (2012), Bronze WC #3, Middle (2014), Silver WC #9, Middle (2011), Silver WC #11, Middle (2010), Gold WC #1, Middle (2009), Bronze WC #7, Middle (2011), Silver WC #8, Middle (2009), Bronze WC #3, Middle (2009), Bronze WC #4, Middle (2008), Gold JWOC Middle (2004) Ranked 4th in World Ranking.
3. Natalia Gemperle  RUS Bronze WOC Middle (2016), Silver WC #2, Middle (2017), 14th WOC Middle (2015), 5th WOC Middle (2011), 13th EOC Middle (2016), 9th EOC Middle (2014), 4th WC #11, Middle (2015), 17th EOC Middle (2012), 9th EOC Middle (2010) Ranked Silver in World Ranking.
4. Emma Johansson  SWE Bronze WOC Middle (2015), Bronze WC #6, Middle (2015), 23rd WOC Middle (2016), 5th WC #2, Middle (2015), 34th EOC Middle (2016), 5th WC #7, Middle (2014), 9th WC #2, Middle (2017), 11th WC #1, Middle (2016), 35th EOC Middle (2012) Ranked 13th in World Ranking.
5. Nadiya Volynska  UKR 6th WOC Middle (2015), Silver WC #6, Middle (2015), Silver WC #11, Middle (2015), 18th WOC Middle (2016), 16th WOC Middle (2014), Bronze WC #12, Middle (2013), 6th EOC Middle (2014), 16th WOC Middle (2013), 16th WOC Middle (2012) Ranked 29th in World Ranking.
6. Emily Kemp  CAN 4th WOC Middle (2016), 4th EOC Middle (2016), 11th WOC Middle (2014), 36th WOC Middle (2015), 26th WOC Middle (2013), 7th WC #2, Middle (2017), 27th EOC Middle (2014), 25th WC #6, Middle (2015), 27th WC #8, Middle (2013) Ranked 6th in World Ranking.
7. Marika Teini  FIN Bronze EOC Middle (2016), 6th WOC Middle (2016), 5th WC #2, Middle (2017), 21st EOC Middle (2014), 37th WC #4, Middle (2012), 7th JWOC Middle (2009), 6th JWOC Middle (2008) Ranked 14th in World Ranking.
8. Marianne Andersen  NOR Silver WOC Middle (2009), Bronze WOC Middle (2010), Silver WOC Middle (2006), 7th WOC Middle (2011), 17th EOC Middle (2016), Bronze WOC Middle (2007), Silver EOC Middle (2006), Silver WC #3, Middle (2009), Silver WC #1, Middle (2009), Bronze WC #6, Middle (2010), Gold WC #10, Middle (2006), Bronze WC #9, Middle (2005) Ranked 44th in World Ranking.
9. Sabine Hauswirth  SUI 7th WOC Middle (2016), 14th WOC Middle (2014), 38th WOC Middle (2015), 7th EOC Middle (2014), 4th WC #2, Middle (2017), 4th WC #13, Middle (2014), 4th WC #1, Middle (2014), 8th WC #11, Middle (2015), 17th WC #1, Middle (2016) Ranked 5th in World Ranking.
10. Amélie Chataing  FRA 10th WOC Middle (2016), 7th WOC Middle (2013), 25th WOC Middle (2015), 46th WOC Middle (2014), 18th WOC Middle (2012), 10th WOC Middle (2011), 15th EOC Middle (2014), 42nd EOC Middle (2016), 17th WOC Middle (2010) Ranked 30th in World Ranking.
11. Inga Dambe  LAT 19th WOC Middle (2016), 28th WOC Middle (2015), 19th WOC Middle (2014), 9th WOC Middle (2012), 12th WOC Middle (2013), 27th EOC Middle (2016), 28th EOC Middle (2012), 59th EOC Middle (2014), 11th WOC Middle (2009) Ranked 57th in World Ranking.
12. Lina Strand  SWE Bronze WC #2, Middle (2017), 9th EOC Middle (2016), 27th WOC Middle (2013), 11th WOC Middle (2012), 18th EOC Middle (2014), 4th WC #10, Middle (2012), 6th WC #8, Middle (2013), 8th WC #13, Middle (2014), 7th WC #1, Middle (2013) Ranked 18th in World Ranking.
13. Lizzie Ingham  NZL 24th WOC Middle (2016), 19th WOC Middle (2015), 20th WOC Middle (2014), 39th WOC Middle (2012), 18th WOC Middle (2011), 8th WC #3, Middle (2013), 12th WC #2, Middle (2015), 17th WC #11, Middle (2015), 44th WC #1, Middle (2016) Ranked 61st in World Ranking.
14. Svetlana Mironova  RUS Bronze WC #1, Middle (2016), 15th WOC Middle (2016), 11th EOC Middle (2016), 10th WC #2, Middle (2017), 11th WC #2, Middle (2015), 18th WC #6, Middle (2015), 16th WC #1, Middle (2014), 23rd WC #13, Middle (2014), 22nd WC #13, Middle (2012) Ranked 9th in World Ranking.
15. Hollie Orr  GBR 25th WOC Middle (2016), 31st WOC Middle (2014), 21st WOC Middle (2013), 57th WOC Middle (2015), 30th WOC Middle (2011), 24th EOC Middle (2014), 16th WC #2, Middle (2017), 19th WC #1, Middle (2016), 28th WC #6, Middle (2015) Ranked 22nd in World Ranking.
16. Venla Harju  FIN 17th WOC Middle (2014), 14th WOC Middle (2013), 9th EOC Middle (2016), 5th WC #1, Middle (2016), 10th EOC Middle (2014), 7th WC #1, Middle (2014), 6th WC #1, Middle (2013), 15th WC #2, Middle (2017), 34th EOC Middle (2012), Gold JWOC Middle (2008) Ranked 15th in World Ranking.
17. Isia Basset  FRA 28th WOC Middle (2016), 37th WOC Middle (2015), 38th WOC Middle (2014), 23rd EOC Middle (2016), 23rd WC #2, Middle (2017), 73rd EOC Middle (2014), 26th WC #13, Middle (2014), 26th WC #1, Middle (2014), 47th WC #6, Middle (2015) Ranked 40th in World Ranking.
18. Evely Kaasiku  EST 32nd WOC Middle (2016), 29th WOC Middle (2014), 44th WOC Middle (2015), 36th EOC Middle (2016), 55th EOC Middle (2014), 31st WC #11, Middle (2015), 54th WC #1, Middle (2016), 35th WC #3, Middle (2014), 44th WC #7, Middle (2014) Ranked 78th in World Ranking.
19. Olha Panchenko  UKR 34th WOC Middle (2015), 25th WOC Middle (2014), 31st WOC Middle (2013), 11th EOC Middle (2014), 31st WOC Middle (2011), 12th WC #3, Middle (2014), 23rd WC #1, Middle (2014), 69th WC #2, Middle (2017), 29th WC #12, Middle (2013) Ranked 149th in World Ranking.
20. Anja Arbter  AUT 52nd WOC Middle (2016), 39th WOC Middle (2014), 51st WOC Middle (2015), 36th WOC Middle (2012), 40th EOC Middle (2016), 53rd WC #1, Middle (2016), 72nd WC #2, Middle (2017), 52nd WC #13, Middle (2014), 16th JWOC Middle (2013) Ranked 109th in World Ranking.

Men: Can Gueorgiou do the incredible?

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Thierry Gueorgiou – The King of Middle distance with 7 WOC Middle distance titles – has not won the WOC Middle distance since back in 2011 in France. Meanwhile he has taken three titles on the Long distance. This year Gueorgiou is retiring on top level, but not before trying to take his 8th title on the middle distance, his favourite distance. But is it realistic? Gueorgiou does not have a big technical advantage on his competitors anymore as he had around 10 years ago when he was close to unbeatable, but he has shown that he can fight with the best for victory, although his 17th place at the World Cup race Middle in Finland in May was his worst World Cup result in 11 years. Gueorgiou is reported to be in good shape, and does not have the tough 1:45 Long distance in his legs like many of his competitors.

Olav Lundanes (Norway) won the WOC Long distance title on Tuesday, and was close to winning WOC Middle in Strömstad last year, before loosing the Gold medal at the last loop, taking Silver instead. Lundanes’ goal is to win both the Long and the Middle distance at WOC this year. This is a goal he can definitely manage on a top day, but he really needs to perform on his very top level to win.

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The two Swiss runners Daniel Hubmann and Matthias Kyburz are maybe the biggest rivals for Lundanes and Gueorgiou. Hubmann won the WOC Middle back in 2015, and took Bronze last year. Kyburz won the WOC Middle last year. Hubmann underperformed on Long (a 6th place) while Kyburz had to stop his race due to loosing his contact lens and spare contact lens during the race. The terrain in the Middle should fit the Swiss runners a lot better than the Long distance terrain. This opens up for Hubmann and Kyburz, but also for Swiss Fabian Hertner who showed good form on the Long.

Two of the Swedes on start deserve to be mentioned among the Gold favourites: Gustav Bergman and Albin Ridefelt. Bergman runs incredible middle distance races when he is in shape. Ridefelt can also be a magician on the middle distance at his best days. Also count in Magne Dæhli (Norway) among the favourites, he showed impressive shape towards the end of the Long, and has Top 6 results from WOC Middle the last two years.

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The two last outsiders to be specifically mentioned are Lauri Sild (Estonia) and Eskil Kinneberg (Norway). Sild on home ground could get all the way to a medal on a good day. Kinneberg has shown in the big relays that he can beat anybody on a good day. This is going to be very exciting!

Other outsiders: Lucas Basset (Silver medalist WOC Middle 2015), Valentin Novikov, Oleksandr Kratov, Eskil Kinneberg,

World of O’s medal tip
1. Olav Lundanes
2. Daniel Hubmann
3. Thierry Gueorgiou

Main outsiders: Gustav Bergman, Matthias Kyburz

Below is a list of the Top 20 men middle distance runners at the start, according to a point system which weights medals in the biggest championships the last years highest.

1. Olav Lundanes  NOR Gold WOC Middle (2014), Silver WOC Middle (2016), Gold EOC Middle (2012), Gold WC #1, Middle (2016), Bronze WOC Middle (2011), Silver WC #2, Middle (2017), Gold WC #7, Middle (2014), Silver WC #2, Middle (2015), 8th WOC Middle (2015), Silver WC #3, Middle (2013), Silver WC #4, Middle (2012), Bronze WC #13, Middle (2012), Silver WC #11, Middle (2010), Gold JWOC Middle (2007), Bronze JWOC Middle (2006) Ranked Gold in World Ranking.
2. Daniel Hubmann  SUI Gold WOC Middle (2015), Bronze WOC Middle (2016), Gold EOC Middle (2014), Gold WC #11, Middle (2015), Gold WC #2, Middle (2015), Gold WC #13, Middle (2014), Gold WC #1, Middle (2014), Gold WC #8, Middle (2013), Gold WC #12, Middle (2013), Silver WOC Middle (2009), Bronze WOC Middle (2010), Silver WC #3, Middle (2014), Gold WC #3, Middle (2011), Bronze EOC Middle (2010), Gold WC #4, Middle (2010), Silver WC #9, Middle (2011), Silver WC #6, Middle (2010), Gold WC #8, Middle (2009), Bronze WC #11, Middle (2010), Gold WC #12, Middle (2008), Gold WC #11, Middle (2008), Silver WC #10, Middle (2004), Bronze WC #9, Middle (2007), Bronze WC #10, Middle (2006) Ranked Silver in World Ranking.
3. Matthias Kyburz  SUI Gold WOC Middle (2016), Gold EOC Middle (2016), 4th WOC Middle (2013), Silver WC #1, Middle (2014), Gold WC #4, Middle (2012), Gold WC #13, Middle (2012), Silver WC #8, Middle (2013), Silver WC #12, Middle (2013), Bronze WC #6, Middle (2015), Bronze WC #2, Middle (2015), Bronze WC #7, Middle (2014), Bronze WC #10, Middle (2012) Ranked Bronze in World Ranking.
4. Thierry Gueorgiou  FRA Silver WOC Middle (2013), Gold WOC Middle (2011), 4th WOC Middle (2016), Gold WC #6, Middle (2015), Gold WOC Middle (2009), Bronze EOC Middle (2014), Bronze WOC Middle (2010), 7th WOC Middle (2015), Gold WC #10, Middle (2012), Gold WC #9, Middle (2011), Gold WOC Middle (2008), Gold WOC Middle (2007), Gold WOC Middle (2005), Gold WOC Middle (2004), Gold WOC Middle (2003), Silver WC #13, Middle (2012), Gold WC #11, Middle (2010), Silver WC #7, Middle (2011), Gold EOC Middle (2008), Gold EOC Middle (2006), Gold EOC Middle (2004), Silver WC #1, Middle (2009), Gold WC #4, Middle (2007), Gold WC #2, Middle (2007), Gold WC #9, Middle (2007), Gold WC #10, Middle (2006), Silver WC #12, Middle (2008), Silver WC #11, Middle (2008), Silver WC #4, Middle (2005), Bronze WC #4, Middle (2008), Bronze WC #9, Middle (2005), Bronze JWOC Middle (1999) Ranked 8th in World Ranking.
5. Fabian Hertner  SUI Silver WOC Middle (2014), Silver EOC Middle (2014), Bronze WOC Middle (2012), 5th WOC Middle (2015), Gold WC #1, Middle (2013), 5th WOC Middle (2013), 15th WOC Middle (2016), Bronze WC #3, Middle (2011), Bronze WC #9, Middle (2011), Gold JWOC Middle (2005) Ranked 31st in World Ranking.
6. Lucas Basset  FRA Silver WOC Middle (2015), Bronze EOC Middle (2016), 5th WOC Middle (2016), 15th WOC Middle (2014), 24th WOC Middle (2012), 32nd EOC Middle (2014), 5th WC #5, Middle (2013), 22nd WC #2, Middle (2017), 11th WC #6, Middle (2015) Ranked 7th in World Ranking.
7. Gustav Bergman  SWE Silver EOC Middle (2016), Bronze WOC Middle (2013), 7th WOC Middle (2016), Silver WC #5, Middle (2013), 9th WOC Middle (2014), 17th WOC Middle (2015), Bronze WC #1, Middle (2014), 8th WOC Middle (2012), Bronze WC #8, Middle (2013) Ranked 12th in World Ranking.
8. Valentin Novikov  RUS Silver WOC Middle (2012), Silver EOC Middle (2012), Gold EOC Middle (2010), 23rd WOC Middle (2016), 6th EOC Middle (2016), 22nd WOC Middle (2015), Silver WOC Middle (2004), 30th WOC Middle (2014), 16th WOC Middle (2013), Gold EOC Middle (2000), Bronze WOC Middle (2008), Bronze WOC Middle (2007), Bronze WC #4, Middle (2010), Bronze EOC Middle (2006), Bronze WC #1, Middle (2009), Silver WC #10, Middle (2006), Silver WC #1, Middle (2002) Ranked 28th in World Ranking.
9. Oleksandr Kratov  UKR Bronze WOC Middle (2014), Gold WC #3, Middle (2014), 6th WOC Middle (2015), 4th WOC Middle (2011), 30th WOC Middle (2016), 11th WOC Middle (2013), 6th EOC Middle (2014), 5th WOC Middle (2010), 4th EOC Middle (2012) Ranked 32nd in World Ranking.
10. Magne Dæhli  NOR 4th WOC Middle (2015), 6th WOC Middle (2016), 7th WOC Middle (2012), 28th EOC Middle (2016), 6th WC #1, Middle (2016), 21st EOC Middle (2014), 6th WC #3, Middle (2014), 8th WC #2, Middle (2015), 12th EOC Middle (2012) Ranked 4th in World Ranking.
11. Lauri Sild  EST 6th WOC Middle (2014), 13th WOC Middle (2015), 31st WOC Middle (2016), 13th WOC Middle (2013), 16th WOC Middle (2012), 22nd WOC Middle (2011), 37th EOC Middle (2014), 24th WC #6, Middle (2015), 36th WC #1, Middle (2016) Ranked 65th in World Ranking.
12. Florian Howald  SUI Silver WC #13, Middle (2014), 5th EOC Middle (2016), 21st WOC Middle (2016), 4th WC #2, Middle (2015), 24th EOC Middle (2014), 8th WC #1, Middle (2016), 30th WC #2, Middle (2017), 13th WC #11, Middle (2015), 15th WC #7, Middle (2014) Ranked 22nd in World Ranking.
13. Timo Sild  EST 25th WOC Middle (2016), Bronze WC #3, Middle (2014), 27th WOC Middle (2015), 7th EOC Middle (2014), 47th WOC Middle (2014), 43rd WOC Middle (2013), 22nd EOC Middle (2016), 17th WC #2, Middle (2017), 43rd EOC Middle (2012) Ranked 18th in World Ranking.
14. Johan Runesson  SWE Silver WC #1, Middle (2013), 16th WOC Middle (2014), 14th WOC Middle (2013), 9th EOC Middle (2016), 4th WC #1, Middle (2016), 18th WOC Middle (2012), 20th EOC Middle (2014), 7th WC #6, Middle (2015), 41st WOC Middle (2011), Gold JWOC Middle (2008) Ranked 9th in World Ranking.
15. Ruslan Glibov  UKR Silver WC #11, Middle (2015), 13th WOC Middle (2016), 19th EOC Middle (2016), 25th EOC Middle (2014), 8th WC #1, Middle (2016), 18th WC #2, Middle (2017), 13th WC #6, Middle (2015), 47th WC #3, Middle (2014) Ranked 16th in World Ranking.
16. Jonas Vytautas Gvildys  LTU 5th WOC Middle (2011), 25th WOC Middle (2015), 39th WOC Middle (2016), 24th WOC Middle (2013), 45th WOC Middle (2014), 29th WOC Middle (2012), 38th EOC Middle (2014), 21st WC #1, Middle (2016), 35th EOC Middle (2012) Ranked 73rd in World Ranking.
17. Gernot Kerschbaumer  AUT 16th WOC Middle (2015), 34th WOC Middle (2016), 20th WOC Middle (2014), 15th WOC Middle (2013), 20th WOC Middle (2012), 12th EOC Middle (2016), Bronze WC #7, Middle (2011), 17th WOC Middle (2011), 18th EOC Middle (2014) Ranked 21st in World Ranking.
18. Jan Šedivý  CZE 9th WOC Middle (2015), 17th WOC Middle (2016), 6th EOC Middle (2016), 24th WOC Middle (2010), 6th WC #4, Middle (2012), 25th WC #2, Middle (2017), 33rd EOC Middle (2012), 9th WC #3, Middle (2013), 32nd WC #6, Middle (2015) Ranked 15th in World Ranking.
19. Albin Ridefelt  SWE Bronze WC #1, Middle (2016), 12th WOC Middle (2016), 5th WC #2, Middle (2017), 25th EOC Middle (2016), 6th WC #2, Middle (2015), 35th EOC Middle (2014), 9th WC #11, Middle (2015), 15th WC #6, Middle (2015), 12th WC #7, Middle (2014) Ranked 13th in World Ranking.
20. Vojtech Kral  CZE 11th WOC Middle (2016), 19th WOC Middle (2015), 35th WOC Middle (2014), 15th EOC Middle (2016), 31st WOC Middle (2012), 10th EOC Middle (2014), 13th WC #2, Middle (2017), 22nd EOC Middle (2012), 18th WC #1, Middle (2016) Ranked 17th in World Ranking.

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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