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WOC 2017 Relay Favourite Preview – LIVE from 12:00 CET

[Relay men starts 12:00 CET, relay women starts 14:00 CET, (local time one hour later)].  The relays which mark the end of a great World Orienteering Championships (WOC) in Tartu, Estonia will surely be very interesting – with 6-10 different teams battling for the medals.

The arena for the relay is the same as for the middle distance – and as the middle distance was very challenging, it is expected that we will get challenging courses at the relay as well.

Results WOC 2016 Relay

(note that running order is not correct for all teams in these results)

Men: Open battle for victory

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This is a very tricky tip, with a wide open relay with Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and France having great opportunities to take the victory. Estonia does also have a team which can fight for the medals on a top day – they have shown very good team performance during this WOC.  Other outsiders are Great Britain (4th last year), Finland and  Latvia.

Reigning champion Norway had very strong team performance on the long distance with all 3 runners within Top 5

Reigning champion Norway had very strong team performance on the long distance with all 3 runners within Top 5 – but on the Middle they struggled more, doing technical mistakes and Olav Lundanes even getting disqualified. Still Norway is definitely among the big favourites – this type of terrain should be a good fit for the Norwegians even if the Middle distance didn’t go as they hoped for. Eskil Kinneberg will start with Olav Lundanes on the second leg and Magne Dæhli on the last leg.

Last year’s Silver medalist Switzerland also has a very strong team with Daniel Hubmann, Matthias Kyburz and Fabian Hertner all showing excellent shape – can they master the technical challenges? Sweden took Bronze last year, and their team setup is also a team without weak points: Johan Runesson, William Lind and Gustav Bergman have all shown that they are in great shape – although Bergman did struggle a big technically at the middle distance. When Bergman had a bad middle distance at WOC 2014 he came back very strong at the relay and decided the relay for Sweden with a fantastic race.

When Bergman had a bad middle distance at WOC 2014 he came back very strong at the relay and decided the relay for Sweden with a fantastic race.

We also have to count France among the very big favourites – with Thierry Gueorgiou running his last WOC race along with Frederic Tranchand and Lucas Basset. Basset showed yesterday that his shape is greate, he just didn’t manage to get his act together technically. Tranchand showed with his Sprint medal that his shape is top, can he deliver in the forest?

Thierry Gueorgiou running his last WOC race along with Frederic Tranchand and Lucas Basset

World of O’s tip:

1. Sweden
2. Norway
3. France

Women: Can Sweden deliver as favourites?

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In the women’s class Sweden is the big favourite with Tove Alexandersson’s great performance on Middle and Long – and with Emma Johansson and Helena Jansson showing that their physical shape is good – even if they have struggled technically. But Sweden was favourite last year and finished 5th, can they deliver this time around, with a third WOC Gold for Alexandersson?

Sweden was favourite last year and finished 5th, can they deliver this time around, with a third WOC Gold for Alexandersson

Russia won the WOC relay last year, and has a strong team with Anastasia Rudnaya, Svetlana Mironova and Natalia Gemperle. Rudnaya showed excellent shape on the long distance, and only a miss on a long leg in the end lost her the medal. Mironova finished 4th in the middle distance, and Gemperle has shown excellent shape and been one of the three dominant women at this championships along with Alexandersson and Maja Alm.

Last year’s Bronze medalist Finland got a medal by Venla Harju yesterday – can they follow up with another medal today? With Harju, Marika Teini and Merja Rantanen they have a team which can deliver even Gold on a good day – but not a certain medal candidate.

Norway has a strong finish with the veterans Marianne Andersen and Anne Margrethe Hausken Norberg

Norway has a strong finish with the veterans Marianne Andersen and Anne Margrethe Hausken Norberg, but is dependent on a good start by Ingjerd Myhre. Myhre has however shown in the big relays that she is a good relay runner, and although a WOC relay is something completely different, this could get interesting for Norway. Norway did only finish 6th last year, though, after Hausken Nordberg did a quite big mistake on her leg.

Last year’s Silver medalist Denmark has a new team with Signe Klinting and Ida Bobach out – instead Miri Thrane Ødum and Cecilie Friberg Klysner are in the team setup. Coach Lindström talked about a Top 6 as a goal after the Sprint Relay. The two new runners are however both strong physically although they finished only 40th and 28th on the middle, and thus it can be very interesting for Denmark if they manage to deliver Maja Alm in a good starting position.

World of O’s tip:

1. Russia
2. Sweden
3. Norway

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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