#WOC2018: Switzerland and Sweden are the big favourites – behind the battle for the last place on the podium is very open with Denmark and Russia among the strongest teams. Read on for a preview of the favourites for WOC 2018 Sprint Relay.
First some key information about WOC SprintRelay 2018:
- Start 15:50 CET, Sunday August 5th 2018.
- Winning time approximately 60 minutes.
- Background material:
- WebTV and GPS-tracking at liveorienteering.org (paid service)
- Other live services at the organizer’s webpage (live results, live blog)
- Results WOC SprintRelay 2017 (note that running order is not correct):
- Results EOC 2018 SprintRelay:
Can Switzerland take the first win since 2014?
Switzerland won the first WOC Sprint Relay in 2014 in Trento, Italy – but has since struggled to get out their full potential at the Sprint Relay at the World Orienteering Championships. This year the Swiss again look very strong on paper, even if they let their best male sprinters Daniel Hubmann, Matthias Kyburz and Saturday’s bronze medalist Andreas Kyburz rest. Instead the Swiss have Florian Howald and Fabian Hertner on the team – along with Judith Wyder (last leg, bronze medal on Saturday’s sprint) and Elena Roos (opening leg, 4th place on Saturday’s sprint).
This year the Swiss again look very strong on paper, even if they let their best male sprinters Daniel Hubmann, Matthias Kyburz and Saturday’s bronze medalist Andreas Kyburz rest
Switzerland’s biggest opponent is the reigning champion Sweden. Sweden did however replace all of their winning team from last year except Jonas Leandersson. This time Leandersson gets Tove Alexandersson (first leg, silver medal Saturday) and Karolin Ohlsson (last leg, 6th place Saturday) as team mates along with Emil Svensk (6th place Saturday). Leandersson did have a disappointing day at the Sprint Saturday, but has shown before that he can run fantastic Sprint Relay legs.
Denmark has been the big favourite ahead of every Sprint Relay the last World Championships, winning both in 2015 and 2016. However, the Danish team lost two of their top runners (Cecilie Klysner and Søren Bobach – replaced by Amanda Falck Weber and Jakob Ekhard Edsen), and are kind of a dark horse in this championship. They are known for a fantastic team spirit, and could even beat Sweden and/or Switzerland on a top day – thanks to the team spirit, their devotion to the team and their fantastic last leg runner Maja Alm, winning the individual Sprint 4 times in a row now.
Russia took bronze medals in the Sprint Relay in both 2014 and 2015, but has since left without a medal. This year’s team has not got top performers from the individual sprint (Anastasia Rudnaya 15th, Andrey Khramov 39th, Artem Popov 9th and Galina Vinogradova 10th), but except for Vinogradova all finished Top 3 in the Sprint Qualification, and thus have shown that their shape should be good. An interesting team which could be in the battle for the medals.
Great Britain is another team which will be fighting for the bronze medal – finishing 4th in 2016 and 6th last year. There are some weak points in the team, but Kris Jones showed in the individual sprint that he is incredibly fast – maybe he can run the British team into the lead at the 2nd leg? Other outsiders include bronze medalist from the European Champs Norway, the Czech team which finished 4th last year, the Austrian team and Finland.
World of O’s medal tip: