Eskil Kinneberg (Norway) and Natalia Gemperle (Russia) won the WOC 2018 Middle distance on a tricky course in a green Latvian forest where several of the top favourites lost their medal chances due to mistakes. In the men’s class the battle for the medals was very tight, with Daniel Hubmann (Switzerland) taking silver ahead of teammate Florian Howald. In the women’s class the silver medal went to Marika Teini (Finland) with today’s big surprise Isia Basset (France) in bronze position.
The other big surprise of the day was the race of the biggest favourite in the women’s class – World Champion in both Middle and Long the last two years Tove Alexandersson did more than 10 minutes of mistakes early in the course and in the end was disqualified due to not visiting one of the early controls.
Men: Tight battle all the way to the end
Eskil Kinneberg won 6 seconds ahead of Daniel Hubmann with Florian Howald in 3rd at 0:14. None of the runners had a clean run – even the winner Kinneberg had more than a minute of mistakes. The fight for victory was close with four runners being only one mistake from the Gold medal: Daniel Hubmann (lost 39 seconds at leg 1, finished 6 seconds behind in 2nd), Florian Howald (lost 26 seconds at leg 14, finished 14 seconds behind in 3rd), Matthias Kyburz (lost 56 seconds at leg 7, finished 23 seconds behind in 4th) and Olav Lundanes (lost 2:05 at leg 12, finished 43 seconds behind in 6th) were only one control away from beating Eskil Kinneberg.
The fight for victory was close with four runners being only one mistake from the Gold medal
Looking at the race development (see graphical representation below), Olav Lundanes had a very strong start and took the lead at the first control and stayed in front until control 2. The race lead then changed between Florian Howald (leading from the 3rd to 7th control, losing 18 seconds and the lead at the 8th), Olav Lundanes (leading from the 8th to 11th control, but Lundanes lost 2:05 at the 12th control and fell down to 16th place, later repairing a bit and finishing 6th) and Florian Howald (leading from the 12th to 16th control) until Eskil Kinneberg took over the lead at control 17 of 20 controls and kept it until the finish. Also notable is the very strong race by Leonid Novikov who was very close to the lead after 2/3 of the course, but lost a lot of time in the end.
Many runners lost time already to control 1; Lundanes was 20 seconds ahead of all Top 10 finishers after 2 minutes running. Kinneberg, Kyburz and Hubmann 35-40 seconds behind.
Hubmann lost another 20 seconds to control 4 due to some uncertainty.
Kinneberg missed the 6th control by half a minute; Howald also lost 19 seconds here.
Kinneberg is extremely strong on the long leg, winning the leg with 16 seconds. Kyburz takes the wrong routechoice and loses 56(!) seconds – this is where Kyburz loses the gold medal.
Kyburz takes the wrong routechoice and loses 56(!) seconds – this is where Kyburz loses the gold medal.
Howald loses 14 second to Kinneberg and even more to the best split time to control 8 due to uncertainty/small mistake.
To the 9th control it was faster to go around on the path; only Kyburz did it of the top runners, but without perfect execution. This leg did therefore not have big impact on the top results.
Lundanes‘ 2 minute mistake at the 12th control was what took his gold medal away. The rest of the race he was clearly the best overall, but he did have some smaller problems also at other controls.
Lundanes’ 2 minute mistake at the 12th control was what took his gold medal away.
Kratov did mostly a technically good race, but here at the 12th control he lost 15-20 seconds due to going too far left out to the path, that’s nearly the gap up to the medals.
Kinneberg and Novikov go up the hill to control 14, taking the slower routechoice. For Novikov this is good bye – he loses 44 seconds to the best split time and is very tired the rest of the race and loses even more time there. Kinneberg loses 20 seconds to Lundanes, but only 6 seconds to Hubmann and gets close to Howald by beating him with 6 seconds.
To 15 after the hill Kratov and Novikov lose significant time, Kratov due to a small miss. Hubmann catches 4 seconds on Kinneberg. Howald loses another 9 seconds to Hubmann and 5 seconds to Kinneberg.
At control 15 Howald is still in a slim lead ahead of Kinneberg and Hubmann, but Kinneberg has been closing the gap to Howald steadily due to higher speed – Hubmann has even higher speed and closes the gap to both Kinneberg and Howald. At control 17 Kinneberg is ahead of Howald, at control 18 Hubmann is also ahead.
Kinneberg vs Hubmann: Except for the mistake for Kinneberg at control 6, Kinneberg is consistently faster than Hubmann before the river crossing while Hubmann is faster after the river crossing. Below Kinneberg is in blue, Hubmann is green when he is faster than Kinneberg, red when he is slower.
— WorldofO.com (@worldofo) August 8, 2018
Women: Strong run by Gemperle
Natalia Gemperle won 1:30 minutes ahead of Marika Teini with Isia Basset in 3rd at 1:54. Gemperle was clearly the best runner of the day, and none of the others had the speed and technical skills to challenge Gemperle, even with some mistakes by Gemperle. Gemperle took the lead at the first control and stayed in front until doing a mistake at control 2. Then Marika Teini (leading from the 3rd to 6th control, losing 26 seconds and the lead at the 7th) was at the front before Gemperle took over the lead at control 7 of 18 controls and kept it until the finish.
The battle for silver and bronze was extremely tight, with mistakes by several top runners deciding the race.
The battle for silver and bronze was extremely tight, with mistakes by several top runners deciding the race. Teini and Basset took the medals due to very stable and good performance throughout the race, whereas Sarah Hagström (one second behind silver at control 15, lost medal chances due to mistake at second last control, finished 6th), Sabine Hauswirth (lost medal chances due to mistake at control 12, finished 4th) and Marianne Andersen (lost medal chances already to first control due to 1:20 mistake, silver speed rest of the race, finishing 8th) were one quite big miss away from a medal.
The two Norwegians Andersen and Benjaminsen lost more than a minute at the first control. For Andersen (26 seconds to bronze, 50 seconds to silver) the medal was lost here. Benjaminsen (1:01 to bronze) also lost the medal here. Several others have also got an unsteady start, including Basset and Hauswirth.
Hauswirth loses 30 seconds to the best split to the second control (26 to Basset who she battled for bronze with, finishing only a few seconds behind). Andersen and Knapova (finished 5th, 8 seconds from a medal) do also have some trouble here.
Gemperle has her worst leg to control 3 due to a direction mistake – 39 seconds lost.
Alexandersson gets really, really lost to control 3 – actually she never finds the control, but continues from control 4. More than 12 minutes searching for the big star of women orienteering.
Andersen, Basset and Hauswirth miss the short downhill-control to 4.
Ohlsson loses more than 2:22 to bronze medalist Basset to control 8 – and is only 2:23 behind in the finish. There goes that medal – along with several other mistakes for Ohlsson, the biggest being around a minute at control 16 towards the very end of the race.
To control 12 it gets physical, and Gemperle is 15(!) seconds faster than any of the other women. Two of the women take the slower, direct route and lose extra time due to that, however. Sabine Hauswirth loses 1:08 to Gemperle (and 43 seconds to Basset in bronze position). Ekroll Jahren loses 43 seconds to Gemperle – Ekroll Jahren was 48 seconds from the bronze medal in the end. Her other major timeloss was on the long (physical) leg to control 7. Helena Bergman also loses significant time both here and on the leg to control 7 – effectively the time up to bronze (24 seconds).
To control 13 Benjaminsen and Ohlsson lose time by taking the longer and slower route to the right. Hagström loses time due to uncertainty.
Gemperle’s second mistake is towards the very end at control 15 – more than half a minute lost. This is why she was nervously waiting for Alexandersson after coming to the finish. Alexandersson was no threat today, though ….
Finally there was some nervousness in the air towards the second last control, especially among the Swedish women left in the race. Here Hagström lost the medal by a minute mistake. Ohlsson had already lost the medal on control 8, but loses another minute here.
Maps and GPS-tracking
See below for GPS-tracking and maps from WOC 2018 Middle.
|9||Leonid Novikov||Russian Federation||34:11||+1:12||5:47|
|12||Gernot Ymsen Kerschbaumer||Austria||34:56||+1:57||5:55|
|13||Ralph Street||Great Britain||34:57||+1:58||5:55|
|14||Vojtech Kral||Czech Republic||35:03||+2:04||5:56|
|1||Natalia Gemperle||Russian Federation||32:02||6:40|
|5||Jana Knapova||Czech Republic||34:04||+2:02||7:05|
|9||Silje Ekroll Jahren||Norway||34:44||+2:42||7:14|
|11||Tatyana Riabkina||Russian Federation||35:14||+3:12||7:20|
|14||Anastasia Rudnaya||Russian Federation||35:56||+3:54||7:29|
|16||Vendula Horcickova||Czech Republic||36:08||+4:06||7:31|
|20||Megan Carter Davies||Great Britain||36:58||+4:56||7:42|