European TrailO Championships: Finnish gold in TempO

Petteri Hakala, Finland had a very clear victory in the TempO competition today, winning by the huge margin of 77 seconds. Marit Wiksell, Sweden took the silver medal and Antti Rusanen, Finland the bronze.

The event consisted of a Qualification in the morning with 2 heats, followed by a Final competed in by the top 18 in each heat. Situated near Espoo, just outside Helsinki, it was ‘village’ terrain with many different types of ground, including parkland, play areas and areas with buildings. Some of the stations and tasks proved very challenging, and a few top names failed to make the Final.

The Final in the afternoon was held in heavy rain, torrential at times. This was unpleasant, but competitors are under cover when undertaking the tasks. Unfortunately the very heaviest rain caused some long-distance kites to become too difficult to see for a few competitors, and one station had to be voided. The remaining six stations were fair throughout and so a good competition resulted, with tension building as the best in the qualification heats started last.

Petteri Hakala was one of the heat winners and so started last, and it was he, World Champion in TempO in 2018, who mastered the conditions best and came out the winner. He is one of the younger members of the strong Finnish team, and also one of the most consistent. Finland finished with three athletes in the top six.

One event remains in the Championships – the Relay for teams of three, in O and P classes, tomorrow.

Leading results, TempO

  1. Petteri Hakala FIN 329 secs.
  2. Marit Wiksell SWE 406
  3. Antti Rusanen FIN 409
  4. Sebastiano Lambertini ITA 434
  5. Martin Aarholt Waaler NOR 441
  6. Pinja Mäkinen FIN 446