Natalia Gemperle, Russia and Eskil Kinneberg, Norway won the Middle Distance at Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships in Latvia.
Russian Natalia Gemperle took her first individual gold at WOC after a very strong finish in the Middle Distance. The medallists Gemperle, Finnish Marika Teini and French Isia Basset were all fighting for the gold medal. The decisive moment came on the last part of the course where Gemperle ran with a higher speed than the other two.
Marika Teini took the silver, her first individual WOC medal, 1.30 after Gemperle. Isia Basset took her first championships medal ever, 1.54 after Gemperle. Her bronze is also the first French WOC medal on the women’s side in history.
The men’s race was exciting to the very end and it was only 43 second between the winner and sixth place. Almost all runners made mistakes during their races. Norwegian Eskil Kinneberg made a very strong finish and won with a six seconds margin to Daniel Hubmann, Switzerland. It was Kinneberg’s first individual WOC medal. Swiss Florian Howald was third, only 14 seconds after Kinneberg. Another Swiss runner, Matthias Kyburz was fourth just nine seconds from bronze medal position.
The green Latvian forest was a challenge and many of the favourite names made big mistakes both in the women’s and in the men’s race.