Masters at the World Masters

A Middle final was introduced this year at the World Masters Orienteering Championships (WMOC). Three athletes have the great distinction of winning gold in all three disciplines – Sprint, Middle and Long.

One of these is the most successful orienteer ever – Simone Niggli, Switzerland – running in class W40. She has 23 World Championship (WOC) gold medals to her name, plus 2 silver and 6 bronze, won in the period 2001 to 2013. At WMOC she won the Sprint by 1.08, the Middle by 53 seconds and the Long by the big margin of 6.26; here she was the fastest on all but 5 legs of the course.

Sigurd Dæhli, who won a WOC Relay gold in 1981 in Switzerland running last leg for Norway, and a bronze medal in the Classic race at WOC 1983 in Hungary, was dominant in class M65 at WMOC. His winning margins were 6 seconds (Sprint), 1.21 (Middle) and 2.57 (Long). He is also a top-level Trail Orienteer these days, regularly in the Norwegian team.

Karleric Fransson, Sweden, won all three disciplines in M90. A tight 58-second win in the Sprint was followed by an overwhelming victory in the Middle race by 25.03! His Long Distance winning margin was also impressive: 11.40.

Fifteen with two golds

Seven women and eight men won two gold medals in their class. Many of them have figured in the WMOC medals lists for many years past. They are:

Women: Kirti Rebane EST (W45), Sara Snogerup Linse SWE (W55), Unni Strand Karlsen NOR (W65), Karin Gustafsson SWE (W70), Torid Kvaal NOR (W75), Asta Sjoeberg SWE (W80) and Signe Nyman SWE (W90).

Men: Roman Ryapolov RUS (M35), Casper Giding SWE (M45), Håkan Eriksson SWE (M55), Freddy Sillien BEL (M70), Helmut Conrad GER (M75), Roland Karlsson SWE (M80), Peo Bengtsson SWE (M85) and Unto Nyystila FIN (M95).

Longest medal span – 52 years!

Mention should be made of Eivor Steen-Olsson, Sweden, who won bronze in Middle and was silver medalist in Long Distance this year, having won a number of WMOC gold medals in previous years. In terms of medal-winning she has the biggest time-span of all, as she was a member of the Swedish gold-medal relay team in the very first World Championships in 1966 – 52 years ago! Another WOC Relay gold followed four years later.

Full results from what was a very successful and well-organised WMOC, held in constantly hot and dry weather in and north of Copenhagen, can be found on IOF Eventor and, with split times and O-track detail, on