Both the men’s and women’s class were decided by just a second, when the athletes got underway at World Ski Orienteering Championships in Finland with the sprint distance Tuesday afternoon.
The race area offered a dense network of narrow tracks combined with larger paths creating a challenging amount of route choices for the athletes.
And the Finnish men seemed to handle their home soil terrain best, as Ville Petteri Saarela won his first international title with a time of 11.47 min. beating fellow Finn Tuomas Kotro by a second. Last starting Rasmus Wickbom of Sweden was three seconds behind the winner and won his first senior medal after showing great form at the WUSOC in the end of February.
Norway’s Jørgen Baklid lead the race at halfway, but a small mistake on the way to control 6 sent him down to a split fourth place.
Estonia’s Daisy Kudre Schnyder managed to defend her WSOC title from last years sprint, though her four seconds lead after 1,6 km was down to just a second at the finish line.
Here Anna Magdalena Olsson, Sweden and Finlands Salla Koskela shared the women’s silver medal with the same time.
The results from today mean that tomorrows pursuit race will be exciting from the very beginning, with Daisy Kudre Schnyder and Ville Petteri Saarela being chased from start.
The Web-tv broadcast from Wednesday’s pursuit race will start at 9.50 EET (UTC+2) – Get your ticket here.
The pursuit race is 15,1 and 17,6 km. for women and men respectively with an estimated winning time of 60 minutes.
Reigning world champions in pursuit is Swedens Lisa Larsen, who finished 12th today and Audun Heimdal of Norway, who is not present at WSOC due to an injury.
Leading results, WSOC Sprint
1 Daisy Kudre Schnyder, EST 11:36
2 Anna Magdalena Olsson, SWE 11.37
2 Salla Koskela, FIN 11:37
4 Frida Sandberg, SWE 11:46
5 Anna Ulvensøen NOR 11:59
6 Sonja Morsky, FIN 12:06
1 Ville Petteri Saarela, FIN 11:47
2 Tuomas Kotro, FIN 11.48
3 Rasmus Wickbom, SWE 11:50
4 Jørgen Baklid NOR 11:54
4 Eevert Toivoinen, FIN 11:54
6 Henrik Fredriksen Aas, NOR 12:06