Swedish Double in the WOC Sprint

Nearly 3 years after the previous World Orienteering Championships at the Sprint distance, the organisers of the Nokian Tyres WOC 2021 in the Czech Republic put on an excellent competition in and around Bastion 5 of the Terezín Fortress. And winning the gold were 2 Swedish athletes, one an outsider and one very merited.

In the mens class, 23 year old Isac von Krusenstierna (SWE) and ranked 51st in the IOF Sprint World Rankings prior to the championships, started very early as number 10 of the 46 athletes in the final. He found good route choices and executed them well, and set a real target for the rest of the field. Looking at the split times he was never more than 1 second from the lead at any time. When his closest competitor Emil Svensk (also of Sweden) made a major error after 2/3rds of the course his lead was never challenged. He ended winning his first World Championships gold 7 seconds ahead of silver medallist Kasper Harlem Fosser (NOR) who was another 6 seconds ahead of bronze medallist Tim Robertson (NZL).

Isac von Krusenstierna (SWE) Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships Sprint Gold Medallist (photo: WOC 2021) 

Among the Women, it was World Orienteering Championships gold number 11 for the incredible Tove Alexandersson, although it was her first gold at the Sprint Distance. And it was a gold medal that required a big effort to secure. Tove started very fast and had built up a dominating lead of 31 seconds at control 11 of the 20 total on the course. However, a costly route choice error on the longer leg to the 12th control erased that lead plus an addition 3 seconds dropping her to 4th place at that point. However, she had a stronger finish than the rest of the field and crossed the finish line 9 seconds ahead of silver medallist Natalia Gemperle (Neutral athlete from Russia) and another 8 seconds ahead of bronze medallist Maja Alm (DEN).

Tove Alexandersson (SWE) Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships Sprint Gold Medallist (photo: WOC 2021)

Notable was that athletes from 8 countries won top 6 podium places with athletes from an additional 3 nations in the top 10.

The courses featured at times very intense navigation and decisive route choices among the walls, tunnels and moats which make up the Terezín fortress. Athletes chose a wide range of route choices with these deciding the outcome of the competitions. The Czech organisers had agreed to add sprint competitions to the event as the Nokian Tyres Sprint World Orienteering Championships in 2020 in Denmark had to be postponed to 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the short preparation time the organisers and the IOF are very satisfied with the quality of the competitions and the media productions offered.

Results Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships 2021 – Sprint Men

1 Isac von Krusenstierna Sweden 13:46
2 Kasper Harlem Fosser Norway 13:53 +0:07
3 Tim Robertson New Zealand 13:59 +0:13
4 Yannick Michiels Belgium 14:02 +0:16
5 Max Peter Bejmer Sweden 14:05 +0:19
6 Florian Howald Switzerland 14:06 +0:20

Results Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships 2021 – Sprint Women

1 Tove Alexandersson Sweden 14:03
2 Natalia Gemperle Neutral 14:12 +0:09
3 Maja Alm Denmark 14:20 +0:17
4 Simona Aebersold Switzerland 14:24 +0:21
4 Alice Leake United Kingdom 14:24 +0:21
6 Elena Roos Switzerland 14:25 +0:22

For full results, GPS tracking and replay of the production can be found on the IOF Live page

Highlights of the competitions