EOC Relay: Smile and tears of the Swiss team
The happiest teams today in European Orienteering Championship Relay in Lugnet Arena in Falun were the Swiss men and the Russian women. The Russian trio Natalia Efimova, Svetlana Mironova and Tatiana Ryabkina gained the first women gold medal in history of EOCs and WOCs for Russia. The Swiss team defended the European title from the 2010 EOC in Bulgaria, but surprisingly it was not the Swiss team 1 which won, but the Swiss team 2 – Martin Hubmann, Matthias Müller and Matthias Kyburz (on the picture).
Not only joy, but also tears the Swiss team experienced today. The 4-times World Champion Daniel Hubmann broke his Achilles tendon in the last meters of today’s race and the season which should be the highlight of his career is most probably over for him. And Judith Wyder made huge mistakes on the last leg and lost the perfectly start-up race. From the first place she failed to the seventh place, after the Swiss team 2.
The silver medal was also taken by a second team – the Swedish team 2 where Jonas Leandersson ran the first, Fredrik Johansson the second and Anders Holmberg the last leg was today better than the Swedish team 1 (Erik Rost, Johan Runesson, Gustav Bergman). The reigning World Champions from France, weakened by missing Thierry Gueorgiou, took bronze. The team composed of Frédéric Tranchand, Philippe Adamski, Francois Gonon. The margins between teams were very tight. The Swiss team won by only 3 seconds ahead of Sweden and 12 seconds ahead of France.
The women’s relay was very close too. Tatiana Ryabkina defeated Minna Kauppi in last meters of the race. The Finnish team (Sofia Haajanen, Merja Rantanen and Minna Kauppi) grabbed silver ahead of the home team, defending the gold medals from the 2010 EOC in Bulgaria. Annika Billstam ran the first, Lina Strand the second and Tove Alexandersson the last leg in the Swedish team.
Marit Wiksell from Sweden won the Open class overall at the European Trail-Orienteering Championship this weekend. Lars Jakob Waaler from Norway took silver and Jens Andersson from Sweden bronze.
In the Paralympic class there was a Swedish triple. Gold for Ola Jansson, silver for Michael Johansson, and bronze for Rolf Karlsson.
Sweden also won the team competition (Stig Gerdman, Martin Fredholm and Michael Johansson). Finnish team grabbed silver and Denmark bronze.
See the results here.