Aebersold and Fosser long distance world champions

The first gold medals of the world orienteering championships in Flims Laax went to home nation Switzerland and Norway, as Simona Aebersold (SUI) and Kasper Fosser (NOR) won the long distance on Thursday.

Today’s courses started on the Crap Sogn Gion mountain at around 2000 meters above sea level and tested the athletes mountain orienteering skills to begin with.

The women were first out into the terrain with an 11-kilometer course including 510 meters climb ahead of them.

Aebersold won first individual WOC-gold
And the home favourite Simona Aebersold avoided notable time loss and led the women’s class most of the way and won her first individual world championship title ahead of the reigning champion Tove Alexandersson (SWE).

Alexandersson lost some time on the first half of the course but nearly managed to catch Aebersold’s time on the last loop. In the finish she was 31 seconds behind.

Andrine Benjaminsen (NOR) won the fight for the bronze medal after a strong finish on the last loop. She finished six seconds ahead of Natalia Gemperle (SUI) with Sara Hagström (SWE) 14 seconds further behind. Another Swiss, Elena Roos, was also in contention for a medal during the race, but was 1.06 minutes after Benjaminsen in sixth spot.

Close fight for the gold
The men’s class offered another tight battle for the gold between Kasper Fosser and Matthias Kyburz (SUI). Kyburz had a small lead going into the last loop, but Fosser chose the fastest route on the last long leg and gained a minute on that, which proved to be decisive.

Fosser won by 51 seconds after 14 kilometers and 680 meters climb and defended his championship from Czechia in 2021.

Olli Ojanaho (FIN) won the fight for the bronze, thereby claiming his first ever WOC medal and the first WOC long distance medal for the Finnish men in 10 years.

Tomaš Křivda (CZE) and Emil Svensk (SWE) tied for the fourth place 14 seconds behind Ojanaho, while Daniel Hubmann (SUI) took sixth spot.

Find results, GPS-tracking and maps at IOF LIVE.

Middle distance on Saturday
After a rest day it is time for the middle distance final on Saturday.

First start is at 10:33 CEST (UTC +2) and the TV broadcast begins at 11.35.

Get your ticket at IOF TV.

Top 6 results:


  1. Simona Aebersold, Switzerland 1:21:43
  2. Tove Alexandersson, Sweden +0:31
  3. Andrine Benjaminsen, Norway +7:20
  4. Natalia Gemperle, Switzerland +7:26
  5. Sara Hagstrom, Sweden +7:40
  6. Elena Roos, Switzerland +8:26


  1. Kasper Harlem Fosser, Norway 1:33:06
  2. Matthias Kyburz, Switzerland +0:51
  3. Olli Ojanaho, Finland +4:31
  4. Tomas Krivda, Czech Republic +4:45
  5. Emil Svensk, Sweden +4:45
  6. Daniel Hubmann, Switzerland +5:24

Photos: Remy Steinegger and Thomi Studhalter / WOC 2023