Aebersold and Ridefelt wins EOC Middle

The spectators and IOF LIVE viewers saw some neat surprises at Saturday’s Middle distance podiums at the European Orienteering Championships in Estonia.

Once again, the athletes had their ability to fight their way through the dense Estonian forest east of Rakvere tested.

And just as on Thursday’s Long distance, the terrain was tricky and caused many time losses among the runners. Heavy rain pouring down during race didn’t do any good for the visibility.

Huge win for Aebersold
Last starter Simona Aebersold (SUI) was definitely among the favorites to win the women’s class and was eager to take revenge after her 14th place in the Long distance.

And with a nearly flawless race, she won her first individual championship gold medal after 35 minutes of racing in the green with a big margin.

The home crowd had their fingers crossed for Evely Kaasiku (EST), who occupied the leaders chair for quite some time after a great race. Kaasiku finished second – 1.27 minutes behind – her greatest international result so far.

Thursday’s Long distance champion Venla Harju won another medal today, 2.50 behind Aebersold. Ane Dyrkorn (NOR), Long distance bronze medallist Marika Teini (FIN) and Johanna Öberg (SWE) took the subsequent positions.

Sweden’s men ruled the forest
If the Swedish fans were hungry for medals after the women’s race, they had their hunger satisfied an hour later, when the men’s race was over.

Anton Johansson (SWE) sat in the white leaders chair most of the race after a run with no significant time losses on the 6,3 kilometer course.

Team mate Albin Ridefelt avoided big mistakes as well and with a fast route choice towards the end, he took over Johansson’s first place by 17 seconds and became European champion. The EOC gold is Ridefelt’s first individual championship medal and the same applies to Anton Johansson and the silver.

Second to last starter Gustav Bergman (SWE) crowned a great Swedish men’s race by finishing third and claiming the bronze – 37 seconds behind Ridefelt.

Finlands Olli Ojanaho made another top 6 performance at EOC by finishing fourth, while Thursday’s silver medallist Eskil Kinneberg (NOR) and Loic Capbern (FRA) tied for the fifth place.

Go to IOF LIVE for TV, GPS-tracking, maps and results.

After a well deserved nights sleep, the EOC athletes will be ready for Sunday’s relays. Women’s relay starts shortly after 10.00 EEST (UTC+3) and the men’s relay will take over afterwards.

The broadcast at IOF LIVE will begin at 10.00 – get your ticket here

Photos: IOF / Donatas Lazauskas