Alexandersson and Kyburz take WOC Middle golds

Both of the silver medalists from Thursday’s long distance at World Orienteering Championships in Switzerland stepped up their game on Saturday and won the Middle distance races.

Tove Alexandersson (SWE) was more than two minutes faster than her opponents and won her 18th WOC gold medal in the women’s class. Home favourite Matthias Kyburz (SUI) was almost as supreme among the men and won his 7th WOC gold by exactly two minutes today.

Tricky start
The sun was shining, and the temperatures were higher than on Thursday’s long distance, when the first women started on their 4,8 kilometer course Saturday morning.

Many short legs in the contour details-rich terrain in the beginning led to many time losses and created an entertaining and ever-changing race to follow.

Tove Alexandersson (SWE) was one of many runners losing time to the first control, but a flawless and very fast performance on the rest of the course secured her the win and title defense.

Natalia Gemperle (SUI) started out just before Alexandersson and was caught by the Swede on the fourth control. Her time at the finish was 2.18 minutes slower than Alexandersson and earned her the silver medal.

Hanna Lundberg (SWE) was 16 seconds further behind and won her first senior championship medal by finishing third.

Fourth and fifth place went to Norwegians Ane Dyrkorn and Long distance bronze medalist Andrine Benjaminsen, while Venla Harju (FIN) took the last place on the podium with her sixth place.

Long distance world champion Simona Aebersold (SUI) looked to be on her way to another medal, but a significant time loss on one of the last controls made her fall back to 13th spot.

Just before her came reigning sprint world champion Megan Carter Davies (GBR), who had the fastest split time of all after 1,4 kilometers, but mistakes later in the course made her drop to 12th position.

Gold and silver for Switzerland
In the men’s class Matthias Kyburz left no doubt that he was hungry for the gold medal with an impressive performance on the 5,9 kilometer course.

The Swiss kept a high speed, led all the way through and avoided time losses and defended his Middle distance title from Czechia in 2021.

Behind him a close battle for the silver medal unfolded. Compatriot Joey Hadorn went from 9th place to 2nd on the last kilometer after a great finish earning him his first ever individual championship medal on senior level.

Seven seconds behind him Jannis Bonek (AUT) kept cool on the last controls a won Austria its first ever individual WOC medal in the men’s class.

European middle distance champion Albin Ridefelt (SWE) was another 25 seconds behind in fourth place and Gustav Bergman (SWE) was fifth after a strong beginning on the course where he was in second spot halfway through.

The Finnish bronze medalist from Thursday’s long distance Olli Ojanaho was sixth.

Dive into results and GPS-tracking at IOF LIVE

Relays on Sunday
Tomorrow the relays will end the World Orienteering Championships in Flims Laax, Switzerland.

IOF TV broadcasts from 12.10 CEST (UTC +2).

The men’s relay begin at 12.20 and the women’s at 14.30.

Go to IOF TV

Top 6 results


  1. Tove Alexandersson, Sweden 37:26 minutes
  2. Natalia Gemperle, Switzerland +2:18
  3. Hanna Lundberg, Sweden +2:34
  4. Ane Dyrkorn, Norway +4:23
  5. Andrine Benjaminsen, Norway +4:35
  6. Venla Harju, Finland +5:45


  1. Matthias Kyburz, Switzerland 38:19 minutes
  2. Joey Hadorn, Switzerland +2:00
  3. Jannis Bonek, Austria +2:07
  4. Albin Ridefelt, Sweden +2:32
  5. Gustav Bergman, Sweden +2:40
  6. Olli Ojanaho, Finland +2:44

Photos: Remy Steinegger and Thomi Studhalter / WOC 2023