Tove Alexandersson, Sweden, and Olav Lundanes, Norway are the new European Champions in long distance. The two Scandinavian athletes managed to overcome the Swiss team in the tough Swiss terrain.
The Swedish athlete Tove Alexandersson twisted her ankle in the middle distance race and didn´t run the two relays. At the long distance she was back, stronger than anyone else on the tough course and she defended her EOC long distance gold from 2016. She ran an impressive race on the 11,3 kilometres course with 680 meters climb and was outstanding – five minutes faster than Natalia Gemperle, Russia. Julia Gross, Switzerland was third, 41 seconds behind Gemperle.
The men’s competition was more exciting with decisive route choices and mistakes among the top athletes. Norwegian Olav Lundanes, who ran the last leg in the winning relay team, is the king of long distance. The reigning World Champion was precise in his orienteering, and took the best route choices, on the 14,9 kilometres men’s course with 910 meters climb. Swiss Matthias Kyburz was second, 52 seconds after Lundanes. Gernot Kerschbaumer, Austria, won the bronze medal, just 20 seconds after Kyburz. Kerschbaumer winning his first international championships medal ever.