Positions 1 and 2 were exchanged today in W18, where Eeva Liina Ojanaho, Finland got revenge on Sprint champion, Hungarian Rita Maramarosi with a 37-second win. The Finn Aapo Virkajarvi won his second gold today in M16, convincingly by 3.32.
The race was held in mainly pine forest, steep and rocky in parts, close to Velingrad in Bulgaria. On the W18 course of 6.0 km with 315 m climb, Ojanaho’s winning time of 55.54 was the outcome of a near to error-free run; she was fastest throughout and lost only some 20 seconds in the middle of the course. Finland also took bronze in this class, Virna Pellikka finishing 1.03 down on the winner.
Aapo Virkajarvi was fourth, 48 seconds down at the first radio control, but by the second radio he’d established a 1.37 lead, and he was then fastest through to the end of the 5.8 km /325 m course. His closest challenger was Aratz Beobide from Spain, and bronze went to the Czech athlete Erik Heczko.
France took gold in W16 (4.9 km / 300 m), Fanny Delahaye winning comfortably after a slow start. Silver went to Lotta Marit Luethi, Switzerland – the only Swiss medal today – and bronze to Hana Vitkove, Czechia.
This was a good day for Czechia, with also a gold medal in M18, the closest race of the day. Tomas Kucera was just 6 seconds faster than Ludwig Rosen, Sweden after 7.2 km /420 m, where 58.50 was an impressive winning time. Kucera was up to a minute down until half-way, and it was a very close race between him and Rosen throughout the second half. The German Loic Dequiedt got bronze, 1.15 down on the winner.
Czechia and Finland both won 3 medals today, whilst France, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland won one each.
The final race in EYOC, the Relay, takes place tomorrow.
Medallists, Long Distance
- Eeva Liina Ojanaho FIN 55:54
- Rita Maramarosi HUN 56:31
- Virna Pellikka FIN 56:57
- Tomas Kucera CZE 58:50
- Ludwig Rosen SWE 58:56
- Loic Dequiedt GER 60:05
- Fanny Delahaye FRA 48:33
- Lotta Marit Luethi SUI 51:25
- Hana Vitkova CZE 51:40
- Aapo Virkajarvi FIN 46:58
- Aratz Beobide ESP 50:30
- Erik Heczko CZE 50:41
Photo: EYOC 2023 Facebook