As the inaugural edition of Ski Orienteering at the Winter Universiade came to an end, Norway’s Joergen Baklid and Finland’s Liisa Nenonenn won the men’s and women’s Middle distance races at the Raduga Cluster.
Fifty athletes lined up at the start line in the men’s Middle distance Ski Orienteering race. Gorlanov and Kiselev, already medallists at the Universiade, were in the lead almost the entire distance but one kilometre before the finish, the mixed relay silver medallist Baklid chose the best route and overtook the Russians.
“This race did not really differ from previous ones,” said Baklid after his win. “During the first laps I took a standard route, then made a mistake, but, nevertheless, managed to get ahead. It is a very good course here. I really enjoy it. Of course, I am very proud of myself. My goal was to be first at finish. The previous starts did not give me a chance to win, and today I had an opportunity to recoup. I also participating in Cross-Country Skiing so, this was my fifth race this week, and I’ve had enough!”
Forty participants started the women’s race and there too, those who had already won medals in Krasnoyarsk 2019 were considered the best bets to win: Marina Viatkina from Russia, Liisa Nenonen and Mirka Suutari from Finland, and Petra Hancova from the Czech Republic, winner of the World Junior Championship. In the third lap, Nenonen broke away from Viatkina while Mirka Suutari was left further behind and arrived fourth.
“I am always nervous before a mass start, there are too many people,” said two-time Universiade champion Liisa Nenonen. “At first, we were holding together with the girls in one group. In the last lap I realised I was going ahead, and I did my best to hold the position.”
“I am so proud that our sport is included in the Universiade programme!” she continued. There have been four absolutely different races, different weather conditions, the competitions were not easy and we had to put in effort for each medal. Raduga Cluster is a great venue, there are lots of climbs and in general the courses are great.”
Ski Orienteering. Middle Distance. Men
- Joergen Baklid (NOR) – 35.25
- Sergey Gorlanov (RUS) – 35.28
- Vladislav Kiselev (RUS) – 35.37
Ski Orienteering. Middle Distance. Women
- Liisa Nenonen (FIN) – 37.07
- Marina Vyatkina (RUS) – 37.14
- Petra Hancova (CZE) – 37.26
Press release by FISU Winter Universiade