Hanna Lundberg, Sweden won her third gold by 2:59 with an outstanding run in the hilly Portugal terrain, leading throughout and beating the estimated winning time by almost 2 minutes. Sweden’s Noel Braun took the men’s gold with a win by 17 seconds.
Three Swedish athletes finished in the top six in the women’s race, where the top three in the race held their position from start to finish. Silver medallist was Eeva Liina Ojanaho, Finland who finishes the event with 1 silver and 2 bronze medals, and today’s bronze medal went to the Norwegian athlete Oda Scheele. Finland gained a second podium place: Sabina Aumo finished sixth. Switzerland had no-one on the podium but took positions 7th, 8th, 9th and 11th.
Hanna Lundberg interviewed after todays Long distance. Photo: Susana Luzir
In the men’s race, Sweden’s Valter Pettersson was fastest at the 2.7 km mark, but he dropped away through a big mistake in mid-course. Noel Braun was 1:04 down at this point, but then dominated the race to finish in just over the planned winning time. Kornelius Kriszat Løvfald, Norway improved on his 4th place in the Middle race to take the silver medal here, and Touko Seppa, Finland won his second bronze individual medal to go with his silver from the Relay. The top 6 in the men’s race were from 6 different nations; the Middle Distance winner, the Hungarian Zoltan Bujdoso, was sixth today.
Noel Braun on his way to the gold medal. Photo: Susana Luzir
Today’s race took place in dull, damp and misty conditions, a strong contrast to the sun of the first two days. There was less rock in the western than the eastern part of the terrain, and the courses were characterized by long legs – one for women and two for men – plus a lot of short legs towards the end including a tricky circuit after the arena passage.
Overall the JWOC forest races were a triumph for Sweden: 3 out of 4 individual golds plus wins in both Relays. The outstanding athlete was Hanna Lundberg, already well established in the senior ranks and world-ranked number 11. Noel Braun could well be going home with the same medal haul, but for a lost SI card in the Middle race. These two were backed up by several other very promising Swedish Juniors. Finland and Norway also came with some classy performers, and of the other nations, Hungary can be particularly pleased to take 1 gold individual medal plus silver for the women’s Relay team.
Huge thanks and congratulations go to the Portuguese organizing team, who have persevered through pandemic and fire risk setbacks to provide a first-class set of competitions here in November.
Leading results, Long Distance
- Hanna Lundberg SWE 53:14
- Eeva Liina Ojanaho FIN 56:13
- Oda Scheele NOR 57:39
- Hilda Holmqvist Johansson SWE 59:38
- Elsa Sonesson SWE 59:54
- Sabina Aumo FIN 59:59
- Noel Braun SWE 70:11
- Kornelius Kriszat Løvfald NOR 70:28
- Touko Seppa FIN 71:42
- Jakub Chaloupsky CZE 73:39
- Ilian Angeli ITA 73:48
- Zoltan Bujdoso HUN 75:06