The Sprint races provided demanding technical and physical challenges for the JWOC competitors today, resulting in two close finishes; Malin Agervig Kristiansson from Denmark and Francesco Mariani from Italy are the Sprint champions.
In both races, held in Kocaeli, Turkey, the leading finish times were very close, and the most decisive factor was route choice on the longer legs. The choices involved either navigating through a complex pattern of streets and running up or down flights of steps, or taking a longer route with easier navigation and less drop or climb.
Touko Seppä, Finland on his way to a silver medal Photos: JWOC
In the women’s race the favourite to win was Hanna Lundberg, Sweden who has already found success at senior level in this year’s World Cup. She was a shade slower than Kristiansson up to the control before the arena passage, then Kristiansson made her one significant mistake and Lundberg got ahead. Kristiansson kept her head, however, and pulled out a really strong finish, ending 5 seconds quicker than Lundberg. Bronze medal went to the French athlete Cecile Calandry. Sixth place was just 18 seconds down on the winning time.
Planning ahead: Petrina Costermans, Sweden
Francesco Mariani made all the right route choices in the complex terrain and ran strongly to give Italy a fine start to the championships with a win by 7 seconds over Touko Seppä, Finland. Mariani was fastest throughout, down to a really good start and consistent running thereafter. He in fact ran the fastest leg only on the first leg and a short one towards the end. Seppä was 17 seconds slower on the first leg in 43rd place, but he recovered well to pull steadily up the field and end with the silver. Axel Elmblad, Sweden is bronze medalist, 13 seconds down on the winner.
So a very good start for JWOC; The next races are the Middle Qualification, with the Finals following on Tuesday. For full information go to the race website www.jwoc2020.org, and go to IOF Live on this website for live action, GPS tracks and results.
Podium places, Sprint
- Malin Agervig Kristiansson DEN 14:57
- Hanna Lundberg SWE 15:02
- Cecile Calandry FRA 15:05
- Caterina Dallera ITA 15:11
- Hedvig Valbjørn Gydesen DEN 15:14
- Ida Haapala FIN 15:15
- Francesco Mariani ITA 15:39
- Touko Seppä FIN 15:46
- Axel Elmblad SWE 15:52
- Tobias Alstad NOR 15:53
- Quentin Andrieux FRA 16:01
- Sigurd Paulsen Vie NOR 16:03