Kudre Schnyder and Ståhl take first ESOC-golds in Latvia

The first gold medals at the European Ski Orienteering Championships in Latvia went to Estonia and Sweden, as Tuesday’s sprint was decided in the ski terrain around Madona.

Daisy Kudre Schnyder (EST) seemed to avoid any notable time losses on the 3,2 kilometer sprint course and dared to leave the tracks and go through the terrain several times.

That turned out to be a good plan as the 29-year-old reigning sprint world champion won by impressive 24 seconds. Behind her, four Swedish athletes divided the subsequent positions between them. Evelina Wickbom snatched the silver medal six seconds ahead of Elin Schagerström.

Frida Sandberg and Lisa Larsen was within a minute slower than Kudre Schnyder in fourth and fifth place, and Finland’s Maria Hoskari got the last place on the podium.

World Cup leader Linda Lindkvist (SWE) did not start today due to illness.

In the Men’s class 22-year-old Jonathan Ståhl (SWE) had quite a breakthrough, where he won the race and thereby his first ever championship medal on senior level. Bulgaria’s Stanimir Belomazhev led until halfway, but eventually ended up with silver – two seconds behind Ståhl.

Niklas Ekström (FIN) got the bronze medal and the rest of the podium spots went to Jørgen Baklid (NOR), Aapo Viippola (FIN) and Nicola Müller (SUI) – all within 22 seconds of Ståhl golden race.

Sweden had several other impressive results in the junior’s races – where Ella Turesson and Albin Gezelius (both SWE) became junior world champions.

Maja Lundholm secured yet another Swedish gold in the U17 women’s class in EYSOC, where Ritvars Lepeskins (LAT) won the men’s class in front of the home crowd.

See the TV-stream and find all results and GPS-tracking at IOF LIVE.

Wednesday is middle distance-day. First start at 10.00 EET (UTC+2)

Follow the middle distance at IOF LIVE.

Photos: Agris Veckalniņš / ESOC 2023