A win and a second place in the two weekend competitions in Penamacor, Portugal was a perfect lead-in to the World TrailO Championships for 28-year-old Marit Wiksell, Sweden. Defending TempO World Champion Petteri Halkala, Finland also impressed with two third places.
The weekend’s competitions are part of this year’s European Cup in TrailO, and overall season leader Juha Hiirsalmi, Finland cemented his position by winning the TempO competition by a margin of 19 seconds over Marit Wiksell. Both made one mistake on the course, incurring 30 penalty seconds; just two competitors had a clear round, Iva Lovrec from Croatia and Tom Dobra, Great Britain; both were too slow, however and Lovrec finished fifth and Dobra fourteenth.
Wiksell won the Open PreO event ahead of Tomas Lestinsky, Czech Republic and Petteri Halkala. With 20 competitors having full scores on the course, the final result was all down to the timed control, where Wiksell used 9.5 seconds for her answers compared to Lestinsky’s 11.5 and Halkala’s 12. Close!
In the Para PreO it was Sweden’s Ola Jansson who came out best, beating Hanka Dolezalova, Czech Republic and Pavel Shmatov, Russia; they were the only three para competitors to get full scores.
More than 100 of the world’s elite Trail Orienteers took part in the warm-up event, and World Championships competition starts in earnest tomorrow with the first competition in the two-stage PreO event.