Tove Alexandersson with the clean sweep

The Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships Long Distance competition capped a fantastic week for Tove Alexandersson of Sweden as she won her 5th gold medal of the week. This was her 9th consecutive World Championships gold dating back to the Long Distance race in Latvia in 2018.

There was never really a question about who would win gold in the Long Distance here in the Czech Republic. Tove Alexandersson had a lead of 35 seconds already at the first split time 20 minutes into the course. She increased her lead at each split and lead with 3:27 as she passed through the arena with 10 minutes running remaining. The final margin of vistory was 2:58 and she was the only woman under 80 minutes with a winning time of 77:11.

The silver and bronze winners were also decided early on with Natalia Gemperle, neutral athlete from Russia, and Simona Aebersold of Switzerland having their own battle. Natalia Gemperle started best and had a 15 second lead over Aebersold at the first split 20 minutes in. Simona Aebersold turned the tables and held onto the silver medal position for the next 40 minutes running, leading by as much as 30 seconds. Finally Gemperle was able to move back into 2nd position and remained there to the finish. This was Gemperle’s 2 silver of the week, and Aebersold finished the week with 3 bronze and 1 silver medal.

Andrine Benjaminsen (NOR) and Lisa Risby (SWE) finished with exactly the same time after 82 minutes and 56 seconds orienteering to share 4th place. Megan Carter Davies (GBR) won the final podium spot in 6th place.

The course for the women’s race was contested over a course which measured 9.5 km in a straight line, with 690 m of climb along the optimal route. However, the beautiful yet challenging sandstone terrain meant that the running was far from straightforward. The course featured numerous route choices where it was important to minimize climb in the steep hills and find the correct passages between the dramatic sandstone cliffs and rock pillars. The analysis of what the best route choices were will certainly go on for awhile.

Results – Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships Long Distance Women

1 Tove Alexandersson Sweden 1:17:11
2 Natalia Gemperle Neutral 1:20:09 +2:58
3 Simona Aebersold Switzerland 1:20:28 +3:17
4 Andrine Benjaminsen Norway 1:22:56 +5:45
4 Lisa Risby Sweden 1:22:56 +5:45
6 Megan Carter Davies United Kingdom 1:24:53 +7:42