A fascinating women’s Middle distance race built up to an intensely exciting climax, as Tove Alexandersson chased down Simona Aebersold’s time on the long run-in from the edge of the forest – and won gold by just 5 seconds.
At the spectator passage Aebersold was 10 seconds the faster, but the decisive leg was the next one where Aebersold chose to avoid a small area of dense forest and use a path, whereas Alexandersson took a more direct route that proved to be some 10 seconds quicker. Alexandersson’s renowned strength at the end was enough to bring her a second gold medal in the Championships. Alexandersson may also have benefited from running in the later part of the race with Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg, who was running slightly more strongly and was sure in navigation.
For the young Swiss runner Simona Aebersold, in her first year as a senior, this was one step up from Wednesday – a silver medal to follow her Long distance bronze.
There are two bronze medallists today: Russian Natalia Gemperle and Finn Venla Harju had the same time, 1.45 down on the winning time. Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg, Sabine Hauswirth and Lina Strand missed a medal by 2, 3 and 7 seconds respectively.
Leading results, women
- Tove Alexandersson SWE 38:20
- Simona Aebersold SUI 38:25
- = Natalia Gemperle RUS 40:05
= Venla Harju FIN 40:05
- Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg 40:07
- Sabine Hauswirth SUI 40:08