The Middle distance at the World Games in USA met the orienteers with a completely different set of challenges compared to Friday’s Sprint.
Oak Mountain State Park outside Birmingham, Alabama offered continental forest with lots of elevation to climb and temperatures going from 28 degrees Celsius to 33 degrees as the competitions progressed.
The men got away with the early starting times again and Norway’s Håvard Sandstad Eidsmo took an early, convincing lead from starting position 10.
The course offered several short legs with classic Middle distance challenges and a few route choice legs often forcing the athletes the choice of taking the climb early or late on the way to the next control.
Matthias Kyburz (SUI) was chasing his third consecutive World Games Middle distance gold and seemed to be successful as he approached the finish with superior split times to the rest of the athletes.
However, Kasper Fosser (NOR) made an impressive finish on the last loop and picked up more than 30 seconds on Kyburz to win – and taking his first World Games medal.
Sweden’s Martin Regborn showed great form again after his Sprint silver medal on Friday and finished third, just shy of a minute behind Fosser.
In the women’s class, Simona Aebersold secured a gold medal for Switzerland – and her second at the World Games after a fast race without any notable mistakes.
Karolin Ohlsson (SWE) won her first individual internationl championship medal, finishing second – 45 seconds behind Aebersold.
Ohlsson and Aebersold’s split times were within a few seconds until the decisive leg 13-14, where Aebersold took the short route with a steep climb at the beginning, whereas Ohlssons way around the hill ended up as the slower choice.
Ingrid Lundanes, NOR won her first international championship medal too, claiming the bronze, 4.02 behind Aebersold.
Sunday sees the last orienteering competition at the World Games, when the athletes return to Birmingham for the Sprint Relay, which starts at 9.00 (UTC-5) – 16.00 CEST.
1. Simona Aebersold, SUI 35:12
2. Karolin Ohlsson, SWE 35:57
3. Ingrid Lundanes, NOR 39:14
4. Victoria Haestad Bjornstad, NOR 40:16
5. Aleksandra Hornik, POL 40:51
6. Hanna Wisniewska, POL 41:19
1. Kasper Harlem Fosser,NOR 33:45
2.Matthias Kyburz, SUI 33:52
3. Martin Regborn, SWE 34:42
4. Ruslan Glibov, UKR 36:02
5. Gernot Ymsen, AUT 36:30
6. Joey Hadorn, SUI 36:58