On the final day of the World Ski Orienteering Championships, Russia demonstrated strength in depth by winning both women’s and men’s relays by clear margins.
Alena Trapeznikova gave Russia a perfect start on leg 1 of the women’s race, and this was cemented by Tatyana Oborina on leg 2, giving Mariya Kechkina a healthy lead to carry into the final leg. The eventual winning margin was 3.14. Behind on the final leg, though, there was drama; Salla Koskela for Finland set off with a good margin over Tove Alexandersson, Sweden but made a mistake costing more than half a minute at the 11th control, allowing Alexandersson to catch up. Then as they skied together towards the final two controls, Koskela fell on an icy patch and lost more precious seconds. So Sweden took the silver medals and Finland the bronze 29 seconds later. Koskela was distraught at the finish, but there were many other mistakes made on an interesting, varied and challenging course with some very fast downhill sections.
This race produced the best sprint finish of the day, with Estonia taking fifth place by 1 second ahead of the Czech Republic.
The men’s race was also dominated by Russia, with both Vladislav Kiselev and Sergey Gorlanov handing over in first place. Finland with Jyri Uusitalo came in at the same time as the Russian on the first leg, but Finland then dropped back to finish fourth. Sweden was fourth at both changeovers, but Erik Rost pulled up two places to bring Sweden the silver medals. Bronze went to Norway, 32 seconds ahead of Finland. Switzerland had also started strongly, and ended up in sixth place.
Leading results, Relay
- Russia (Alena Trapeznikova, Tatyana Oborina, Mariya Kechkina) 1:36:11
- Sweden (Linda Lindkvist, Magdalena Olsson, Tove Alexandersson) 1:39:25
- Finland (Mirka Suutari, Miika Reponen, Salla Koskela) 1:39:54
- Norway 1:44:06,
- Estonia 1:47:31,
- Czech Republic 1:47:32
- Russia (Vladislav Kiselev, Sergey >Gorlanov, Andrey Lamov) 1:36:30
- Sweden (Martin Hammarberg, Markus Lundholm, Erik Rost) 1:38:44
- Norway (Bjørnar Kvåle, Audun Heimdal, Lars Moholdt) 1:40:15
- Finland 1:40:47,
- Czech Republic 1:47:52,
- Switzerland 1:51:41