Switzerland dominates the Sprint
Simona Aebersold and Joey Hadorn are the winners of the opening race of JWOC2016 in Scuol. The two Swiss were crowning the dominating home team with their performances. Simona Aebersold, only 18 years old, secured her second world title with an extraordinary lead of 52 seconds. A double Swiss win was achieved on the men’s side through Joey Hadorn (19) and Thomas Curiger (20). With six runners in the first six places the Swiss orienteering top athletes also confirmed their dominant position in this short discipline in the highest junior class.
Simona Aebersold could transform her superior running capability into an error-free competition and defend her title impressionably after her somewhat surprising victory 2015 in Norway. “Contrary to last year, I felt lots of pressure this time and, I also put very high expectations on myself. But I was in control of my thoughts throughout the whole race. A few times I was standing still for a short moment in the technically more demanding sections.to be able to comprehend the map correctly”, explained the old and new junior sprint world champion. Silver went to Anna Dvorianskala from Russia after an error-free race. The 19-year-old had already indicated her qualities with an 8th-place finish in the elite class at the European Championships end of May in the Czech Republic. Only 3 seconds behind the Russian the Finnish woman Anna Haataja secured her second medal after winning silver in 2015 in the long distance. A mistake interpreting the map in the middle part of the course cost her second place.
Joey Hadorn from Switzerland started into the race as favourite and fulfilled the expectations in front of more than 1000 spectators in an impressive manner. After placing 13th last year, the 19-year-old succeeded in stepping to the top of the podium this time. “In the beginning, I was running rather defensively to find my flow into the race,” explained the new sprint world champion his tactic, “I had not taken all the risks in order to always have enough time for map reading”. His victory is distinctive even though Joey Hadorn chose the significantly longer but simpler route from control 7 to 8 where he lost quite a bit of time compared to the best times on this leg. With a technically clean run Thomas Curiger (20) secured the silver medal 9 seconds behind the leader. After an unrewarding 4th place last year he now made a definite step forward. Isac von Krusenstierna from Sweden completes the podium now with his 3rd place finish. “I was focussing entirely on the technique,” declared the 18-year-old Swede in the finish in his very first race at a world championship.
The JWOC-sprint was characterized with running through modern as well as century-old architecture and sections through a park in the Swiss mountain town of Scuol. The significant heat, lots of climb and the altitude demanded physically lots from the runners. On the only long route choice lots of alternative routes were chosen. The shorter legs demanded a clean and consequent execution. Artificial fences additionally made map reading more difficult.
The 27th Junior World Orienteering Championships in Scuol (Switzerland) continues tomorrow Monday with the Long distance competition at an altitude between 2100 and 2300 m. 322 athletes from 39 countries will be going to the start.
Lukas Jenzer, Media Director JWOC 2016