Competition for medals in long distance27.09.2016.
24 September was a competition for medals in long distance near Zvārtes iezis. MarikaTeini from Finland won the long distance in women Elite and Frederick Tranchand from France was the winner in men Elite. Both celebrated double victories, because they were also winners on Friday in middle distance.
74 runners were entered for the men Elite, and 55 finished. 8 did not finish the course and 11 did not show up. Frederick Tranchand was convincing during the entire course. Timo Sild and Lucas Basset fought for the second place. Timo Sild was more accurate and 11 seconds faster.
The gold medal in women Elite went to MarikaTeini. Up to the middle of the distance, Sari Anttonen was in the lead, but made a mistake in the final part which cost her the first place. She was 1:32 behind the winner Marika Teini. Isia Basset from France was the third.
Both winners admitted that the courses were demanding – the visibility was poor due to the green areas, bet they managed to get used to it soon. Euromeeting has helped them to understand the physical and technical challenges they will have to face to demonstrate good performance in further world level events to take place in Latvia.
Runners from Latvia demonstrated good performance in the long distance. Andris Jubelis was No. 12 in the men Elite; also Dāvis Dišlers did well, he was No. 18, though his speciality is sprint and relays. Two of our women runners were among the best ten – Inga Dambe was No. 9 and Aija Skrastiņa No. 10.The first day of Euromeeting 2016.27.09.2016.
23 September was the first day of Euromeeting 2016. It was a middle distance race held near Zvārtes iezis. More than 120 athletes from 12 countries started. The woman Elite was won by Marika Teini from Finland and the men elite was won by Frederic Tranchand from France. Though Latvian orienteers are familiar with the terrain, it nevertheless turned out to be complicated enough, and both men and women demonstrated varying success.
The terrain near Zvārtes iezis is very suitable for high-level orienteering races – it features systems of hills and ravines, rivulets and small marshes, which make it challenging for runners.
The orienteer Marika Teini from Finland was the last to start; therefore there was large intrigue both to other participants and the spectators. She was perfect in the last part of the course, leaving Sari Anttonen, another Finnish athlete, as runner-up. It was a mere 6 seconds which prevented Sari to win. The bronze medallist was Denisa Kosova, 1:32 behind the winner.
M.Teini is one of the best Finnish orienteers. After the finish she admitted that the beginning of the course was difficult, but she managed to accommodate herself to the terrain very quickly. In the previous interviews she told that she would use Euromeeting to make herself aware of the physical and technical challenges to be faced in 2018, in the World Orienteering Championships in Latvia. In this year’s WOC Championships in Sweden Teini took the sixth place in middle distance.
Tranchand from France was unbeaten in the men Elite. He is also one of the best runners in the world, ranking No. 9. Timo Sild from Estonia won silver, 50 seconds behind the winner, and bronze went to Miika Kirmula from Finland.
From Latvia, Andris Jubelis with the 9th place was the best in middle distance, improving his last year’s performance. Inga Dambe took the respectable fourth place. The race showed that the terrain, though well-known to Latvian athletes, can be quite demanding.