Second gold medal for Alexandersson and Lundanes
A fascinating women’s Middle distance race built up to an intensely exciting climax, as Swedish Tove Alexandersson chased down Swiss 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 also had the benefit of running in the later part of the race with Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg, who was running slightly more strongly and was sure in navigation, and this coupled with Alexandersson’s renowned strength at the end was enough to bring her a second gold medal in the Championships.
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.
Olav Lundanes, Norway, won his second gold medal of the Championships today with a hard-fought victory by 11 seconds over Sweden’s Gustav Bergman. Norwegian Magne Dæhli made it an excellent day for the home nation in taking the bronze, his first WOC individual medal.
Bergman and Lundanes had very similar times and routes for much of the race, but in the final loop it was Lundanes who held his navigation together best, with Bergman making minor errors but significant in their context, and the win was comfortable in the end.
Both Lucas Basset, France and last starter Matthias Kyburz, Switzerland were in contention for the medals for a long period, Basset particularly impressing with his speed on several sections. Kyburz made a big mistake towards the end, however, and finished outside the top ten. France ended with two podium placings, Basset in fifth and Frederic Tranchand in sixth.
The last day of the Championships features the Relay, with the women’s race starting at 16.20 local time and the men’s at 18.30.
Tuesday 13 August: Middle Qualification
Wednesday 14 August: Long distance
Friday 16 August: Middle distance Final
Saturday 17 August: Relay
WOC 2019 webpage: woc2019.no