The Swedish women, lead by 21 y.o. Johanna Öberg, took care of no less than the ten(!) top places on the chase start in Euromeeting in Våler Saturday. Amongst the men 29 y.o. Estonian Timo Sild was the top guy.
Hans Petter Mathisen of Fredrikstad Skiklubb regards the Euromeeting, where ten nations will be involved, as a useful experience on the way to fulfilling his big dream - to compete in WOC 2019.
-My impression is that Euromeeting will be held in types of terrain pretty similar to what is expected at WOC in two years. I think Euromeeting will be a valuable experience towards being selected for representing your squad, especially for foreign runners without the possibility to train in the Østfold terrains on a daily basis, Mathisen believes.
Mathisen has a dream, to compete in the WOC on home soil two years from now.
-How realistic this dream is remains to be seen. The ambition is there, and there are no laws against having dreams and hopes. So with WOC in mind, I moved to Fredrikstad and Østfold. This move makes the conditions ideal to become a runner on the level I want to become. I will give it my best try, and time will show if it’ll be enough, he says with a smile on his face.
The 26 year old has earlier only once worn the Norwegian national kit, and with that in mind the experience of being involved in the national team will be important.
-I’m so much looking forward to this Euromeeting, both to be part of the team and to experience the terrains. I’ve studied all public available old maps I could find, and I think the terrain in Våler will be very similar to the terrain that will be used for WOC 2019. I’m picturing a pretty diverse terrain with lots of fairly high heath, cliffs, some wide open areas and in general visible contours, Mathisen says. He also reminds us that the Euromeeting terrains are located close to the areas that are embargoed for WOC 2019.
Hope to be in a good spot before the chase start.
On the long distance he imagines there will be lots of flat and vague areas, but also some hilly parts that’ll invite to different route choices.
When it comes to his own chances to succeed in Euromeeting?
-I believe the prologue with the following chase start suits me the most. It is vital to perform steady in the prologue. If you fail there, all hopes are gone and you are left at the station as the train leaves. I feel in good shape at least, Hans Petter Mathisen finishes. Mathisen is also working as the head coach for Fredrikstad Skiklubb.
After Østfold was awarded the 2019 WOC, the area now can look forward to more bigcompetitions that will be held on its soil. This week it became official that Østfold also will host test races for the 2018 EOC. These test races will take place the first weekend of April 2018.
It`s a great pleasure to welcome you all to Euromeeting 2017, and to the county of Østfold. This is the first time for many of you to get more knowledge about this region in the South-East part of Norway. You will also have the pleasure to visit the 1000-years old city of Sarpsborg, which is the host city for WOC 2019. Here you will find the official event hotel and the venue for the medal ceremonies. Sarpsborg is known for its long industrial history, a lot of green areas and the big waterfall called Sarpefossen. In 2016 the biggest orienteering event in Norway, O-festivalen, was arranged in and around the city. During 3 days about 3000 participants had the pleasure to run in beautiful surroundings.