Near the beginning of the second stage of the XIII Orienteering Meeting of Centro, in Marinha Grande, we take a look at the Long Distance race, that was held yesterday. Counting to the WRE, it tested both physical and technical capabilities of near 1200 participants, and saw the Norwegian Olav Lundanes and the Swedish Linnea Gustafsson take the victory.
In the King’s forest, the richest of our forests, the “forest sport” was king. The cause was the first stage of the XIII Meeting de Orientação do Centro, event organized by COC – Clube de Orientação do Centro – with the support of Marinha Grande Municipality and Portuguese Orienteering Federation. In an absolutely fantastic morning, 1200 athletes were present in Pedreanes Map, half of them foreigners.
The Long Distance revealed itself to be a tremendous challenge, specially the physical part, with courses of 18,7 km for Men Elite and 11,7 km for Women Elite. Constant up and down, detailed contour relieve demanding maximum attention when reaching the controls and much, much loose sand were ultimately the ingredients to grant the fittest.
Confirming some good results reached in Portugal O’ Meeting, Olav Lundanes (Halden SK) was the winner in Men Elite, with a time of 1:30:19. Behind him, were classified Scott Fraser (SNO) and Dmitriy Tsvetkov (Russia O’ Team), with more 1:49 and 1:50 than the winner. In Women Elite Linnea Gustafsson (OK Hallen) took the best time with 1:12:30. Second and third were Lena Eliasson (Domnarvets GoIF) and Ida Bobach (Danish O' Team), with times of 1:15:37 and 1:16:56. Among the Portuguese, the best representatives were Tiago Aires in 25th position with a time of 1:46:50 and Raquel Costa with 1:32:03 corresponding to the 28th position.
“Now, everything is much better”
“It was a good stage. I had problems in the first control, not 100% sure of the control and then in the loops it was good, I’ve just made a small mistake that cost me about 20 seconds, but the rest was good”. These were the first impressions of Olav Lundanes, the Men Elite winner, who said that the course was hard, changing fast and slower running, in contrast to the trainings made in this beginning of his season. The athlete, that will stay in Portugal one more week training in Viseu region, considered this is a good starting point for the beginning of the season and a good harbinger for the summer competition: “Now, everything is much better”, he concludes.
Linnea Gustafsson was also happy with her course, saying that she tried to manage the effort, considering the terrain and the distance: “Orienteering was easy, but since it is Long Distance it is not necessary to run too fast and control the pace”. Also stating that “this was a good training for the beginning of the season”, the athlete confesses that her goals are the European Championships and the World Championships, in Sweden and Switzerland, respectively. Portugal will also be the training base for the next week and half, but return is promised: “It’s very good to be here in Portugal”
Complete results: www.coc.pt/events/results