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.
1 Tove Alexandersson Sweden 00:38:20 +00:00:00
2 Simona Aebersold Switzerland 00:38:25 +00:00:05
3 Natalia Gemperle Russian Federaon 00:40:05 +00:01:45
= Venla Harju Finland 00:40:05 +00:01:45
5 Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg Norway 00:40:07 +00:01:47
6 Sabine Hauswirth Switzerland 00:40:08 +00:01:48
21 Megan Carter Davies Great Britain 00:44:17 +00:05:57
24 Jo Shepherd Great Britain 00:44:27 +00:06:07
27 Catherine Taylor Great Britain 00:45:00 +00:06:40
1 Olav Lundanes Norway 00:34:18 +00:00:00
2 Gustav Bergman Sweden 00:34:29 +00:00:11
3 Magne Daehli Norway 00:34:47 +00:00:29
4 Emil Svensk Sweden 00:34:48 +00:00:30
5 Lucas Basset France 00:35:20 +00:01:02
6 Frederic Tranchand France 00:36:09 +00:01:51
19 Ralph Street Great Britain 00:38:26 +00:04:08
31 Peter Hodkinson Great Britain 00:40:41 +00:06:23
Photo credits: Rob Lines
Today is the last day of the Championships features the Relay today, with the women’s race starting at 16.20 local time (UK time: 15.20) and the men’s at 18.30 (UK time: 17.30).