Foliforov gets third gold in a row
In a hot afternoon, Anton Foliforov and Emily Benham showed up at their highest level. They were the big winners of the last individual final of the World MTB Orienteering Championships WMTBOC 2016, a tough Long Distance that had in Davide Machado's bronze medal a historic moment for Portuguese orienteering.
Entering the final days of the World MTB Orienteering Championships WMTBOC 2016, the city of Águeda hosted the last individual final of the competitive program. With distances of, approximately, 40 km for the Men elite class and 30 km for the Women, the Long Distance was extremely tough from a physical point of view, with climbing quite above the five hundred meters and with temperatures around 35º Celsius.
In the Men Elite class, the Russian Anton Foliforov confirmed the favouritism, reaching his third gold medal in a row and becoming the first athlete to achieve all the individual titles in the same edition of the World Championships. Foliforov, who fulfilled his course in 1:41:10, beating the Czech Krystof Bogar by a narrow margin of 32 seconds, returned to the competition this year after a three years long pause. The third place went to Davide Machado, 44 seconds after the winner, offering Portuguese Orienteering the first medal in its history in Elite competitions.
Third gold for Kubinova
In the Women Elite, the victory smiled at the British Emily Benham for the second time in these Championships, after her gold medal in the Sprint race last Monday. Showing excellent shape, Emily Benham finished her course in 1:29:10, leaving the French Gaëlle Barlet in the second position, with a difference of 38 seconds. Performing greatly, the Swiss Maja Rothweiller got the third place with 2:25 more than the winner, reaching a well-deserved first individual medal since her debut, in Ben Shemen, Israel, in 2009.
In the youngest age groups, the focus is on the win of the Czech Veronika Kubinova in the W20 class. The three individual titles in the same competition - something never achieved before in the Women Junior class - confirm her as the big name of the Junior World MTB Orienteering Championships 2016. Like in the two previous finals, Kubinova got a comfortable victory in 1:16:28, leaving the second place to the French Constance Devillers by a margin of over seven (!) minutes. In the Men Junior class, Leonid Tsevtkov was the strongest, winning with a time of 1:27:40 and offering Russia a gold medal in the Long Distance that has missing for the last eight years. Winner of the gold medal in the Middle Distance of last Wednesday, the French Samson Deriaz was placed second, 1:44 after the winner. In the European Youth Championships, the Czech Republic placed two athletes at the top of the podium. After getting the gold in the Sprint and the Silver in the Middle Distance, Jan Hasek was again the fastest in the Long Distance with a time of 1:16:28, while in the W17 class, victory was Vilma Kralova's with 1:02:57.
1. Anton Foliforov (Russia) 1:41:10 (+ 00:00)
2. Krystof Bogar (Czech Republic) 1:41:42 (+ 00:32)
3. Davide Machado (Portugal) 1:41:54 (+ 00:44)
4. Ruslan Gritsan (Russia) 1:42:57 (+ 01:47)
5. Baptiste Fuchs (France) 1:43:05 (+ 01:55)
6. Luca Dallavalle (Italy) 1:44:52 (+ 03:42)
1. Emily Benham (Great Britain) 1:29:10 (+ 00:00)
2. Gaëlle Barlet (France) 1:29:48 (+ 00:38)
3. Maja Rothweiler (Switzerland) 1:31:35 (+ 02:25)
4. Ingrid Stengard (Finland) 1:32:16 (+ 03:06)
5. Renata Paulickova (Czech Republic) 1:33:21 (+ 04:11)
6. Stanislava Fajtova (Slovakia) 1:33:45 (+ 04:35)
1. Leonid Tsvetkov (Russia) 1:27:40 (+ 00:00)
2. Samson Deriaz (France) 1:29:24 (+ 01:44)
3. Sauli Pietikäinen (Finland) 1:30:35 (+ 02:55)
1. Veronika Kubinova (Czech Republic) 1:16:28 (+ 00:00)
2. Constance Devillers (France) 1:23:39 (+ 07:11)
3. Viktorija Michnovic (Lithuania) 1:24:47 (+ 08:19)
1. Jan Hasek (Czech Republic) 1:03:51 (+ 00:00)
2. Eerik Nurminen (Finland) 1:07:17 (+ 03:26)
3. Danil Buzovkin (Russia) 1:07:51 (+ 04:00)
1. Vilma Kralova (Czech Republic) 1:02:57 (+ 0:00)
2. Mathilde Sipos (France) 1:04:47 (+ 01:50)
3. Mia Raichon (France) 1:07:18 (+ 04:21)
Photos and text by Joaquim Margarido