Foliforov gets third gold in a row
WMTBOC 2016: Foliforov and Vinogradova got the gold in the Middle Distance
On the second day of the World MTB Orienteering Championships WMTBOC 2016, took place the Unofficial Mass Start. A total of 203 athletes participated in a competition where Davide Machado and Monica Aguilera were the winners in the Elite.
After having been the stage of a model race thinking on the WMTBOC 2016, in March 2015, the beautiful region of Luso, in the municipality of Mealhada, hosted today the Unofficial Mass Start, in which participated a little over two hundred athletes. In the Men Elite class, the Portuguese Davide Machado was the strongest, finishing his course in 54:00, with an advantage of 2:02 over the second classified, the Norwegian Hans Jorgen Kvåle. In the Women Elite, the Spanish Monica Aguilera registered the time of 1:02:30, reaching a four minutes victory on the british Clare Dallimore.
Leonid Tsevtkov and Uliana Sukholovskaya won the Junior classes and the winners in the M/W17 classes were, respectively, the Czech Jan Hasek and the Swedish Erica Olsson.
Those who follow closely the MTB Orienteering phenomenon, will certainly remember the exciting Long Distance Final of the European Championships, hold in Idanha-a-Nova, in early July 2015. In that race, the British Emily Benham and the Russian Anton Foliforov went to the top of the podium together. They were back to do so today, again in Portugal, this time in the first stage of the World MTB orienteering Championships, which took place in Cantanhede.
Emily Benham and Anton Foliforov were brilliant winners of the Sprint competition that opened the 2016 World MTB Orienteering Championships, held this morning and early afternoon in Cantanhede, Portugal. The race, which was held in spite of temperatures close to 40º Celsius, revealed the new World Champions of Sprint in the Elite and Junior categories and also the Youth European Champions, both men and women.
In the Men Elite class, the Italian Luca Dallavalle started defending the title achieved in 2015 in the Czech Republic, but found a super-motivated Anton Foliforov, Russia, the current leader of the World Cup and eager to recover a title previously reached twice, in 2011 and 2014. In the end, the difference between the two stood at 32 seconds, a result that allowed Foliforov to taste his seventh individual world title, becoming the male athlete to win more gold medals ever in this discipline. The third place fell to the French Cédric Beill, 37 seconds slower than the winner, winning what is the first medal reached by the athlete in the World Championships. The big surprise comes from Spain and goes by the name of Angel Garcia, 5th ranked with the time of 23:06, which sets an historical result for the Spanish MTB Orienteering, for the first time ever with an athlete ranked in the top10.
First gold ever for Emily Benham
As for the Elite Women, the British Emily Benham and the Finnish Marika Hara engaged in an intense duel from the first to the last meter and that ended with the victory of Benham by the narrow margin of two seconds. Great figure of World MTB Orienteering in the last years, Benham was missing a gold medal in the World Championships to complete a brilliant track record and it came today, in this torrid day in Cantanhede, against one of the world's best, Marika Hara, with four individual World titles and four in the Relay, won between 2008 and 2015. The third place went to the young Finnish Henna Saarinen, rising for the first time on the podium in her second year within the Elite, being her former best result the 14th place achieved in the Sprint last year. Back to the competition after a break of two years, Olga Shipilova Vinogradova, Russia, had an excellent performance, missing the bronze medal by 10 seconds. World Champion in 2015 and current leader of the IOF World Ranking, the Czech Martina Tichovska finished in the 6th position, 1 minute and 3 seconds after the winner.
The 2016 World MTB Orienteering Championships (WMTBOC) is about to start. From 23rd to 31st July the Portuguese municipalities of Mealhada, Cantanhede and Águeda will host an event in which over 400 athletes from 21 different countries are expected to compete.
For the second time in the last seven years, Portugal is the host for the world’s biggest MTB Orienteering event. Well-known for its beautiful vineyard scenery and exquisite gastronomy, the Bairrada region in the centre of the country is the venue for an exciting and intense week of competition. Over 400 athletes will fight for the world titles in the Elite and Junior categories, the European titles in Youth categories, and for the best results over the two stages of the World Masters Championships in the Veterans categories.
Responding to the trust placed upon them by the IOF, the Portuguese organisation decided on the municipalities of Águeda, Cantanhede and Mealhada as the event venue. This is a region with much natural beauty, and terrain with a high potential for quality MTB Orienteering. The technically difficult terrain will most certainly provide great challenges for the competitors.
For the local authorities the event is very important for the promotion of MTBO, but also for promoting the region as a whole. “This is a good example of partnership in promoting a territory, with all the right conditions for putting the Bairrada region on the map”, said João Moura, Mayor of Cantanhede, during the Event Presentation Press Conference. Also Edson Santos, Councillor for Águeda, highlighted the implications “at the level of local economic development,” while Rui Marqueiro, Mayor of Mealhada, considered it as “an opportunity to show the best we have to a few hundred people of different nationalities.”