Gold and silver at World University Championships

20 08 2014

Last week I was at my first World University Orienteering Championships and this time it was held in Olomouc, in the south part of the Czech Republic. I was selected to run all distances but the long distance.

I went there some days after the rest of the team and met up with a crazy happy gang after winning the very important 😉 prolog the “Major’s cup”. This was a perfect start of the week and we kept that good mood during the whole championship.

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It started off with the sprint relay and I got the chance to run the first leg. I was a bit nervous since I got a bad experience from the World Cup sprint relay in Imatra in the beginning of the summer. Though I knew that I was in a much better shape this time and also the terrain and the course would suit me well. I ran off with the word “patience” in my head, and that became rather important. The courses was very forked and I had a longer way to my first control and then there were runners crossing everywhere. I ran a little too far to my second control and had to run back and lost maybe 15-20 seconds. Then the course went out on the big open fields in the park and I saw a lot of teams ahead of me. I kept the word “patience” in my head and trusted my physical shape and passed a lot of teams, even if it felt like I always had one of the two longer controls. Though I knew that I was going to get paied back later, and at the first radio control I was at 9th position some seconds behind, but then I started to increase the speed a lot on the long leg and suddenly I was in the lead, just ahed of Sarina Jenzer in Switzerland and with a gap to the rest of the teams. I pushed hard to the arena passing and held the lead to the second last control where Sarina passed me and I reached the change over as the 2nd team, just a few seconds behind leading Switzerland.

I sent out Johan Högstrand on the second leg and then Karolin Ohlsson and Albin Ridefelt finished and we got a very nice silver medal after Switzerland who managed to get a big gap to all other teams on the 2nd leg. We were very happy finishing second and felt that we got a great start of the week.

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2014-08-12 20.06.06

Sprint relay results & Sprint relay map

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One day of rest and then it was time for the sprint distance. I still felt quite fresh in my legs, but did an early mistake in the zoo where I ran a little bit too much right and that made me change route choice from left to right around a fenced area (to the 5th control). I thought that it wouldn’t matter, because I thought I saw a small passage between to fences where there was some stairs. Though the passage was forbidden and I had to run a longer way around and lost 20 seconds. After this I made two smaller mistakes, and wasn’t that satisfied finishing 5th, 35 seconds from gold, but just 15 seconds from silver. Without that stupid mistake to the 5th control I would have managed to reach my goal to take a medal. Even though I was disappointed while finishing I heard that Karro took the gold and it is always great to see a friend on the top of the podium! Loved her victory-dance!

Sprint results & sprint map

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The morning after I was ready for the middle distance. A fast area, with a lot of green and with a lot of controls. It was so much fun running this course, but also a bit frustrating because it was hard to run really fast in the very green forest parts. I had a good tactic which I followed almost all the way. Out from the 14th control I maybe got a bit stressed and ran in the wrong direction out. I was on my way to take the wrong path but realized my mistake early. I then ran fast against my control but followed my plan. Unfortunately I must have passed the control with just  a few metres without seeing it and then the mistake was reality. I lost almost 2 minutes on this leg and I went from the leading position down to 14th. A mix of bad luck and not full focus. I finished 9th, 1:40 from victory and just 45 seconds from a  medal. Even more disappointed than after the sprint. “Always one control not good enough…” The positive thing was that I am starting to find the good running and orienteering flow again which been missed for a long time. I also started to believe in myself after a period with very bad self confidence.

If Karro was the happy moment of the day before she was the sad thing about the middle. She had hurt her ancle and couldn’t run the relay. Sad because then we didn’t have two full teams and that was not so fun for the girls in the second team, but the good thing with Sweden is that there are always such a good replacers (for the first team). It was also a joy at the middle to see Albin finishing as the new World Champion!

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Middle results & middle map

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The last day and the relay day. Lilian at the first leg, Helena at the second and me at the third and the last. Lilian did a great run, finishing first and with a gap down to the rest of the pack. Helena took over and ran a very good first half of the course and increased the lead. Unfortunately she did a direction mistake in the end and the others came closer. She finished second, just a few seconds behind Anna in our second team. Anna and Anna finished first after two legs and it was sad that we didn’t have a girl on the last leg in that team, but they “won” the relay after 2 legs and should be proud of that.

That meant that Helena sent me out as the first last leg runner, 20-30 seconds before Finland, Switzerland and Czech Republic. I had the same tactic as yesterday, but got maybe too nervous. I did a small mistake to the first control which was very forked. I had the one most to the left and when I got out to the track I saw Sarina for Switzerland running by. Then I knew that she had passed me. I then did a good job towards the 2nd control, but did the same thing as at the middle distance, passing the control without seeing the flag. The big mistake was reality and I stood there very stressed, knowing the control should be here SOMEWHERE, but couldn’t understand anything. Luckily I got to see it, but lost nearly two minutes. I continued out to the nice forest towards the 3rd control and saw three teams far ahead of me; Finland, Switzerland and Czech Republic. ”Now I am at the bloody 4th position.” I started to think of Lilian and Helena, running so well, and that it wasn’t okay to finish as 4th. I ran fast, but did one more small mistake, running to the wrong forkingl at the 6th control. I realized that this wasn’t the best way to get in touch with the teams now even more ahed of me. After this moment I did really good orienteering and ran very fast. I closed a part of the gap on the longer no forked legs and then I passed Switzerland when Sarina did a big mistake on the forked control in the green area some controls before arena passing. Then I could run into Finlands and Czech Republics backs. I saw when Finland did a mistake to the very last control before passing arena, and then I ran faster and better than the Czech runner out to the field, and got an important gap. While coming out of the forest, on the field, towards the passing control as number 1, with just some minutes left of the race, after this nightmare in the beginning of the race, was a very cool feeling. Hearing my team mates cheering so loud gave me strength to run very fast and straight against the last controls. I felt that Iveta for Czech still was quite close, but I felt strong and pushed really hard out from the second last control (won that leg with 3 seconds). It was so great to punch the last control, seeing the boys running beside me, cheering and of course seeing my team mates Lilian and Helena on the top of the barrier waiting for me. I didn’t dare to believe at the victory before crossing the finish line and after reading out my SI-card. After that it just felt so great, managing to do this incredible finish after doing it so bad in the beginning.  World University Champion in relay! DISCH!

Some minutes later the boys also finished first and then the complete happiness in the Swedish team was a fact. An incredible finish of an incredible week with so much fun!

 wuocrelay5 wuocrelay6 wuocrelay9 wuocrelay wuocrelay2 wuocrelay7 IMG_4013 wuocrelay8 2014-08-18 18.26.41 DSC_0594 IMG_4264 IMG_4270 IMG_4273 2014-08-18 18.27.40 wuocrelay4 2014-08-16 13.45.51

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Relay results & relay map

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Of course we also kept the high level at the banquet where we made success with our great outfit as school-nerds. What suits better than that on a University Championship? 🙂

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Thank you all for an amazing week!

Photos: WUOC (Klára Fajkusová, Michael Vambera, Petr Kadeřávek), Swedish Team

 

 

 

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