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50th World Military Championship Orienteering 2017 – Day 4 – Relay



Poland and Russia, gold medalists of the relay race

HAMINA (FIN) - Poland and Russia were the best nations during the closing day of the 50th WMC Orienteering 2017 in Hamina (FIN). In the women’s relay, the Polish trio composed of Agata Stankiewicz, Hanna Wisniewska and Aleksandra Hornik surprised everyone by winning the gold medal ahead of Russia. On the last leg, when Hornik overtook Estonia, Poland took the lead of the race. The pre-race favorite Russia made a big mistake during the second leg and was thus almost two minutes behind the leaders before the last relay. The Polish team was the first team to cross the finish line. The last-leg runner Aleksandra Hornik knew that, after the second place in the team competition, Poland had a chance to take a medal in the relay.



However, Russia seemed to be too strong to be challenged: “I thought that it would be optimal if we were only two minutes behind Russia after the two legs, but we ended up being two minutes ahead instead! I was quite nervous, yet I still managed to do well in the last leg”, said Hornik. Although Russia was clearly leading after the first leg, Poland, together with Estonia and Lithuania, overtook Russia in the second leg. “I never saw Russia in the forest, so I didn’t have any idea that we actually outpaced Russia”, pointed out the Polish second-leg runner Wisniewska.

Hornik’s teammates had some suspenseful moments while waiting for Hornik to finish the race: “We were shaking! Of course, Aleksandra is a very strong orienteer, but she is also still so young. You never know what is going to happen”, described Wisniewska and Stankiewicz.

Svetlana Mironova, already double champion on the individual distances, lifted Russia up to the silver medal ahead of the bronze team Lithuania.



Novikov, the best on the last leg

The men’s relay was exciting until the very end as in the last leg, three teams, namely Poland, Estonia and Russia, were still competing for gold! In the forking part, Leonid Novikov was able to find the controls without making any mistakes, while Estonia and Poland faced some difficulties, and the Russian kept the lead until the finish line. The double champion on the individual races Timo Sild made a great run as Estonia finished 20 meters behind Russia. According to Leonid Novikov, it was a tactical race. In the beginning, everyone was running slowly and nobody was willing to lead the group. All this changed when it was time for forking: “When I understood that I had shorter forking ahead compared to the others, I started to run full speed. I just maintained my pace for the rest of the race. In the end I made some minor mistakes, but I sustained an enough consequent gap to secure the gold medal”, declared Leonid Novikov.



Leonid Novikov had some exciting moments in the second and last control. His teammates told him before the race that a difficult control point was located just before the finish line: “I saw Estonia just behind me so I didn’t have time to run slowly and carefully. Yet, I managed to find the control without any difficulties”, added Novikov.

Dmitrii Nakonechnyi and Valentin Novikov respectively ran the first two legs of the Russian team.

As Russia and Estonia finished on the two first steps of the podium, three teams were still fighting for the bronze. The Polish Wojciech Kowalski had to let Estonia and Russia flee in the first part of the course. Kowalski, a strong runner,  was able to keep the Finnish Miika Kirmula and Austrian Kernot Kerschbaumer behind him and managed to offer a fourth medal for Poland in this WMC Orienteering 2017. Finland ended fourth and Austria fifth.



 Altogether 60 teams initially started this relay race.

For the results of the relay, click here!

After the races and the Awarding Ceremony, the 50 WMC Orienteering ended yesterday with the Closing Ceremony and a Closing Banquet for the participants!

Thank you Finland and see you in April 2018 in the city of Ambato, Ecuador for the 51st World Military Championship Orienteering 2018!



For the start lists, online results, official results, GPS Tracking and route gadget of all the events of this 50th WMC Orienteering, check https://www.vehkalahdenveikot.fi/wmoc2017/)

For more information regarding the 50th WMC Orienteering that ended yesterday in the city of Hamina, Finland, check the OC Website: http://puolustusvoimat.fi/en/web/sotilasliikunta/wmoc2017 or their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/puolustus/!



(Source: CISM Media and Communication Department)

(Source: WMOC OC http://puolustusvoimat.fi/en/web/sotilasliikunta/wmoc2017)

(Pictures: Maxime Morlet, CISM Media and Communication Assistant)