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World Orienteering Championships, Sprint final: 21st gold for Simone Niggli

The Sprint finals with the start and finish in a packed baseball stadium in Sotkamo, Finland this evening were won by Simone Niggli, Switzerland and Mårten Boström from the home country. Niggli’s win was by 8.1 seconds whilst Boström’s was even more convincing, 17.1 seconds.

The courses were tricky in places and provided plenty of route alternatives. There was a long leg towards the end with the alternative of hilly parkland or, longer, a street route with little climb. A good number of mistakes were made out on the course, but Simone Niggli was as usual supreme both technically and in running ability. Only Annika Billstam, Sweden really challenged her time.

Venla Niemi, Finland took the bronze medal, 37.9 seconds down on Simone’s time.

Mårten Boström ran an extremely impressive race and once he had finished his lead was never seriously threatened. The fight for the silver medal was however very close, with Scott Fraser, Great Britain having the greater strength and speed at the end over Jonas Leandersson, Sweden and Fabian Hertner, Switzerland. Leandersson was 1.1 seconds down on Fraser at the finish and took the bronze medal. World Champion from last year Matthias Kyburz got into the wrong yard at one point and lost an important minute which took him out of a medal position.  

The events and the Opening Ceremony took place on a pleasant summer evening with a cool breeze – perfect for both athletes and spectators.

Tomorrow the Long distance final will be held, with the first start at 11.55 Finnish time.

Leading results


1. Simone Niggli SUI 14:10.6

2. Annika Billstam SWE 14:18.7

3. Venla Niemi FIN 14:48.5

4. Maja Alm DEN 14:53.0

5. Tessa Hill GBR 14:58.2

6. Galina Vinogradova RUS 15:04.3


1. Mårten Boström FIN 14:19.6

2. Scott Fraser GBR 14:36.7

3. Jonas Leandersson SWE 14:37.8

4. Fabian Hertner SUI 14:41.3

5. Matthias Kyburz SUI 14:45.8

6. Rasmus Thrane Hansen DEN 14:47.3


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