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Aebersold and Ojanaho – same medal haul at JWOC

Stars of the 2017 Junior World Orienteering Championships were Simona Aebersold, Switzerland and Olli Ojanaho, Finland. Both won all three individual golds, and ran last leg to get silver in the Relay.

Ojanaho, the king of the Championships, stepped up four places on the last leg and had the fastest time on this leg. A bit later in the summer he will take part in the World Cup in Latvia. The next big goal is to be among the best seniors; this coming year the young man from Rovaniemi will be in the senior class. “Mainly I have to sharpen my orienteering technique,” he says.

His speed also needs to increase, but he has taken a big step this year. Now it’s just to get the navigation working well with the orienteering. He has already showed a very good level among the seniors, for example when he had 12th and 15th placings at World Cup races in his home country earlier this year.

In the autumn he will start in the military. “In late autumn there maybe will not be that much time for training, but I think it then will be a good combination,” he says.

In the women’s class, Championship queen Simona Aebersold took silver with the Swiss team. She has one junior year left.

Two clear victories

Sweden won the women’s race by 1.45 over Switzerland, and there was then a big gap to Norway in third place. Norway finished 5.05 down on the winners. The men’s race was tighter, with Finland 1.34 behind the winners Norway. Bronze medallists Russia were 2.05 down on Norway’s time.

Before the Relay, Norway had one medal, Audun Heimdal´s silver on the Middle Distance. At the Relay it ended up with bronze for the women and gold to the men. Second-year junior Kasper Fosser started by setting up a gap on the first leg in the men’s race. He is a grandchild of Per Fosser, who has a relay gold from WOC. Elias Jonsson increased the gap on the second leg, and so it was up to Audun Heimdal. “I didn’t feel I was running so well, but it must have gone quite well!”, he tells.

– were you looking behind you?

“No, not at all.”

The Relay was the last race in the 28th Junior World Orienteering Championships;  the first was in Älvsbyn in Sweden in 1990. Last week’s competitions were in or close to Tampere in Finland.

Next year Hungary is again host for the Junior Championships. Thereafter follows first Denmark and then Turkey.



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