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No rest for Tove Alexandersson!

Tove Alexandersson with some Swedish admirers      Photo: Erik Borg

On Sunday, Tove Alexandersson secured her third overall victory in the World Cup in orienteering. Now there are one and a half months until the next season starts.

The woman from Dalarna in Sweden has had her best-ever year in orienteering. At WOC on home ground she won her first two golds, both of them in individual forest races. This coming winter there can be more international titles. The 24-year-old is heading for both the European and World Championships in ski orienteering.

“Just now I feel a bit tired, and I am ready for a few weeks with just training and no competitions. I will get my energy back,” she smiles.

Alexandersson had a good gap in points in her favour in the World Cup standings before the last two races in Aarau, and with a third place in the second-last race it was almost decided before the final race who would win. Even if Wyder won, Alexandersson didn’t have to be better than number 13 to still win overall. Tove came third in the last race, just as in the race the day before, and won overall with a margin of 33 points.

“This victory overall feels like the best of all three, since it has been a much harder fight for it this year,” she smiles.

Her shape is a little under what is was in the best part of the year, but it’s still good and she is pushing very hard.

A woman with attention to detail

Maybe the main reason for Alexandersson doing so well is the way she organises herself as a full-time sportsperson. The Swede focuses on everything – rest, training and preparation. Before WOC in Strömstad she moved to Halden, just 20–30 kilometres away from WOC areas, to practice in similar terrain. “I try to put everything together and do my best to do as well as possible.”

– Were you extra careful with the punching in the last World Cup race?

“No, I did as I usually do,” she smiles. “I heard the sound when I punched.”

The season ahead

Now she will prepare for the ski orienteering season.

“In December I will take part in my first ski orienteering races. There’s one and a half months until then. In this period I will not compete at all. In three weeks’ time I have the first camp with the national team in ski orienteering. It’s a camp on snow.”

– Before that it’s holiday?

“Well not exactly that. Now I will have time to do work I haven’t had time to do during the season.”

– What’s the goal for the skiO season?

“I haven’t set the goal yet, but I hope of course to be on the same level as earlier. Closer to the season I will set my goals.”

Tove is definitely ready for more success.

Positive about the programme

National Coach Håkan Carlsson, who a short while ago signed a contract for being the head coach for four more years, looks positively at Tove’s tough programme. “It’s something that needs to be discussed every year, but so far it’s a good combination. In winter-time she is also doing some training for orienteering. The two sports are often given priority every second week. The skiO season is also over in March,” he says.

Helena Jansson – up-and-down year

Alexandersson has become the number one in both the world and of course the Swedish team. Helena Jansson, the previous number one Swede, has had a bit of an up and down year. She ended up with ‘only’ one medal in WOC, in the Sprint Relay, on home ground in August. In Strömstad she got an injury and couldn’t take part in the forest races. Overall she has won almost everything.

“I have been thinking that I can again do all I want to with my preparation like I did before WOC this year, and then get an injury just when it counts. So is it worth going on? Well, I have decided that I will go also for the coming WOC,” the 31-year-old smiles.

While Alexandersson has done sport full-time in recent years, Jansson is working half-time as a doctor. “One thing I recommend for some of the patients is to be more physically active, like half an hour some days a week.”

– You always recommend orienteering?

“Well, it’s more about walking and cycling,” the Swede smiles. She was fifth in the last race and thirteenth overall in the World Cup.



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