Alexandersson and Fosser the fastest in the infinite labyrinth of sandstones
A tough and challenging long distance course in the sandstones tested the orienteering skills of all runners. High speed, strength, endurance, and ideal route choices determined the new world champions: Tove Alexandersson of Sweden and Kasper Harlem Fosser representing Norway.
The 2021 World Championships have come to an end with the king’s discipline – the long distance. In the forests around Heřmánky were 59 women and 68 men competing for the victory. The women’s task was to pick 21 controls, on the 9.5 km course with a nearly 700 m climb. The men were standing at the start of a race 13.6 km long with 29 controls and climbing even higher than Ještěd (A significant mountain peak and a symbol of the Liberec region): more than a vertical kilometer.
Both winners were slightly faster than the expected running times, Tove finishing in 77 minutes and 11 seconds and Kasper in the time of one hour and 35 minutes. ”This has just been a perfect week for me. The long distance was the one discipline I was the most looking forward to. And I knew it would be the hard one because it’s also the last one. And I knew I would be tired both in the legs and brain but I could still focus”, commented Alexandersson on her performance. “It feels really really amazing! It’s this feeling that makes you go out and train hard every day and keep going, it makes it all worth it,“ said the first time world champion Kasper Harlem Fosser. The silver medals traveled to the Swiss Matthias Kyburz and the Neutral athletes from Russia represented by Natalia Gemperle. “I am pretty happy. My husband and coach said I can do everything today. It was very tough physically, a lot of climbing but I have seen in Czechia that you can make it even harder. Here it never comes so easy, you always need to fight,” shared Natalia her impressions. Simona Aebersold took the bronze medal coming 20 seconds behind Natalia. In the men category, it was Magne Daehli to cross the finish line in 3rd position. The arena witnessed a pretty unusual situation – all of the three medallists in the men´s category finishing within a few seconds as they ran a big part of the course together.
For Tove Alexandersson it was the 5th gold medal in a row at the Championship, getting all the victories across the disciplines. Sweden is returning home with seven gold and one silver medal.
1.Tove Alexandersson (SWE) – 77:11
2.Natalia Gemperle (NEU) – 80:09
3.Simona Aebersold (SUI) – 80:28
4.Andrine Benjaminsen (NOR) – 82:56
= Lisa Risby (SWE) – 82:56
6.Megan Carter Davies (GBR) – 84:53
1.Kasper Harlem Fosser (NOR) – 95:55
2.Matthias Kyburz (SUI) – 99:00
3.Magne Daehli (NOR) – 101:53
4.Daniel Hubmann (SUI) – 102:10
5.Emil Svensk (SWE) – 103:08
6.Martin Hubmann (SUI) – 103:54