Sprint Qualification Dominated by Swedish Men and Czech Women
The World Championships have started with a sprint qualification in the attractive areas of the Terezín military fortress. There were 101 men and 78 women standing at the start line of the 3 – 3.5 km long qualification, whilst the 15 best runners from each heat made their way through to the afternoon final race. Results in the men’s category were dominated by Swedish runners Emil Svensk and Peter Max Bejmer and the sprint specialist from Belgium Yannick Michiels. The men Czech trio also easily succeeded in the qualification, Vojtěch Král was second in his heat, Tomáš Křivda third and Jakub Glonek fourth. The complete Swiss team – Daniel Hubmann, Joey Hadorn, Mathias Kyburz, and Florian Howald is also going into the finals. Among women the Swedish star Tove Alexandersson was the fastest together with the home runners Adélka Indráková and Tereza Janošíková. Also, the main favorites of the race Elena Roos and Simona Aebersold from Switzerland, Maja Alm from Denmark, and Karolin Ohlsson from Sweden secured their positions in the finals.
The multi-storey walls of the bastion offered a number of varied route choices and made it challenging for the competitors. “The terrain is very atypical for the Czech Republic, in fact there is only one similar city-fortress that would resemble Terezín where we could potentially train (Josefov, editor’s note),” described the specificity of the race Janošíková.
Tim Robertson of New Zealand, third in his heat also found the race challenging: “It was really fun, quite tricky, especially in the beginning with a lot of people running in different directions, so you had to be watching not to run into other runners and of course you had to be watching the map not to make a mistake. I was really happy to have a course like this where high speed is maybe not the number one priority and hopefully it’s going to be similar or even trickier in the afternoon.” The men’s final race starts at 14:31 followed by the women´s final at 15.50.