Wednesday, August 24, 2016

WTOC 2016: Jullum and Shmatov lead the PreO

The beautiful forest of Saltö hosted the PreO competition’s first day. After twenty challenging controls, Martin Jullum and Pavel Shmatov are in the lead of the Open and the Paralympic classes respectively.

The PreO competition of the 13th World Trail Orienteering Championships started today, with a demanding course in the idyllic forest of Saltö, beside the sea. 61 competitors in the Open class and 38 in the Paralympic class faced a really challenging course, with twenty one controls and a bonus three-task timed station. With one control voided, there were eight competitors in the Open class who solved all the tasks successfully, with Martin Jullum, Norway being the fastest in the timed station and so taking the lead. With the first and the seventh competitors 15 seconds apart from each other, Sweden has four athletes in the ‘pole position’ for the decisive day on Friday, including the current European Champion, Stig Gerdtman and the former World Champion, Martin Fredholm. Defending his World title, the Italian Michele Cera is also in the leading group.

In the Paralympic class, the Russian Pavel Shmatov was the only one who answered correctly to all the tasks, having a comfortable two-point lead over three former World Champions: Jana Kostová, Czech Republic (2013), Michael Johansson, Sweden (2014) and Vladislav Vovk, Ukraine (2015). How will Shmatov deal with the pressure? Five years later, the world title is close to return to Russia, but there’s still half of the game to play.


Open class
1. Martin Jullum NOR 20 points/15 seconds
2. Marit Wiksell SWE 20/16
3. Martin Fredholm SWE 20/19
4. Janis Ruksans LAT 20/25
5. Stig Gerdtman SWE 20 / 25.5
6. Ivo Tisljar CRO 20/29.5
7. Michele Cera ITA 20/30
8. Jens Andersson SWE 20/89
9. Pinja Mäkinen FIN 19/18
10. Johanne Biering DEN 19/19.5

Paralympic class
1. Pavel Shmatov RUS 20 points/95 seconds
2. Vladislav Vovk UKR 18/31
3. Michael Johansson SWE 18/33.5
4. Jana Kostová CZE 18/37.5
5. Ola Jansson SWE 17/21.5
6. Søren Saxtorph DEN 17/48.5
7. Yehor Surkov UKR 17/49
8. Arne Ask NOR 16/35
9. Laima Lazinskiene LTU 16/48.5
10. Pekka Seppä FIN 16/110

To see the complete results, please visit the event's webpage at

Joaquim Margarido

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

WTOC 2016: Moments (2)

© Joaquim Margarido

WTOC 2016: Moments (1)

© Joaquim Margarido

Lars Jakob Waaler: "After thirteen World Championships, I feel great!"

When Lars Jakob Waaler left Trondheim towards Strömstad, his goal was clear. After thirteen presences in many WTOC editions, he wanted a medal. But he didn't expect a gold one. “No I didn't”, he said with a smile, adding: “Not even when I finished my course today, because I made three mistakes. I said to myself that they would have been too many.” As it turns out, Lars was wrong.

He was one of the first to start. Like in the last WTOC, in Croatia, the qualification wasn't what he had expected and the story turned out to be the same. Well, not the same: Last year he finished fourth; this year, he was the first. Could it be an advantage for him to be one of the first to start?, we asked. Lars' answer seems to point that way: “I don't know... It's good to be one of the first to leave because you don't find queues. And maybe the pressure isn't the same. I believe it's worse if you're the 30th to start (laughs). Last year I was also one of the first to start and I had a good race. So, I guess it could be an advantage but I think the most important thing is to reach the final.”

Talking about his course, Lars was expecting “constant changes in the type of tasks and different terrains from station to station”, as it happened. The reason is because “last year, in the Pre-WTOC, it was the same, and I've been in some of Bosse Sandström's events and I know he likes different tasks and different stations. I can say that I was prepared for what happened.”

Now, with the gold on his chest, the feeling is great. “Finally, after thirteen World Championships, I feel great!” And it seems that he's also ready for the next challenge and for the gold in the PreO competition: “I'll certainly fight for the gold again. It will be a different race, lots of competitors will want the same, but I'm one of them and I can do well too.”

The last words are dedicated to his family, who supported him throughout his career, “especially for my father who introduced me to Orienteering and still helps me with the trips, he travels with me... of course, he's part of the medal.”

Joaquim Margarido

WTOC 2016: Lars Jakob Waaler is the new TempO World Champion

Lars Jakob Waaler is the new TempO World Champion. After a tight fight, he showed at his best in the thin line that joins time and accuracy, reaching the most expecting medal, the one he was pursuing for thirteen years.

With the overall time of 243,5 seconds, Lars Jakob Waaler, Norway, reached the World title in the TempO competition, hold today in the beautiful surroundings of Strömstad. “Veteran” of the World Trail Orienteering Championships, Waaler did a great race, having behind him two of the most brilliant trail orienteers ever, the Swede Marit Wiksell and the Finn Pinja Makinen, the first TempO World Champion (Vuokatti, 2013). The big surprise came in the fourth place, by the talent of the 19 years old Croatian Iva Lovrec. Remo Madella, Italy, and Kreso Kerestes, Slovenia, closed the podium with the same time. Apart Lars Jakob Waaler, fourth in the last WTOC, this a totally different podium from what we saw in Croatia and even from the recent European Championships, in Jesenik, Czech Republic.

This time, the Finn Antti Rusanen wasn't accurate enough to secure his World title, finishing eighth. The two winners of the qualifications heats, both from Norway, couldn't do better, Sondre Ruud Braten being the thirteenth and Martin Jullum finishing in the 24th position. Also the Czech Pavel Kurfürst, European Champion currently, was behind the expectations, finishing in the 26th place.


1. Lars Jakob Waaler NOR 243,5 seconds
2. Marit Wiksell SWE 256,5
3. Pinja Makinen FIN 262
4. Iva Lovrec CRO 280,5
5. Kreso Kerestes SLO 288
5. Remo Madella ITA 288
7. Lauri Makinen FIN 316,5
8. Antti Rusanen FIN 317,5
9. Michele Cera ITA 319
10. Martin Fredholm SWE 321

Complete results and further information at

Joaquim Margarido