Tove Alexandersson (SWE) may have missed Wednesday’s victory in the European Orienteering Championships sprint by eight seconds, but her second place was enough to take another win, the overall 2023 Orienteering World Cup title.
Alexandersson gained 80 points in the World Cup standings bringing her total up to 560 points before the last World Cup race of the season, the Knock-Out sprint in Vicenza on Sunday.
Yesterday’s winner, Sara Hagström (SWE) was the only athlete who could threaten Alexandersson’s title defense, but despite scoring 100 points from her win, she is 110 points behind her compatriot in the overall standings.
It means that Alexandersson can’t be caught in the last international race of the season and can celebrate her ninth consecutive World Cup title. That brings Alexandersson up to speed with Swiss athlete Simone Niggli-Luder, who won nine World Cup titles from 2002 – 2013.
Two current Swiss national athletes are fighting for the third place, Simona Aebersold has 337 points in third place and Natalia Gemperle is 32 points behind in fourth.
Then there is a huge gap to Marie Olaussens (NOR) 191 points in fifth place and Elena Roos (SUI) is sixth with 166 points.
Nail-biting finish in men’s World Cup to come
On the contrary, nothing is decided in the men’s World Cup before the last race.
Kasper Fosser (NOR) still leads the competition after his second place on Wednesday, but Switzerland’s new European sprint champion Matthias Kyburz is now only 33 points behind the Norwegian.
If Kyburz eg. wins the Knock-Out Sprint in Vicenza, Fosser must be second to not lose the first place in the World Cup.
Fosser has won the overall World Cup in 2021 and 2022, whereas Kyburz took five titles from 2012 to 2018.
Behind them, Gustav Bergman (SWE) still holds on to third place despite missing out on yesterday’s Sprint Final in Verona.
The 2019 World Cup winner has 270 points and thereby a comfortable lead to fellow Swede’s Martin Regborn and Emil Svensk in fourth and fifth place (207 and 200 points).
Ralph Street (GBR) is not far behind them in sixth place with his 193 points.
Sunday’s Knock-Out Sprint in Vicenza begins with the qualification race at 8.30 CEST in the morning (UTC+ 2).
Before that, the EOC Sprint Relay takes place in Soave Friday afternoon. It starts at 15.45 and can be followed on IOF TV.
Photo: IOF / Kristina Lindgren