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22 July 2018 | in FISU World University Championships, Orienteering

Norwegian flag flies high on final day of WUC Orienteering

Intense competition in the final Relay Races

KUORTANE — The final day of the World University Orienteering Championship in Finland was a perfect round up of what the entire week had been like: full of intensity, dedication, competition, joy and happiness.


The Relays were the last races of the Championship and the atmosphere was bubbling before the start. Women were off to a start first, but the competition was similar for both groups throughout the whole run. The student athletes were sent off into the forest with a cannon kaboom. The lead changed at almost every control and the races were interesting and exciting until the finish line.


Norway, who have had a great week at the Championship continued their run, winning gold. Hosts Finland finished second and Switzerland ran to the third place.


“It was a big goal for us to win a Relay like this with so many good teams. We are happy to finally be on the top,” said Norway’s Ingeborg Eide, the women’s second leg 2 runner.


Ingrid Lundanes started the race well for Norway and after her, Eide kept the team in the top 5. Finally, it was upto Long Distance champion Marie Olaussen to finish in style for Norway. The Relay was competed in the same arena as the Long Distance race the day before, but the route felt more technical and approaching the controls required a lot of focus. Like in the Long Distance, there were a few costly mistakes for some top teams.


“I noticed her (Finland’s last runner) making a mistake so I hoped my lead would be enough for the win,” said Marie Olaussen. “I didn’t see her earlier during the race but I heard it was a tight fight.”


In the men’s race, Håvard Haga kept Norway in the top 5 through the first leg, so Audun Heimdal could then take the lead in the second leg. Their final runner Paul Sirum kept the lead all the way to the finish line.


“I think it was a stable performance and a good technical race from us. We knew, that if we can manage to do that, we’d have a good chance to win,” said Haga.


The entire Norwegian team seems to have enjoyed the Finnish nature and beautiful but tough terrains. Amazing weather, great course settings and an overall good competition week created a memorable experience for everyone.