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1st World University Ski Orienteering Championship

Tula, Russia - 2016

 

 

Inaugural World University Ski Orienteering Championship launches FISU’s 2016 Championship Year

 

The first ever FISU World University Champions in Ski Orienteering were crowned in Aleksin, Tula, Russian Federation, after concluding the first FISU World University Ski Orienteering Championship which was hosted 10-15 February. During the four competition days races took place in sprint, pursuit, mixed relay and mass start.

 

The winner in the women’s sprint competition was Sonja MORSKY (10:13,1s) from Finland (University of Eastern Finland). She was followed by Mira KASKINEN (10:18,7s) also from Finland (University of Turku) and Daisy KUDRE from Estonia (University of Tartu) in 10:30,2s. The men’s sprint competition was won by Stanimir BELOMAZHEV from Bulgaria (National Defence College ‘G.S. Rakovski’) with 10:55,4s. Yury YAZYKOU from Belarus (Smolensk State Academy of Physical Education, Sports and Tourism Institute) was second with 11:00,9s and Tuomas KOTRO from Finland (Saimaa University of Applied Sciences) was third in 11:18, together with Jakub SKODA (Czech Republic).

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The second day of competition dawned under a fresh layer of snow. As preparations finalised at the venue, the snowfall picked up and was consistent throughout the whole competition. Nevertheless, this did not turn back the student-athletes who braved the cold, windy snow conditions to put down their best possible performances. The men’s Pursuit started the day and, as in the sprint, Bulgaria’s Stanimir BELOMAZHEV (National Defence College "G.S. Rakovski") won in 33:01s, ahead of the Finish duo of Tero LINNAINMAA (Tampere University of Applied Sciences) in 33:25s and Jyri UUSITALO (Lapland University of Applied Sciences) with 33:31s. In the women’s Pursuit, the gold medal was won by Anna ULVENSØEN of Norway (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) in 22:27s. The second and third places were won by Finnish student-athletes, respectively, Sanna PUSA (University of Jyväskylä) in 23:02 and Sonja MÖRSKY (University of Eastern Finland) in 23:19s.

 

The mixed relay scheduled for Sunday was generating expectations and certainly did not disappoint any of the attendants at the River Woods competition venue in Aleksin, Tula – Russian Federation. The 3rd day of competition saw teams pair up their student-athletes and compete for the coveted medals. The first team across the finish line for the mixed relay was Norway, in 35:35s – Jørgen Haugen MADSLIEN and Anna ULVENSØEN (both students at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology). The silver medal was won by team Finland with 36:05s – Tero LINNAINMAA (Tampere University of Applied Sciences) and Sonja MÖRSKY (University of Eastern Finland). Much to the delight of the home crowd, the bronze medal went to the Russian Federation, with 37:07s – Aleksandr ZLOBIN (Siberian Federal University) and Natalia IGNATOVA (Perm National Research Polytechnic University). The official results were made up by (4) Czech Republic, (5) Bulgaria, (6) Belarus, (7) Estonia, (8) Sweden, (9) Slovakia and (10) Japan.

 

The final day of competition saw the men’s and women’s mass start take place. The women’s race included 20 controls in 6.9 km and the winner was Mira KASKINEN from Finland (University of Turku) in 34:21s. Silver medallist was Anna ULVENSØEN from Norway (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) in 34:33s and Sonja MÖRSKY from Finland (University of Eastern Finland) in 34:45s. The men’s competition consisted of 21 controls over 8.6 km and was won by Stanimir BELOMAZHEV from Bulgaria (National Defence College "G.S.Rakovski") with 35:37s – his 3rd Gold medal at this competition. Second place went to Jyri UUSITALO from Finland (Lapland University of Applied Sciences) in 35:48s, followed by Tero LINNAINMAA also from Finland (Tampere University of Applied Sciences) in 35:56s in third.

 

The 2016 FISU World University Ski Orienteering Championship ended with the closing ceremony that took place at the competition venue, the River Woods complex in Aleksin, Tula (Russian Federation). The regional authorities were represented by Ms Marina LEVINA, Deputy Chairwoman of the Tula Region Government, while FISU was represented by Dmitry KISILEV, FISU International Control Committee member, and Juraj NEMEC represented the International Orienteering Federation. Also among the dignitaries were OC representatives of the 2nd FISU World University Ski Orienteering Championship that will take place in Tartu (Estonia) in 2018.

 

Regarding the competition, overall 14 athletes from 7 countries won medals. Of these, Finland was the outstanding performer, winning a total of 12 medals (2 gold, 5 silver, 5 bronze). Bulgaria and Norway each won 3 medals. Individually, two athletes rose above their respective fields – Stanimir BELOMAZHEV (BUL) won 3 gold medals, while Sonja MORSKY (FIN) won 4 medals overall (1 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze).