Farewell to the WMOC
The WMOC ended on Saturday with the long-distance final. The orienteers of 42 nationalities were sent on track near Torfhaus for one last race. “It nearly felt like home – our woods in Finland are of the same kind” Scandinavian Pirjo Järvenranta said after finishing her course. The steeps had been hard she judged but “the map was incredibly good – and a good map is half the rent for a good race” the Finn made clear.
Romanian Ioan Boto was taken with the routes and the variety of short and long ways. “Today I could often walk through the middle of all with my compass. The terrain was well runnable. I liked that” he smiled. He was not as pleased with the two qualifications. But to the organisers he had much praise to give: “Folks were extremely friendly, organisation was good and problems were solved quickly” he explained. A meaningful compliment as Boto took part in the WMOCs since 1996.
But the final race was visual attractive as well: some participants had a great view at the 1141meter high Brocken while running through finish. Also the orienteers passed a colossal quarry on their way to the competition area.
From a German point of view five medals can be celebrated: Monika Depta (OLG Siegerland) gained the World Championship title in W40. Michael Finkenstädt (OLV Uslar) also fulfilled the hopes put in him and is now a double World Champion after his triumph at the sprint-distance final in Goslar. The silver medal in M45 was gained by Nils Schmideberg (SV Turbine Neubrandenburg). Likewise on second places were Helmut Conrad (USV TU Dresden) in M70 and Käte Berndt (Post SV Chemnitz) in W85.
Somehow behind her expectations stayed Heidrun Finke of OLV Uslar. Being first in both qualifications she had to be contented with place seven at the final.
Categories M60 and M65 were dominated by Finland and of course the fourfold victory in M60 is especially memorable. Another quadruple triumph was celebrated by the Swedes in M80. As anticipated many other places on the podium were dominated by Scandinavians as well.
Luckily most participants had already reached the finish when dark clouds came in the afternoon. And at least some of them were already on their way to the event centre where the award giving and closing ceremony commenced at 7 pm.