Ralph Street and Tove Alexandersson dominated the opening race of the second round of the Orienteering World Cup
Česká Lípa 2.8.2023
The Orienteering World Cup returned to the Czech Republic after five years and the opening sprint race in Česká Lípa, which was participated by 128 men and 128 women from 28 countries, brought surprising results.
The Czechs had a relatively successful first race. Out of 8 men, 5 finished in the top 30. Czech number one and silver sprinter from last year’s World Games in America Tomáš Křivda had a huge motivation to succeed at home as well. He started the race perfectly and was in the lead for the first 7 controls. However, after that, he misread the map at the ruins of Lipý Castle and made a small mistake. Even so, he finished in a great 5th place. “Right from the beginning I was pushing it. I knew that Petr Karvánek, the course setter from Česká Lípa, would prepare a course full of challenges, but on the other hand, it is our Czech terrain, which should suit us. The first time I looked at the map it was clear that it was going to be a nice race. I managed to read the map well and didn’t hesitate anywhere, but unfortunately, after leaving the castle I ran into a closed gate, which cost me 10-20 seconds, it is very unfortunate. Like 14 days ago at the World Championships, I finished a few seconds behind the medal, but more chances will come. Maybe tomorrow in the sprint relay or this weekend in the forest races”. Tomas also highlighted the atmosphere of the races on home ground: “I really enjoy the atmosphere at home, even though I feel the pressure to get good results. When someone cheered for me on the track, it gave me extra strength and it was great”.
Jakub Glonek ran a similarly great race as Tomáš Křivda. After Tomáš’s mistake at the castle, he took the lead in the race and kept the Czech hopes for victory until the middle of the race. Unfortunately, he made a huge map mistake in the monastery garden and finished in 24th place. Far from his dream to improve on his best result from the 2021 World Championships in the Czech Republic, where he finished 9th.
On the contrary, the junior Jakub Chaloupský, only twenty years old, ran the whole course almost without a mistake. This year as a two-time junior world champion who finished in an excellent 17th place in his adult debut: “I have to say that it was one of my better races. My running fluency was almost excellent and I didn’t stop anywhere. I didn’t make the ideal choice at the castle and it cost me a few seconds, but today it was important to run smoothly and fast and I did it well, I’m satisfied.”
Great race and huge joy at the finish line radiated the winning Ralf Street from Great Britain. As he says himself, he had a great race on a great course and came for his first world win. He beat Sweden’s Gustav Bergman by 14 seconds and Belgium’s Yannick Michiels was only a second slower in third.
In the women’s race, Tove Alexandersson went for the win and, after an initial mistake, she managed to regain her concentration and, despite the fact that the weather was not favourable for the women at the end of the field and it kept raining, she won with a big lead of 35 seconds over the second Swiss Natalia Gemperle. Third place went to Sweden’s Sara Hagstrom.
Denisa Kosová was the best of Czech competitors, her performance today earned her 5th place and her best result in an individual World Cup race: “The race was very nice, there was a lot to deal with all the time. I made a couple of hesitations, but overall I’m happy”.
9. Tereza Janosikova also had a great run, silver medallist from the World Games in America: “I worked as hard as I could, unfortunately, because of the rain I slipped at the first control and then chose the wrong way towards the second control. But I fought the rest of the course to the maximum”.
Programme of the 2nd round of the 2023 Orienteering World Cup:
Wednesday 2 August 2023 sprint Česká Lípa
Thursday 3 August 2023 sprint relay Česká Lípa
Saturday 5 August 2023 middle Korce u Dubé
Sunday 6 August 2023 long Korce u Dubé