Spectacular home atmosphere witnessed the Czech team took silver medal – the best ever result in sprint relay.
Česká Lípa 3. 8. 2023
Orienteering World Cup continued on Thursday 3rd August with a thrilling sprint relay race. The arena was the same as for the Wednesday sprint competition, in Ceska Lipa municipal park (Mestsky park). Sunny weather as well as spectator races “Kwak Czech O-Tour” attracted approximately 1500 spectators the area, creating a very exciting atmosphere. Each nation is allow nominate up to 4 teams, which makes the race both balance and dramatic. There was a total of 59 teams from 23 countries about to start into the streets and parks of north-east part of central Ceska Lipa.
Traditionally, the women run the first leg, followed by men for the following two legs to be finished by 4th leg ran again by a woman. Czech team #1 put Denisa Kosova on first leg, who surprised everyone by 5th place from the Wednesday’s sprint race. Her performance during the team competition was not perfect and Denisa has lost quite some time, partially due to her recurring ankle problems. In the finish she handed over over 2 minutes behind the leading team on 30th place. It was up to Jakub Glonek and Tomas Krivda to bring the Czech colours back in the top positions. And they have succeeded. Glonek, who had the fastest first split on his leg was overtaking one competitor after another. “The race was very fast, a bit complicated and full of people, but it was fun – I enjoyed it very much!” Jakub has highlighted the difficulty of the course, where many routes offered multiple choices: “The route to number four was really long. I chose a path that I have noticed in the map amongst the first ones and I think that is what decided the race – I gained some advantage over other competitors.”
Glonek’s performance was followed by Krivda, who came 5th on the sprint race. He has taken the relay for 18th position to 8th: “I know that I used to have problems to stay cold-headed during sprint relay competitions but I was mentally ok today. Around me there was Tim Robertson from New Zealand and Kasper Fosser from Norway and we motivated each other to run hard. Seeing the rumbling crowd during the arena passage was a beautiful experience to remember for a long time. It would be even better if Terka managed to finish the race on a good position and we could enjoy the celebration with a domestic audience.
Tomas Krivda’s wish came true. Tereza Janosikova went from start to finish very controlled race, sweeping past her competitors, beating Swedish relay to the last control to an overall second place position. “It is a beautiful feeling to beat Sweden. I was ready for the sprint finish, which didn’t happen in the end,” commented Tereza at the finish. “Best race ever,” said Jakub Glonek. It’s ought to be highlighted that both Krivda and Janosikova had the fastest time on their legs, respectively.
The Sweden team was lacking Tove Alexandersson, who decided to rest before the forest races. But they nominated a very strong team anyway, with Gustav Bergman, silver medalist from the sprint race, made a series of mistakes, which he was unable to make up for and the team finished on a bronze position. Gold medal team, Switzerland, has won by a significant margin.
Apart from the sprint relay, a spectator race KWAK Czech O-Tour has taken place with over 1500 competitors as well as a VIP race, attended by a Liberec Region Council President Martin Puta: “It’s an exciting experience. When one sees the professional on TV and tries it by himself, he really understands it’s not as simple as it may look.”
- Switzerland: 66:32 (Aebersold, Hadorn, Kyburz, Roos)
- Czechia: 67:47 (Kosová, Glonek, Křivda, Janošíková)
- Sweden:67:54 (Hagstrom, Gustafsson, Bergman, Bjessmo)