Double championships

It has been an intense summer with 2 very different championships: The first being World Orienteering Championships in Denmark, with only sprint disciplines, and the second being European Orienteering Championships in Estonia, with only forest disciplines. To combine the two definitly was a challenge, and I can’t say I did it perfectly (even though the results were OK in both).

To start with the first ever Sprint WOC, which I had really focused a lot on. I have never ran this much on flat hard ground before, except maybe for the winter 2019/2022 ahead of when this WOC was supposed to happen. I felt really prepared, but at the same time really unsure of how far the preperations could take me. Quite far, as it turned out.

My main goal was to be good enough to be a part of the Swedish Sprint Relay team, where I felt my strengths really could be made justice. I do so much enjoy being part of a team, and I thoroughly enjoyed that day in Kolding! My physical performance wasn’t great, but technically it was good and stable enough to, after superb running from Lina and Max on leg 1 and 2, pass it on to Tove in a great position. And when you have the world’s best orienteer on the last leg, you would not need to worry. Such a great feeling to win together as a team, and to share the joy and relief as we did exactly what we aimed for!

I didn’t run the Knock Out Sprint, and I think that was good. I really felt that the Sprint Relay took it’s toll on me, and I needed the rest to be fit for the individual sprint. After a good and stable qualifier, I started the final with a confidence in my physical ability that I am not used to on sprint. Usually, I feel that I have to rush a bit, and try to push and sprint already from the start, but this time I felt quite relaxed and took my time to find the routes I wanted, and I even felt strong in the end and could find an extra gear to push all the way. Against Kasper, I had nothing more to give, but to stand in the finish and realize that it would be enough for a silver medal was an amazing feeling. I have focused so much on the preparations, and to see that your efforts actually do bear fruit is such a joy.

After WOC it was time to quickly try to find some shape in the forest again, after barely taking a step outside the asphalt for a long time. I realized quite quickly that my physical ability was good enough in the forest, but I had troubles finding the right attitude mentally, especially in the beginning of the courses. O-ringen became a baptism by fire, where my technical and mental approached grew steadily better, and I was really positive ahead of EOC! Unfortunatly, my old nemesis – my lower back – came back to haunt me during the last stage of O-ringen. The worst pain in several years, and I really struggled the days before racing in Estonia. Actually, even the day before the middle distance qualification I had serious doubts on wether I could race or not, but in the end decided to try, and the middle qualification went by really smoothly.

However, the long distance was a bit of a dissappointment for me. I struggled already from the start with both a tired body, and a dull brain. I did a lot of small mistakes (and some bigger), and never really found my flow. I wasn’t really surprised when I was caught my Martin with 20 minutes to go, and I realized that he had a lot higher speed than me. That was a bit of a wake-up-call, and I started to push a bit harder and found a better flow in the end. A 9th place is totally fine, even good, but I had higher hopes.

Trying to recharge for the middle, it became very clear that my back wasn’t a 100%, and it took a lot to get ready for racing again. When standing on the start line, it actually felt quite good, and I could race pretty much exactly as I wanted to. A good race in tough technical terrain, and apart from some controls with a bit rushed orienteering where I lost maybe 30s, I had a great race! Afterwards I realized that I had lost 1 minute on the early long leng, which was of course really dissappointing when you are only 37s behind at the finish, but still. 3rd place. Bronze medal. Chuffed with that, and even happier to realize that we hade won a Swedish tripple, and that I got to share the podium with Albin and Anton!

The relay was tough for us in SWE1. We fell behind quite early, and that was a tough position to recover from. On a good note, my back felt even better, and I could race well and finish 5th, but once again being only 3rd swede, with SWE3 taking silver and SWE2 finishing 4th (even though just 1 team counts officially).

I’m not entirely satisfied with my racing in Estonia, but in hindsight, I think that my back issues affected me more that I thought. I wasn’t really in a good place ahead of the long distance, and that showed in my performance. Over all, a quite good summer at least!

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