Ojanaho and Niittynen as the winners of the Pre-WOC (WRE) middle distance in the terrain of Rytökylä
Olli Ojanaho won by one and a half minutes in the men’s Pre-WOC (WRE) middle distance competition in the challenging terrain of Rytökylä on Saturday. In the men’s competition, Norwegian Kasper Harlem Fosser took the second place and Eetu Savolainen the third place. “The terrain was surprisingly difficult, but I just tried to push forward,” stated Ojanaho about Rytökylä’s hilly terrain. Ojanaho added though that he likes Kuopio’s terrain, and the goal is to train for the 2025 World Championships in the Kuopio region during the next two years. Fosser, on the other hand, said that he enjoyed the nice, sometimes a bit Norwegian-type terrain. Eetu Savolainen, a good three minutes away from Ojanaho, was satisfied with his performance and praised the terrain that felt like home.
The winner of the women’s main series was Miia Niittynen, who defeated Venla Harju by almost half a minute. The third place was taken by Elisa Mattila. Niittynen was obviously satisfied with the orienteering of the day, even if it felt bad at times. “The only pressure came from the cameraman running behind at the end,” Niittynen stated. Venla Harju, on a second place, expected an interesting race in advance, but said that she made several small mistakes.
Ikaalisten Nouseva-Voima mastered Viestiliiga
The fifth competition of the Viestiliiga relay took place in the Rytökylä terrain on Sunday. Both the men’s and women’s relay saw some exciting finishes. Eetu Savolainen took the victory for Ikaalisten Nouseva-Voima only during the last moments of the race. The men’s race started clearly under the command of Kalevan Rasti, when Miika Kirmula came to exchange of the first leg with a one and a half minutes lead. “I made a half a minute mistake exactly in the same place as yesterday, but after that I just pushed until the end”, Kirmula stated.
In the last leg of the race, there was a tight competition for the top three teams. Kalevan Rasti’s Tomás Krivda and Koovee’s Oleksandr Kratov advanced in the lead. Eetu Savolainen of Ikaalisten Nousevan-Voima, who did excellent in Saturday’s WRE middle distance, was able to stay close to the top two teams almost all the time. In the end, Kalevan Rasti’s Krivda eventually lost to Savolainen by seven seconds. “I tried to do my best in the end, we are satisfied with the silver place”, stated Krivda. The third place was taken by Tampereen Pyrintö, 35 seconds behind the winner, anchored by Mikko Eerola.
Venla Harju took the victory for Tampere’s Pyrintö during the final legs
There was a tight competition for the top three in the women´s relay. The strongest woman in the opening leg was Venla Taulavuori of Jämsän Retki-Veikot, followed by Kirsi Nurmi of SK Pohjantähti and Anni Haanpää of Tampereen Pyrintö.
Saila Kinni from Tampere Pyrintö and Ida Haapala from Kalevan Rasti kept the fastest pace in the second leg. Igtisa made good progress during the second leg as Elza Kuze brought the team to exchange as third. The last leg went at the pace of Miia Niittynen and Venla Harju. However, Harju got to the second to last control in front of Niittynen and eventually anchored Tampere Pyrintö to the victory in the women’s relay by only three seconds.
“I saw Venla right after the first control, but we both went our own paths throughout the race. At the second to last control, I made a small mistake and this is where I knew Venla took the lead,” Niittynen recounted her performance. Hanna Wisniewska brought Igtisa to the third place more than four minutes behind the lead. “The race was really hard, but luckily I managed to get back the flow,” said Wisniewska.
World Cup in 2024
The Pre-WOC (WRE) middle and Viestiliiga relay provided a fantastic experience for the WOC2025 organization and participants. The event was executed according to the operational methods required for the 2025 World Orienteering Championships. Everything went well! Before the weekend competitions nearly a hundred top orienteers gathered for the open training camp before weekend, with the furthest ones traveling all the way from Japan. The camp was organized under the guidance of the head coach of the Finnish national team, Thierry Gueorgiou.
The next step on our route to woc is organizing the 2024 World Cup 26-29.9.2024. Mark that date on your calendar, and you’ll be a step closer to the 2025 World Orienteering Championships.