event :: norwegian champs

While September in Britain is a time for getting back to school and negotiating brambles and left-over bracken, in Scandinavia its time for top orienteers to put the big relays of the spring behind them and focus on individual goals in their national Championships.

First up is the Norwegian Champs, this year held in Drammen, a large industrial town 30km West of Oslo. With Dan Marston still injured the only British runner was Jon Duncan who took the races fairly steady.

Thursday saw the senior long-distance race where Marianne Anderson comfortably took gold. Last month Marianne took fourth in the WOC classic. She won the NM by nearly 10 minutes from Anne M Hausken and Lene Moe.
A rejuvenated Tore Sandvik took the mens gold medal with a strong run to hold off Holger Hott Johansen by a mere 7 seconds. Anders Norberg pushed Jorgen Rostrup out the medals, and he might have retired from international O but Bjornar Valstad has clearly still got the skills coming in 5th barely 2 minutes behind!

On to Friday and while the seniors were running heats for the middle distance it was the turn of the juniors to fight for medals. The main shock of the day was that neither of Norway's junior world champions managed to win their national titles. Mari Fasting struggled and only finished 5th in a scrappy race where all the top names made big mistakes. Ingunn Weltzien took the gold in that. class (D20) from Betty-Ann Bjerkriem Nilsen. Meanwhile in H18 it looked as if the NM was going th esame way as JWOC when Olav Lundanes finished nearly 4 minutes ahead of Magne Daelhi. However the gold medal was snatched from him by his club mate Erik Sagvolden by seven seconds. Their fellow Ostmarka team mate Lars-Christian Unger took the gold in H20 while Mali Nielsen took the D18 title.

Saturday saw all age groups competing over the middle distance, and for the seniors another chance to try MicrO, the new race format which will be introduced at WOC next year. Information and maps are not available yet, but it will be interesting to see another example of the race format in action. No doubt Jon Duncan will be reporting his experiences back to Team GBR.
In the event the titles went to Marianne Anderson and Jarkko Huovila with Valstad and Hausken taking silver and Nordberg and Ingvaldsen taking bronze.
In the junior classes, where there was no MircO, Lundanes compensater by winning H18, and Weltzien took her second gold in D20. Ida Bjorgul of Halden triumphed in D18 while Anders Skarholt of the Oslo club Asker took the H20 title.

Todays relay saw another triumph on Norwegian soil for the Kristiansand superclub which has thus far failed to achive major success abroad through a chain of bad luck and big mistakes. Haldens Tore Sandvik won first leg however Mats Haldin blew seven minutes on second leg. Jon Duncan took the first leg for Halden 3 and finished in 8th. The most impressive result of the day was IL Tyrving - club of GG and Nick Morgan - who took the silver medal after a stunning last leg by 22-year-old Audun Weltzien.

Unsurprisingly in the womens race Marianne Anderson took her third gold of the week by anchoring Nydalen SK to victory ahead of Halden and Baekkelaget.

NM 2005 Results

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