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donderdag, september 03, 2015

ASOM 2015: strongest sprintstartfield ever in Belgium?

Only 2 days left untill the start from the Antwerp Sprint Orienteering Meeting. The organisation is ready to welcome the athletes and prepared some challenging courses. Who will be able to beat Yannick Michiels and Galina Vinogradova at the first edition from ASOM. 

In class men elite the startfield looks very strong. Ofcourse local star Yannick Michiels is the favourite for the victory. He had several strong sprint performances in 2015 (eg. Worldcup Lysekil) and already announced several times to be very motivated for ASOM 2015. Probably Oystein Kvaal Osterbo (NOR), Tim Robertson (NZL) and Antonio Martinez Perez (ESP) are the strongest opponents for him. All of them already had impressive results in 2015 with for example JWOC and WOC medals. Also Tomas Hendrickx (BEL), Tristan Bloemen (BEL), Christopher Smithard (GBR) and Marc Serrallonga (ESP) can fight for the podium.
Other names who maybe can surprise with strong performances: Ross Morrison (NZL),, Roman Schulte-Zurhausen (GER), Oscar Villa Sempere (ESP), the Belgians Evert Leeuws, Joost Talloen and Wouter Hus or one of the young British athletes.

Yannick Michiels in action at WOC 2015 relay

Also in women's class we have 1 big favourit to take the first ASOM victory, Galina Vinogradova from Russia. She obtained a bronze medal, both at individual sprint as at sprint mixed relay at WOC 2015. But probably the level in women's class is even higher than in men's elite class. If Vinogradova wants to win, she'll have to beat Elise Egseth (NOR), Lizzie Ingham (NZL) and Alice Leake (GBR). All of them were representing their country at WOC sprint 2015 and easily qualified for the finals.
Other outsiders for the victory are Ausrine Kutkaite (LTU), Kirti Rebane (EST), Hanna Raitanen (FIN), Lone Brochmann (NOR) or one of the Belgians (Miek Frabre, Kim Geypen or Liesbeth van de velde).

Galina Vinogradova into the finish with Judith Wyder at WOC sprint relay

Also for the spectators it will be interesting to follow the fight for the yellow jersey (general classification). There will be a nice arena, speaker, live results and the best athletes starting at the end of the startfield in a 'red startgroup'. Hopefully all these factors will create a nice atmosphere in Antwerpen next weekend. Besides the yellow jersery, there will be another ranking for the green jersey. So probably some athletes (from all classes) will focus on 1 specific leg during the race and the run-in. Because both of them count for the green-jersey-ranking (similar to Tour de France cycling or Sprint the bay in orienteering).

Ausrine Kutkaite training for the urban city races

The ASOM 2015 event includes 2 sprint races on saturday. Both races take place at the 'Luchtbal' area. Interesting and challenging courses are waiting for the participants, specially in the north part. On sunday the elite classes will run an urban middle distance race in the city centre of Antwerpen. Here running speed will be more important, alternating with some routechoices and tricky controls. 

Desmond Franssen testing the course at Luchtbal-zuid

We are very curious for the performances and results from these topathletes. Feel free to post your prono (top-3) as comment.

Startlist Sprint 1 (Luchtbal-zuid)
Startlist Sprint 2 (Luchtbal-noord)