In the Knock-Out Sprint Kyburz and Alexandersson won in Vicenza

8 Oct 2023

In the Knock-Out Sprint Kyburz and Alexandersson won in Vicenza

The intense 8 days of competitions in 10 municipalities of Veneto with 2 thousand participants and 200 volunteers involved concludes. In Verona crowned Sprint champions Matthias Kyburz and Sara Hagström.
In Soave in the Sprint Relay, Sweden, Switzerland and Finland prevail.
In the World Cup, Sweden won for the Team, Alexandersson and Kyburz in the individual.


Switzerland and Sweden continue to write international orienteering history. In Vicenza, Italy, in the third leg of the European Orienteering Sprint Championships valid as World Cup finals, Matthias Kyburz (5’51”) and Tove Alexandersson (6’38”) were confirmed as the continental champions of the Knock-Out Sprint, the new format with knockout rounds, after their 2021 success.

Having passed qualifying (2.7-2.3 km with 19-16 control points) in the morning in Creazzo with 274 athletes at the start, only the best 36 got access to the second stage. This time the Basilica Palladiana and the Teatro Olimpico were the setting for the arrivals in Piazza Matteotti, before the quarterfinals (2.1 km with 8 checkpoints) followed by the semifinals (2.1 km with 11 checkpoints) and finals (1.9 km with 9 checkpoints), respectively reserved for 18 and 6 orienteers, shoulder to shoulder in search of the European title.

In the women’s event, after the heavy eliminations of British world champion Megan Carter Davies in the quarters and Switzerland’s Simona Aebersold in the semifinals, the podium was closed by Switzerland’s Elena Roos (6’42”), who finishes her carrier in Italy with a beautiful silver, and Natalia Gemperle (6’46”). Among men a clash between favorite Kasper Fosser and Joey Hadorn puts both out of the running. In the men’s top 3 the situation was perfectly reversed with the Swedish silver and bronze of Jonatan Gustafsson (5’53″1) and Emil Svensk (5’53″2). Among the Italians, only Riccardo Scalet and Francesco Mariani advanced to the quarterfinals, only to give way to their opponents.

“A fantastic week in Italy – declares KyburzOf course, if I think about the Sprint Relay I have some regret. For me a wonderful season, a dream to end it with two European golds and a silver along with the World Cup. We will see what next year will bring me, but I am very motivated”. “The KO Sprint is always difficult because, every time, many things can happen – declares AlexanderssonI had fun, it was definitely an exciting week for me”.

The qualifying race in Creazzo, whose map was created by course setter Aaron Gaio, featured a mix of parkland areas, with natural and artificial barriers to make the race more intricate, and urban areas, with longer stretches where course selection skills could be tested, and shorter stretches where running pace and speed-reading were the decisive keys. The final round in Vicenza similarly included a variety of urban terrain, alternating route choices between the streets and buildings of the center with passages through neighborhoods with narrower alleys, areas of small parks and courtyards. Very high speeds, which left no room for error, very difficult to recover from.

In the square, introduced by the Julia Alpine Fanfare, were the President of the Veneto Regional Council Roberto Ciambetti, Mayor of Vicenza Giacomo Possamai and Sports Councillor Leone Zilio, the City of Hope Foundation, Isabella Pontalti, Territorial Contact Person for Sport and Health, and Turin 2006 Olympic champion Bjorn Lind.
To seal the synergy started with the Bacalà Orienteering Tour from the Lofoten Islands to Venice, in the footsteps of merchant Pietro Querini’s feat, a representation of the Confraternita del Bacalà alla vicentina and Stefano Agnoletto, project manager for the Via Querinissima for Nordland. Gioele Montagna, a student from the “G. de Fabris” high school in Nove (VI), winner of the Eismann “Art for Passion” competition, was awarded, in addition to the participation of students from the Farina Institute.

“Great days for Veneto – says President CiambettiWe supported these European Championships because they are a very important vehicle for promoting the region, in addition to the value of the sports challenge. The link with Scandinavia, the home of orienteering, thus becomes stronger and stronger thanks to sports but also through the Via Querinissima and the codfish”. 

“I have been an orienteer, but I have practiced mainly in the woods in the mountains – comments Mayor PossamaiIt is wonderful to see such an event, with so many athletes from all over Europe, in the heart of the city because orienteering gives the opportunity to appreciate the places where the competitions take place. For Vicenza it is a great opportunity to be told and seen”. 

“In these 8 days 2 thousand total participants from 39 countries, between European and EOC Tour – says Gabriele Viale, General Manager EOCOnce again Italy has shown great organizational capacity. For the Veneto region, which will be the scene of the Winter Olympics, an excellent business card in the Scandinavian countries, given the live coverage of 10 television stations from central and northern Europe”. 

In the team standings, Sweden wins the World Cup over Switzerland and Norway. At the individual level, however, Matthias Kyburz literally snatches his sixth title from Norway’s Kasper Fosser, who loses the lead in the standings following his minor accident, followed by Sweden’s Gustav Bergman. With her ninth consecutive title, Tove Alexandersson ties Simone Niggli-Luders’ record, followed by teammate Sara Hagström and Simona Aebersold.