16.12.2018, Madi
Zhaoqing, China, Dec 2018
Guangdong Historical Road Orienteering Championship 2018 is under way
The Guangdong Historical Road Orienteering Championship 2018 competitions started today with a sprint in the Yanzhou Island in Zhaoqing. The winners were Maija Sianoja (FIN) and Robert Merl (AUT).
In a challenging sprint race through ancient villages and farmland, it was Maija Sianoja (FIN) and Robert Merl (AUT) who took the victories. The race, which many described as "one of the most interesting", "most difficult" or "slowest" sprint they had ever run was truly something unique. From the map it's difficult the get the picture how it really was amongst those old buildings and narrow winding alleways, some of which were under one meter in width. In total there was close to one thousand orienteers in the day's competition. It was also broadcasted live on TV and internet.

Top 3:
1. Maija Sianoja (FIN) 16:08
2. Denisa Kosova (CZE) 16:16
3. Lone Brochmann (NOR) 17:02

1. Robert Merl (AUT) 16:08
2. Oystein Kvaal Osterbo (NOR) 16:47
3. Johan Runesson (SWE) 17:19

-"It was a very difficult race but so nice. Probably the most challenging sprint I have ever run. I made several small 5 second mistakes but was able to avoid bigger ones, which already was good today. There were not many legs were you could run full speed, so it was definitely about fluent orienteering today. It's nice to be back in China and this tour serves as a good start to the training season for me.", said Maija Sianoja about the race.

-Robert Merl, who has a history of doing well in China commented: "It's a really great feeling to be able to win against such strong competitors even in the middle of winter training, and I'm curious if I'll be able to repeat this performance in the next few days."

Map - Men Elite


For pictures of the races, you can follow the social media accounts of the partaking athletes, for example: @YannickMichiels & @Kvaal_Osterbo

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