Before the qualification race I was a bit unsecure of the level and how I should do my race. Everyone have been telling me the level is really high and you can't afford to make any mistakes if you want to be among the 8 best in one of the 6 heats. So I started out in full speed and tried to stay in control of my orienteering. But already to the 2.control i misread the contours and lost 30 seconds. And to 7th I I had a very bad direction and it took forever before I realised my mistake and also before I found the right control (1½ minute). Otherwise the race was ok, but only good enough for 14th spot in my heat, 1min50sec from the leader and 50 seconds from the final. Pretty high level I must say and hopefully I've learned something for next year...
In the final the Terä guys did well and we had 4 amongst the 10 best, and with Pasi taking a bronze medal. It was great to see him back on track.
I was very dissapointed with my qualification, also because I was "fighting" with Anders Nordberg to get the spot in Terä's 1.team for the relay (only 1 foreigner in a team): But he did well in the middle, so I was "only" selected for the last leg in our second team. A young and talented team, but could we really fight for medals?
The boys did a great job in the first 3 legs, and we were close to the lead most of the relay. Unfortunately Toni missed some minutes on the 3.leg, but could still send me out as number 3, 2½ minute behind our 1.team with Pasi on last leg, and 1½ minute behind MS Parma and Stepan Kodeda. I started out with Hiidenkiertäjät and Lauri Sild, and less than 1 minute before Kalevan Rasti and Thierry Gueorgiou.
I gave all I had in the beginning of the sprint and it seemed like he was not getting closer, and I realised that this was possible. It was a great feeling crossing the finish line and to see the joy and happiness in my teammates and in the 1.team, who had won 1½ minute before. I'm glad I had the power in the end, because beating Kalevan Rasti (with 2 teams) is a very big thing to my finnish teammates and the people behind Vaajakosken Terä. And it is very promising for the future to see the high level in our club.
The terrain was really nice and the course was good and demanding with a lot of forkings (at control 1,2,3,5,6,7,10,11,13,14,19). But maybe a bit unfair to have a forking on 2.last control, so close to the finnish. I had the short one together with Kodeda, but Gueorgiou had a longer on (the rock)...
It was a good performance for me on the relay, and I even had the 2.best leg-time of all runners, which is good for the self-confidence. Now I heading back to Denmark, and will try to do a good last preparation before the World Cup Final i Switzerland in 2 weeks.