Beautiful but tough and demanding! The first leg of the XXI Iberic Foot Orienteering Championship 2013, held in Gouveia, was just like this. On the sum of the 3 stages, Tiago Gingão Leal and Anna Serralonga were the winners, as in the collective competition, on this turning page, Portugal is in the lead.
The Iberic Foot Orienteering Championship is an annual meeting point for Portuguese and Spanish orienteers, and in 2013 the first leg of the competition was held on Serra da Estrela, highest mountain of Continental Portugal. On a very adequate setting for nature sports and with a very lucky weather conditions (sunny after a very long winter), the Clube Português de Orientação e Corrida and the Municipality of Gouveia served a pile of challenges to the 700 runners, with 2 forest events in Vale do Rossim and a very entertaining sprint in the town centre of Gouveia.
With top performances, Tiago Gingão Leal (Gafanhori) and Anna Serralonga (Grions – Girona) were the top runners on the first day of the competition, winning firstly the Middle Distance and afterwards, on the puzzling streets of the mountain town of Gouveia, the one of the Sprint distance. The event of Long Distance that closed the Championships would reveal itself particularly tough, having Diogo Miguel (Ori-Estarreja) and Anna Serralonga the great winners. On the general classification of the 2 days of the competition, this first leg of the Iberic Championships revealed Tiago Gingão Leal and Anna Serralonga has the worthy winners. Diogo Miguel and Tiago Romão (ADFA) were next on the male competition and Magalie Mendes (COC) and Alicia Cobo (Navaleno) closed the podium with this exact order.
Counting all classes that leads to the team classification, the Spanish runners took the lead, winning 11 of the 20 classes of competition. But on the collective classification, things are different and Portugal his a small step away of repeating the victory of 2012 on the Iberic duel, presenting its runners in Aranda del Rey (Madrid) on the next September, with 842 points against 729 to Spain.
“We had very beautiful terrains”
On the end, Serralonga was very happy with her victory but seemed even more pleased with the terrains: “We had beautiful terrains, very technical, just as I was waiting for. This was the reason why I came to Gouveia because I was told that these would be very special terrain.” She confessed to have her preference over the Middle Distance event, “the one who his more demanding technically and that includes always great challenges”. The athlete also revealed that the Sprint was very interesting “very amusing on the puzzle of streets”, and the Long Distance that although “I wasn´t expecting such a difficult race, it was a very nice training”.
Tiago Gingão Leal on the other hand said that “after some recent bad races, I confess that I was not expecting this. However, I felt well physically, the races had a high technical level and I managed to have good races.” Considering the Long Distance Race, the runner was particularly surprised with his result: “I lost motivation during the race for being so slow and not being used to this sort of terrain but when I went by the spectator control and understood that my race was being quite good, I tried then to end very strongly on the final part of the race. I am really very happy.”
Luís Leite and Júlio Guerra won TrailO Competition
TrailO assumed an important role with the first edition of the Iberic Championship in this challenging and inclusive discipline. In the north side of Vale do Rossim Dam, 50 portuguese and Spanish competitors fought for the first Iberic titles in Open and Paralympic Classes.
As it was expected, the fight for victory in the Open Class was extremely tight, with 3 participants ending on first place with the same number of points. In this case the timed controls solved this draw conceding the victory to Luís Leite from GD4C, followed by Nuno Pedro from CAOS and Nuno Rebelo from Ori-Estarreja. In the Paralympic Class the results were also tight and the 3 first places were occupied by Júlio Guerra, the most accurate, followed by Ricardo Pinto and Diana Coelho, all of them representing DAHP – Núcleo de Desporto Adaptado do Hospital da Prelada.