30.10.2017, Madi
Beijing, China, Oct 2017
PWT China tour 2017 stage 4
The PWT China tour 2017 continued today in Beijing with a sprint race (WRE) in the The Ruins of Yuanmingyuan park, the Old Summer Palace. The weather was truly pleasing the athletes and spectators alike with warmth, sun, and blue sky. The victories went to Tim Robertson from New Zealand and Maija Sianoja from Finland.
The Old Summer Palace park where the athletes had their battle today is a mixture of small rivers, lakes, and islands connected by different kinds of bridges of imperial style. The islands have small but steep hills and different kinds of old ruins, which added some extra spice to navigating. The courses offered many interesting route choice legs, mastering of which was the key to success today.

The overall feeling in the arena before the race was exhilarating as the athletes were eager to tackle the challenges ahead – everybody knowing there would be some special treat today.
The ones who had the best legs and were able to opt for the best route choices were Maija Sianoja (FIN), who took already her fourth victory on the tour, and Tim Robertson (NZL), stepping up that one position from yesterday and taking his first victory in this year’s tour. Yesterday’s winner Yannick Michiels was fighting for victory also today, but accidentally skipped the 8th control and was disqualified.
Whereas among the women it has been total dominance by Maija Sianoja, among the men the victory has gone to different runner in every race.

Top 3:
1. Maija Sianoja (FIN) 13:33
2. Laura Robertson (NZL) 14:14
3. Marika Teini (FIN) 14:19

1. Tim Robertson (NZL) 14:54
2. Jonas Vytautas Gvildys (LTH) 15:04
3. Robert Merl (AUT) 15:22

The terrain and the course received a lot of praise from the competitors:
-”It was a unique terrain, and the course offered challenging route choices. It was tricky to stay in contact with the map and making sure you’re on the right island, because there were a lot of slopes and at times between the ruins you had to watch where you placed your feet. The terrain itself was very fast and made for sprint orienteering.”, said Chris Smithard (GBR), who reached his first Top 6 placing on the tour.

-”It was a nice but hard course with all the tricky route choices. In many legs there were several different routes to choose from and that made it very demanding. I lost a lot of time to 2nd control taking the wrong one. Overall, I really liked this sprint as it was quite technical and the terrain was very special with all the bridges and islands.”, were the words of Elin Carlsson (SWE), 9th in the women’s race.

-”It was just amazing to race here. Really cool. I had a good race and happy to finally get that victory after being so close yesterday. I really enjoyed it out there.”, Tim Robertson commented.


Men's map
Women's map

Now the athletes will move to Linqigu, near the Langfang city, south from Beijing. There they will stay at the Stavsjö Resort, and that is also where the fifth and final race of the tour will take place tomorrow morning – in accordance with China Open races.

Women's podium

Men's podium

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