Hiihtosuunnistusmaajoukkue EM-kisoihin Latviaan 12.–17.2.

Staffan Tunis haastattelussa SM-pitkän matkan jälkeen (video)
Päävalmentaja Eivind Tonnan ajatuksia ennen EM-kisoja (video)

Suomen hiihtosuunnistusmaajoukkueen päävalmentaja Eivind Tonna nimesi seitsemän miestä ja kuusi naista EM-kisajoukkueeseen. EM-kilpailut alkavat ensi tiistaina 12.2. Madonassa Latviassa.

Suomella on kasassa kova joukkue. Miehistä ennakkoarvioissa vahvin on Staffan Tunis, joka puolustaa kisoissa sprintin ja pitkän matkan mestaruutta.

– Kovin tavoittein lähden kisoihin. Olen voittanut kolme kertaa peräkkäin pitkän matkan EM-kisoissa, joten lähden kamppailemaan ihan niistä kärkisijoista. On mielenkiintoista nähdä, minkälaiseen kuntoon muiden maiden miehet ovat päässeet, kertoi Tunis tavoitteistaan.

Naisten puolella on tasaisempaa. Hyvänä päivänä kuka tahansa on lähellä mitalisijoja.
Suomen maajoukkueen päävalmentaja Eivind Tonna lähtee luottavaisin mielin kisoihin.

– Toivon, että kaikki pystyvät kilpailemaan mahdollisimman lähellä omaa parasta osaamistaan. Hyvä suoritus tulee ennen sijoitustavoitteita. Silloin pystymme taistelemaan siitä, että olemme kisojen vahvin joukkue, sanoi Tonna.

Miehet (7): Janne Häkkinen Suunta-Jyväskylä, Matti Keskinarkaus Ounasvaaran Hiihtoseura, Tero Linnainmaa Kyrös-Rasti, Jarno Parkkinen Navi, Hannu-Pekka Pukema Navi, Ville-Petteri Saarela Keminmaan Urheilijat, Staffan Tunis IF Femman. Varalla: Simo Turunen SK Vuoksi.

Naiset (6): Marika Hara Koovee,Salla Koskela Lounais-Hämeen Rasti, Milka Leppäsalmi Haapamäen Urheilijat, Sonja Mörsky Haapamäen Urheilijat, Mervi Pesu Rajamäen Rykmentti, Marjut Turunen SK Vuoksi. Varalla: Pernilla Tunis IF Femman.

Kisaohjelma:
Ti 12.2. parisprintti
Ke 13.2. keskimatka
To 14.2. pitkä matka
La 16.2. sprintti
Su 17.2. viesti

Kisasivut:

Samaan aikaan Madonassa kisataan alle 20-vuotiaiden MM- ja alle 17-vuotiaiden EM-mestaruuksista.

Nuorten MM-joukkue
Tytöt (6): Suvi Oikarinen Ounasvaaran Hiihtoseura, Sanna Pusa Haapamäen Urheilijat, Mira Räisänen Saloisten Reipas, Liisa Sassi-Päkkilä SK Pohjantähti, Mirka Suutari Kouvolan Suunnistajat, Oona Valkonen Kangasniemen Kalske. Vara: Marjo Bergman Ounasvaaran Hiihtoseura.
Pojat (6): Santeri Aikio Kuusamon Erä-Veikot, Aleksi Karppinen Laitasaaren Veto, Tuomas Kotro SK Vuoksi, Lauri Nenonen SK Vuoksi, Misa Tuomala Suunta-Jyväskylä, Jyri Uusitalo Pellon Ponsi. Vara: Joonas Ahola Navi.

17-vuotiaiden EM-joukkue
Tytöt (4): Julia Korhonen Raja-Karjalan Suunnistajat, Laura Kotila Ounasvaaran Hiihtoseura, Liisa Nenonen SK Vuoksi, Noora Räisänen Saloisten Reipas. Vara: Krista Lahtinen Rajamäen Rykmentti.
Pojat (4): Joonas Ahola Navi, Markku Bergman Ounasvaaran Hiihtoseura, Olli Ojanaho Ounasvaaran Hiihtoseura, Samuli Schroderus SK Pohjantähti. Vara: Santeri Schroderus SK Pohjantähti.

Kisaviikon ohjelma
12.2. EM-sprinttiviesti (ei nuorilla)
13.2. Keskimatka
14.2. Pitkä matka
16.2. Sprintti
17.2. Viesti

Päävalmentajan Eivind Tonnan kuvailut urheilijoista:

Staffan Tunis: ruling champion in sprint and long from European Champs last year. Worlds best male skiorienteerer last year. Became father in October, works as an engineer. Many times world champ. “I have good memories from both Latvia and Kazakhstan. I’m looking forward to fun and interesting competitions and hope to bring home a bunch of medals”, says Staffan.

Janne Häkkinen: Jannes strength is his speed, he can keep up with everyone in ski-o fysically. Last weekend he was 16th in SM 15km skate in Jämi. A good confirmation that Janne has done his training this year, came after he became 2nd in the last WC competition last spring. Janne is engaged with Marjut.

Hannu-Pekka Pukema: HP entered the team last year and had a great season. He found his flow and ended as 10th overall in WC. He has now put on his knowledge as professional coach and has trained extremely well preparing for this winters challenges. HP almost died in a race a few years ago, laying in the snow for a very long time before he was found and brought to hospital.

Ville-Petteri Saarela: Ville is our fastest skier. He became 7th in SM sprint last weekend and has several good results in both ski-o and xc. Ville had his international debut in ski-o 2 years ago and he goes for medal in world champs.

Matti Keskinarkaus: Matti is our grand old man. He has been at top international level as long as he can remember. Several times world champion. Hates to loose – loves to win. At work Mattis finds the way between Asia and Finland as one of Finnairs long haul pilots. Matti trains well when work allows him, mentally stronger than ever.

Tero Linnainmaa: Tero is part of the new wine in the team. He is first year senior and has done many good races already this winter. Tero is young and this will be an important experience for him. We can expect many things from Tero in the future. Last months Tero has served in the army in Lahti. He is a sport soldier and has had time enough to do important and good trainings.

Jarno Parkkinen: He is one of the experienced ski-orienteerers from Finland. Jarno is the Finnish junior national team coach in foot-o and he uses his experience and knowledge to reach his goals. Jarno has worked hard to be more than a sprinter this winter.

Sonja Mörsky: Sonja competed in world champs as a junior 2 years ago and has step by step builded her strength to be one of the best ski-orienteerers we have in Finland. Sonja had a great season last year with bronze in European champs and many good results in WC. She lost a top 6 position in overall after a crash that put her out of training for a month.

Milka Leppäsalmi: Milka has been steady working herself into pole position this season. After mycoplasma 1,5 years ago Milka has worked very hard to get as good as possible. Milka had top 3 positions in WC last year. Very strong by a 1st year senior. This year she is several hundred training hours better.

Marjut Turunen: Our young and shining star. Marjut has last years done very good results in junior world champs and also last year when she as a junior got a place to WC she performed in top 6.

Mervi Pesu: Mervi has a lot of potential still even being the athlete of the team. She won all SM gold she possibly could last year and has worked very hard to be in the team to this winters champs. At home her husband, Raino Pesu, with several gold medals in world champs and 3 children will wait for her.

Salla Koskela: Salla proved her fantastic talent last year with 2 medals in junior world champs last year. She is now in the Finnish army, a fascinating combination with top sports. Salla tried for the first time herself against worlds best ski-orienteerers in last years WC round with 15th place as best result.

Marika Hara: Marika is one of Finland’s best mtb-o athletes. It is safe to say that she is used to high speed and this will be a good quality in Latvia. She has done many good performances this winter in Finland it will be an interesting week in Latvia to see her against the worlds best.

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