Olli Ojanaho hurt his knee, but could finish third – “I have been orienteering around here in my childhood, but didn’t really feel at home”

Olli Ojanaho

The best Finnish team in Jukola 2021 relay is Helsingin Suunnistajat, who finished third.

It was time to celebrate, when Olli Ojanaho, who started his orienteering career with the organizing club of this year’s Jukola, Ounasvaaran Hiihtoseura, could bring his team into bronze medal position.

Olli Ojanaho could leave Tampereen Pyrintö’s Florian Howald behind during the last leg of the relay, but it still wasn’t enough to beat Kasper Fosser and his team Göteborg IFK.

Hurt his knee

Top three positions were sealed at control 19, where Olli Ojanaho made a mistake and Kasper Fosser could run away from him.

Olli Ojanaho’s comments during the interview by Finnish broadcasting company Yle reveal us what was going on in the forest:

– Otherwise everything was under control, but one leg didn’t go well. During the previous leg, I fell and hurt my knee. It took away my concentration and I lost around one minute there.

For Helsingin Suunnistajat, this result is a historic moment, as last time the club finished among the top teams was in 1970, when they finished first.

– The work continues. We’ll try to make more and more progress, so that we will end up getting the victory in the years to come, Ojanaho said interviewed by Yle.

Judging by this year’s result, there’s not much room for improvement, Ojanaho concluded.

– When we run eight hours and end up 4 minutes behind the winners, it shows no major improvements are necessary.We had a good relay.

Home terrain didn’t feel like home

Olli Ojanaho, who grew up in Rovaniemi, didn’t feel at home in the forests around Mäntyvaara.

– I have been orienteering here sometimes in my childhood, but didn’t really feel like home here, Ojanaho says.

The camping site in the middle of the horse-race track felt more familiar:

– I have played football here.

According to Ojanaho, he hasn’t heard any negative comments about the organization of the event. The course itself was rather demanding:

– It was really challenging out there with lots of green areas.

For the results, see: https://online.jukola.com/tulokset-new/