|Kilian and Emelie – World Champions|
Killian Jornet is skyrunning king for the fourth time round while Sweden’s super-strong, ever-smiling Emelie Forsberg sits on the throne for the first time.
Kilian needed only a third place to confirm his world title but needless to say that’s not his style. He led throughout the race in a field of nearly 500 and cruised to first place and yet another 100 points in the Skyrunner® World Series final at the Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon today. His time of 2h11’45” sets the record for the new course which traverses rather than summits the mountain. Nepal’s Aite Tamang was second and Toru Mihahara from Japan, third. Britain’s Tom Owens was fourth thus placing him third in the world ranking.
Forsberg dealt with some keen competition in the ladies’ field, but managed to fend off her rivals to take first place and the World Series crown – an incredible achievement for a runner who only started skyrunning this year – preferring the highest peaks and most technical courses. Spain's Blanca Maria Serrano took second and Nuria Picas third which puts Picas in second position in the ranking and Italy’s Silvia Serafini, fifth today, in third.
After many years as a World Series final event and 2011 Skyrunner® SuperCup, the new course, 23 km long to a top altitude of 2,700m and ten kilometres of paved road, was designed to promote the area's diverse landscape and will no doubt attract runners from many different fields.
The event was attended by the country’s Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Today’s race marked the World Series final for the combined points, but next week sees the second last race in the Vertical Kilometer® Series in Fully, Switzerland. The circuit moves on with the final of the Ultra Series with the Course des Templiers on October 28 in Millau, France where some of the world’s top specialists will compete.
2012 Skyrunner® World Series ranking leaders:
1. Kilian Jornet Burgada, Salomon Santiveri: 520 points
2. Luis Alberto Hernando Alzaga, FAM-Grifone: 420 points
3. Tom Owens, Salomon: 405 points
1. Emelie Tina Forsberg, Salomon: 466 points
2. Nuria Picas Albets, FEEC: 426 points
3. Silvia Serafini, Salomon Carnifast: 406 points
2. SALOMON SANTIVERI
4. LA SPORTIVA
5. EUSKAL SELEKZIOA
*updated October 16, 2012
Race results: www.climbathon.com (not posted at time of going to press)