European Ski Orienteering Championships in Latvia

Posted on | February 8, 2013 | Category: News

The orienteering spotlight is turned towards Latvia for the coming week, with the town of Madona in eastern Latvia hosting the five races that make up the European Ski Orienteering Championships (ESOC). Also being held at the same venue next week are the Junior World, World Masters and European Youth Ski Orienteering Championships.

58 men and 45 women from 16 nations are registered to compete in ESOC, which will use two large and quite hilly pieces of terrain for the five races. These are Gaiziņkalns, the highest hill in Latvia, where there are forested, open and semi-open areas with an overall height difference of 65 metres, and Smecersils, a ski and biathlon centre with a multitude of tracks and 30-40% open land and where the Event Centre is situated.

The Championships start on Tuesday (12th) with the sprint relay, followed by the middle distance and long distance individual races on successive days. Friday is a rest day before the last 2 races at the weekend, the individual sprint and the relay.

Many of those competing in ESOC have already enjoyed international competition this season on the SkiO Tour in France, Switzerland and Italy in January. Sweden’s Tove Alexandersson, one of the favourites for individual medals in ESOC, chose instead to run in the foot orienteering World Cup races in New Zealand, with considerable success. No doubt she has been doing some hard training in travel on skis since then!

There are healthy numbers entered for the Junior (M/W20), Youth (M/W17) and Masters Championships. The Masters event has age classes ranging from M/W35 up to W80 and M85. In the M85 class there are 3 competitors entered, 2 Finns and a Russian, the oldest being the Finn Arvo Majoinen who was born in 1926.

The IOF website will carry leading results, reports and pictures from all the races. There is a link to the event website on the IOF home page.

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