Ski Orienteering Season Begins and Ends in Finland

Posted on | December 7, 2004 | Category: News

In the first Ski Orienteering World Ranking Events of the new season, held last weekend, world ranked number one Eduard Khrennikov (Russia) enjoyed an emphatic victory in the middle distance race, but had to settle for second place by just 1 second to Sweden’s Bertil Nordqvist in the long distance event. In the women’s races, the Finnish ski orienteer Erja Jokinen showed excellent early-season form, winning both races by clear margins. As a result she moves to the top of the women’s rankings. Sweden’s Stina Grenholm, who headed the World Rankings at the end of last season, found herself a bit off the pace and finished 6th and 11th in the two races.

The venue was Levi, a Finnish ski resort north of the Arctic Circle, where the 2005 World Championships (WOC) will be held in early March. It is traditional in ski orienteering to stage a ‘pre-WOC’ with similar terrain and the same facilities as for WOC itself. It gives competitors the opportunity to become used to the type of terrain and tracks and to the nature of the courses to be planned for the ‘real thing’, and it is a good work-out for the organisers and the technology in use too.

Full Programme of World Ranking Events

In between the two events at Levi, the IOF World Ranking Event (WRE) programme provides top-level competition in all the countries where ski orienteering is well established. Most of the WRE’s are in January and February, with WOC being the final major event of the season. The IOF Ski Orienteering World Rankings are based on the results from all the season’s WRE’s plus the World Championships.
The Rankings are updated immediately after every WRE and can be found along with full details of all the international ski-o events on the IOF website, www.orienteering.org.
Junior and Veteran ski orienteers have the climax of their season in late January when the Junior World Championships and the World Masters Championships will both be staged at S-chanf, in the Engadin valley, Switzerland.

The Ultimate Performance Recorder

At both the pre-WOC and WOC, competitors are being given the opportunity of carrying a Sport Performance Recorder strapped to the back of the ski-o map holder. It comprises a GPS system, heart-rate monitor, altimeter and chronometer, so throughout the race the competitor’s speed, distance travelled, route, pitch angles, temperature, heart-beat and elapsed time will be automatically measured or calculated. The data, which cannot be accessed by the competitor on the course, is downloaded at the finish to give a comprehensive picture of all aspects of the athlete’s performance for subsequent analysis. This is the first time such equipment is being used in orienteering competition.

Key Dates, 2005 season

25-28 January Junior World Championships and
World Masters Championships, S-chanf, Switzerland
6-11 March World Championships , Levi, Finland

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