World Ski Orienteering Championships: 6 days of intense fight for medals

Posted on | March 5, 2017 | Category: Arena, News

Two relays and three individual formats, giving six days of intense competition, lie ahead this week in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Rivalry will be renewed between Russia and Sweden, clearly the two best SkiO nations of this season so far. Tove Alexandersson, Sweden and Andrey Lamov, Russia both won two individual gold medals in the European SkiO Championships (ESOC) last month; how will they fare in Krasnoyarsk?

58 men and 36 women from 21 nations are entered for these, the 22nd World SkiO Championships. The most distant nation attending is Japan. Five of the Russian team – Vladimir Barchukov, Polina Frolova, Andrey Grigoriev, Yulia Tarasenko and Kirill Veslelov – are citizens of Krasnoyarsk. The Russians and Swedes expect to do well again – but competitors such as Lars Hol Moholdt, Norway, gold medallist in the Middle race at ESOC, and Stanimir Belomazhev, Bulgaria, bronze medalist in the same race, will be hoping to hit peak form in this event, the most prestigious of the season. Several Finns, along with other Norwegian and Swedish skiers, will also have medal-winning performances in their sights. And there were promising ESOC performances from Czech and Swiss skiers – can they build on them here for podium places?

This is the second time that Krasnoyarsk, a city of over 1 million inhabitants in Siberia, is host to the World SkiO Championships; the previous occasion was in the year 2000. This time the arena is at the Biathlon Academy Ski Centre, a stadium surrounded by forest and providing perfect facilities for the Championships. The event will serve as a ‘test run’ for the 29th Winter Universiade 2019 to be held here.

The terrain is all on the southern slopes of the Nikolaev Hills, 90% open mixed forest (birch and pine) with good visibility and a dense network of tracks and paths plus a dominant broad biathlon track. There are height differences of up to 200 m with the highest point in the area 505 m above sea level; the challenging courses will include some steep downhill stretches.

Krasnoyarsk is 6 hours ahead of Central European Time (CET). The programme of races, local time is:

Tues. 7 March, Sprint Relay 1500

Weds. 8 March, Sprint: women’s race 1430, men’s 1535

Thurs. 9 March, women’s Middle Distance 1500

Fri. 10 March, men’s Middle Distance 1500

Sat. 11 March, Long Distance: women’s mass start 1500, men’s 1545

Sun. 12 March, Relay: women’s mass start 1400, men’s 1545

IOF LiveCenter, accessed via www.liveorienteering.com, will be transmitting live from all the races. Reports and leading results will appear each day on the liveorienteering.com and orienteering.org websites. Further information can be found in the race bulletins, accessed through IOF Eventor, and on the event website www.wsoc2017.ru.

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