36 nations in Junior World Championships

Posted on | July 1, 2011 | Category: News

Many young hopefuls are right now gathering in Rumia and Wejherowo in the Pomeranian region of Poland, where the Junior World Championships (JWOC) starts with the Opening Ceremony on Saturday and the first race on Sunday. 36 nations will be represented, 12 of them with a full complement of 6 men and 6 women athletes.

The first race will be the Sprint, in and around the town of Lebork starting on Sunday at 14.00. The courses will be 70% in urban terrain and 30% in hilly forest; the winning times are expected to be just under 15 minutes with the women’s course 2.47 km long and the men’s 2.91 km.

On Monday the long distance race will be held. There is a long time span in this race nowadays with so many countries represented – the first start is at 9.00 whilst the flower ceremony at the end of the race is scheduled for 16.30! The men have a course of 11.1 km which is expected to be run by the winner in about 74 minutes; the women have 7.7 km with an estimated winning time of 57 minutes. Both courses will include ‘butterflies’ to reduce following. Hilly forest with variable vegetation and runnability – with some moraine terrain – is promised, so there should be some interesting long route-choice legs.

Similar terrain, but with more detail in places and more marshes, is provided for the middle distance races, a qualification on Wednesday and the final on Thursday. The last race of the Championships is the relay, to be held in a beech forest with a lot of paths and marshes, on Friday.

In all 134 women and 164 men are registered to take part. Some will be there for the first time and will of course have their personal goals, whilst others have seen it all before and in some cases with big successes. One who can with some certainty be expected to be amongst the best is Ida Bobach, Denmark, triple gold medal winner in 2010 and with a gold, a silver and two bronze medals from 2009. She competed in the 2008 Junior World Championships too! Last year she also took part in the senior World Championships and achieved 13th place in the middle distance final.

One of her strongest rivals will be Tove Alexandersson, Sweden, who has already been middle distance champion for two years in succession; Ida had to miss last year’s middle distance final because of a foot injury.

Last year’s 3 individual men’s races produced 9 different medallists, so no-one dominant. The relay was won by Norway, and again there will be a strong Norwegian team present, out to repeat last year’s success.

The event website www.jwoc2011.pl will carry a live results service during the races and full official results afterwards. Reports, features, leading results and pictures will be posted on the IOF website www.orienteering.org after each race.

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