Climax of Ski Orienteering season in Russia

Posted on | March 5, 2014 | Category: News

Tyumen Stadium is waiting for the competitors. Photo: ESOC 2014

The European Ski Orienteering Championships, the pinnacle of this ski orienteering season, takes place near Tyumen in Russia starting on Friday and continuing throughout next week. 106 competitors from 17 nations will be taking part.

All the competitions will be held at the Pearl of Siberia Ski Centre, a few kilometres away from the city of Tyumen which is north of the border between Russia and Kazakhstan. The European Championships (ESOC) are made up of 5 races – Mixed Sprint Relay, Sprint, Long distance, Middle distance and Relay. Two days after the Relay the World Cup Final, an Extra-Long distance race which is not part of ESOC, will be held at the same venue. All the ESOC races count for World Cup points.

In all the races competitors will encounter steep slopes, in a mainly forested area with a dense network of permanent cross-country ski tracks. The long distance races will additionally use a plain area with gentle relief and containing some 20 metre deep ravines.

The weather forecast indicates day temperatures below zero at first but warming up a little into next week. Currently there is a snow depth of 30-50 cm.

Quite a number of competitors will have set their sights on achieving a medal or podium placing this week, none more so than Tove Alexandersson, Sweden, who last weekend was in Turkey competing in the first round of the foot orienteering World Cup – and winning! She is 5 points down on the Russian Tatyana Rvacheva in the SkiO World Cup standings, and the battle between these two promises to be one of the highlights of the Championships. Russia has four athletes in the top ten in the women’s World Cup standings and Andrey Lamov comfortably in front in the men’s standings, so the Russian teams are favourites for the relay gold medals on home terrain. But Finland, Norway and Sweden all have teams capable of making their mark when at their best, so nothing is preordained!

On Friday the first ESOC race, the Mixed Sprint Relay, takes place in the afternoon, Tyumen time. Teams consist of 1 man and 1 woman who each ski three legs in the order M-W-M-W-M-W. Courses are 2.6-2.7 km long for the men and 2.2-2.3 km for the women, with winning leg times expected to be 8-9 minutes – an intense race in prospect, for sure!

Bulletin 4 on the event website contains full details of all the races and a list of competitors taking part. There will be full professional TV coverage of all the ESOC races.

Reports will appear here on the IOF website after each race.

Programme of races

Friday 7th March   Mixed Sprint Relay

Saturday 8th March   Sprint

Sunday 9th March   Long distance (mass start)


Tuesday 11th March   Middle distance

Wednesday 12th March   Relay


Friday 14th March   Extra-Long distance (World Cup Final, not part of ESOC)

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