Latvia a candidate to organise World Orienteering Championships 2018

Posted on | March 17, 2014 | Category: News

The deadline for applications to organise World Orienteering Championships and World Trail Orienteering Championships 2018 was 15 March 2014. By the deadline, the IOF received an application from Latvia.

Sprint in UNESCO World Heritage Site

If Latvia is appointed World Championships (WOC) organiser by the IOF General Assembly in July, the Sprint races will be held in the capital of Latvia, Riga. Riga was founded in 1201 and is a former Hanseatic League member. Riga’s historical centre – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – will be the terrain for some of the races. The terrain is higly urban and flat; a medieval town with irregular network of streets, with some passages and narrow streets paved with cobblestones.

The middle, long and relay races will be held some 50 km from Riga, in terrains that are demanding both physically and mentally: “A great terrain for decisive route choices and
very physically demanding”, the applicants say.

Latvian orienteering community has much experience when it comes to organising orienteering events. The biggest of them in recent history were the European Orienteering and Trail Orienteering Championships 2008 in Ventspils and the European Ski Orienteering Championships, Junior World Ski Orienteering Championships and World Masters Ski Orienteering Championships 2013 in Madona. An agreement with national television is planned to include all races except for the sprint qualification.

Small nation but high standards

The applicants state that even though Latvia is a small country, they want to organise high-quality championships: “Following WOC 2017 in Estonia, we will prove once more that small orienteering nations with limited resources can host WOC and do it properly, hopefully encouraging others to follow our example. The core organizing team is ready to be creative and to find resources, options and means to create a championships that will fit the highest standards. As the slogan “less is more” goes, WOC 2018 organizers will do their best to achieve more results with less resources and we hope that athletes will be specific and effective in their preparations as well.”

The applicant will now be evaluated, and the IOF General Assembly will take the decision on whether to appoint Latvia organiser of the World Orienteering and Trail Orienteering Championships 2018 on 10 July 2014.

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