Latvia hosts European Championships and first World Cup round

Posted on | May 23, 2008 | Category: News

The early season events are past and the big Tvåmila and Tiomila relays have also taken place; many top competitors have also been training for this year’s World Championships in the Czech Republic and competing in the Moravian Open Championships. Now the world’s elite are looking forward to the first international championship event of 2008, the European Championships, in which the three individual finals also form the first round of the 2008 World Cup.

Ventspils, a harbour town in Latvia beside the Baltic Sea, is the event centre for the championships and the venue for the sprint races and the relay. In the middle and long distance races, high technical skills will be needed to cope with the very detailed sand dune terrain in the area, whilst one of the main physical challenges will be the marshes, which amount to 20% of the area in the long distance final and a significant part of the middle distance areas. The sprint races will be held in the town, with a good mix of urban area, parkland, dunes and beach, whilst the relay terrain is based around an old army base on the edge of the town, using coniferous forest along with complex duneland.

110 women and 137 men representing 29 countries will be taking part. Each nation can enter 6 runners per class and 2 relay teams of 3 per class, and the current European Champions have a ‘wild card’ entry in addition. There are qualification races for each of the 3 individual race formats with the top 17 from each of 3 heats in each class going through to the finals.

Reports and pictures from each race will appear on the web portal on the IOF home page. A full preview of the 2008 season and news of leading competitors can be found in the most recent edition of the on-line newsletter O-zine, which can be downloaded from the IOF home page.

Schedule for the 7th European Championships

Monday 26th May: Sprint qualification and final (World Cup race 1)

Tuesday 27th May: Long distance qualification

Wednesday 28th May: Long distance final (World Cup race 2)

Friday 30th May: Middle distance qualification

Saturday 31st May: Middle distance final (World Cup race 3)

Sunday 1st June: Relay

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