Spotlight on Italy: count down to World Championships

Posted on | June 30, 2014 | Category: News

The count-down to this year’s World Orienteering Championships (WOC) and World Trail Orienteering Championships in Italy is now well under way, with the first WOC races, the Sprint Qualification and Final, on this coming Saturday and the final race, the Relay, a week later.

Lavarone in northern Italy is the Event Centre for this year’s Championships, but a very special venue, the centre of Venice, has been chosen for the Sprint Final on Saturday afternoon. Venice is quite well known to orienteers because for several years up to 2012 a Sprint event has been held here in the autumn; the area has been embargoed since so that a fair WOC race can be held.

This is the first year for a revised programme for WOC; out go the Middle and Long distance qualification races, with qualification now based on national quotas, and in comes a new format, the four-person Mixed Sprint Relay. So there are five medal races in all – two Sprints, two individual forest formats (Middle and Long) and the traditional relay.

The two outstanding competitors in international competition this year so far have been Tove Alexandersson, Sweden and Daniel Hubmann, Switzerland. Tove is perhaps the favourite for a women’s gold medal in the forest races, with Judith Wyder, Switzerland, Annika Billstam, Sweden and Maja Alm and Emma Klingenberg, Denmark the strongest contenders for a Sprint gold. Minna Kauppi, Finland is concentrating on the Middle race this year and has a good chance of success there. There are many men capable of toppling Daniel Hubmann from top position, with Oleksandr Kratov, Ukraine especially having some exceptional results in the early part of the year. Matthias Kyburz, Switzerland, and Jonas Leandersson and Jerker Lysell, Sweden, are all Sprint experts and could take the gold.

In the two Mixed Sprint Relays held in conjunction with World Cup races this year, the winners were Sweden and Denmark, and there will for sure be a close fight between these two teams and several others that have been in close contention. In the forest Relays, the Swedish women’s and Swiss men’s teams must start as favourites, but very intense racing can be expected here too.

The World Trail Orienteering Championships consists of a TempO Qualification and Final on the Monday and a two-day PreO competition for Paralympic and Open classes on the Wednesday and Friday.

This is an IOF General Assembly year, and the nations’ representatives will be meeting all day on the Thursday.

Previews of specific races will follow, and this website will carry reports, leading results and pictures after every day of competition.

WOC Programme

Saturday 5th July                         Sprint Qualification (Burano) and Final (Venice)

Sunday 6th July                            Opening Ceremony (Asiago)

Monday 7th July                          Mixed Sprint Relay (Trento)

Wednesday 9th July                    Long Distance (Lavarone)

Friday 11th July                            Middle Distance (Campomulo)

Saturday 12th July                       Relay (Campomulo)

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