World Cup Focus for Top Ski Orienteers

Posted on | December 7, 2005 | Category: News

2006 is a World Cup year in ski orienteering, and the top athletes will be focussing on three rounds of intense competition between mid-January and the end of February.

Round 1, the longest of the three, is based on two venues in Finland, Vuokatti and Kiuruvesi. Here there will be two middle distance races, one long distance race and a sprint, and the first of the three relay competitions. The first race is on 14th January and the relay is on the 22nd.

Vidzemes, near the highest point in Latvia, is the venue for round 2, which consists of a middle distance race, a sprint and the second relay in the period 2-5 February. The 2006 World Masters Ski Orienteering Championships will also be held here at the same time.

The final round, which incorporates the European Ski Orienteering Championships, will be held around Ivanovo, a Russian town about 250 km NE of Moscow. The order of competition here is sprint, long distance, middle distance and the final relay, with competition taking place in the period 22-26 February. The 2006 Junior World Ski Orienteering Championships and European Youth Championships will be held concurrently.

Season already under way

For many ski-orienteers the season has now begun, with the programme of World Ranking Events already under way even before some well-known ski orienteering locations have enjoyed their first winter snow. One can be sure that those with high ambition for the World Cup season will be training hard on snow-covered terrain. Russian ski orienteers have become increasingly prominent in recent seasons, and with the World Cup Finals on home ground some Russian names at the head of the final standings can be anticipated. But many other nations have strong and experienced competitors too, and one thing is certain: competition will be tight.

The forthcoming issue of the IOF on-line magazine O-zine features some of the elite ski orienteers marked out for success this season. Further information on the 2006 World Cup programme and ski orienteering in general can be found on the IOF website.

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