World elite gather for European Championships

Posted on | May 11, 2012 | Category: News

The first major international foot and trail orienteering competitions of the year, the European Orienteering Championships (EOC) and the European Trail Orienteering Championships (ETOC), take place in this coming week beginning on Monday 14th May. 387 athletes representing 33 nations will compete in EOC; 96 competitors from 13 nations in ETOC.

The central venue is the historic copper-mining town of Falun in the Dalarna region of Sweden. The Falun area is well-remembered for high-quality orienteering events in the past, and first-class competition conditions can be expected here with attractive arenas for the many spectators expected. With a full programme of public races backing up the Championships, more than 5,000 orienteers are expected in the Falun area during the week.

Seven EOC race days

There will be 7 days of European Orienteering Championships competition: qualification races in the three formats Sprint, Middle and Long, finals in these three formats, and a relay. European Trail Orienteering Championships is over 2 days, preceded the day before by the European TempO Trophy.

Each competing nation in EOC can enter up to 6 runners in each class and 2 relay teams. The current European Champions can be entered as extra runners for their nations. There will be three qualification heats in each format, and those finishing 17th or better in each heat qualify for the finals. The three finals constitute the first three races in this year’s World Cup programme. The qualification races are on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the finals on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and the Relays on Sunday.

The Sprint Final and the Relay will both use the big skiing arena Lugnet on the outskirts of Falun. The Sprint qualification races and finals will both take place in Falun, with about 50% urban and 50% park and forest terrain promised.

ETOC in the old copper mine

The European Trail Orienteering Championships has two classes: Paralympic and Open, and each nation can enter up to 6 participants in each. Here too the current European Champions have additional right of entry. The two competition days are Saturday and Sunday; Sunday’s competition takes place within the historic copper mine area. The TempO Trophy (tempO is the speed version of trail orienteering – all decisions are made against the clock) on Friday will, for the first time in international tempO, have qualification heats: 4 such heats and 5 from each heat qualifying for the final. This competition will also be based at the Lugnet arena.

Live TV

Most of the world’s elite orienteers will see this week as one of the big peaks of their season, the other being the World Championships in Switzerland in July. Will the ‘old guard’ prevail or will new names and faces come to the fore? There is considerable media interest in these championships and the Sprint final, Middle distance final and Relay races will be transmitted live by Swedish TV, with edited extracts shown in sports programmes in several other countries. 

The EOC and ETOC organisers have just published Bulletin 4, containing a wealth of information about the races and venues. It can be viewed and downloaded from the event website www.eoc2012.se. Throughout the Championships, the IOF website will carry reports, background articles, pictures and leading results.

 Defending EOC Champions

Sprint: Helena Jansson SWE and Fabian Hertner SUI
Middle distance:
Simone Niggli SUI and Valentin Novikov RUS
Long distance: Simone Niggli SUI and Daniel Hubmann SUI

Defending ETOC Champions

Paralympic: Ola Jansson SWE
Open: Hannu Niemi FIN

 

 

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