Thursday, February 06, 2014

MCO 2014: Niggli and Gueorgiou towards a high level event



After Spain and Turkey, it's now the time of Portugal to organize the third edition of the Mediterranean Championships of Orienteering. From 21st to 23rd February, the municipalities of Satão and Aguiar da Beira, in Viseu district, will host an event whose interest jump the borders of the Mediterranean basin, bringing to Portugal a true battalion of world experts, headed by the leaders of the IOF's World Ranking, Simone Niggli and Thierry Gueorgiou.


From 21st to 23rd February, the Clube de Orientação de Viseu - Natura and the Clube de Orientação de Estarreja join the hands again to organize a major international FootO event. And do it, electing Satão and Aguiar da Beira for the 3rd Mediterranean Championships of Orienteering 2014.

Including a Middle Distance course, an urban Sprint and a Long Distance course - all of them tagged World Ranking Event - the MCO 2014 will show the new champions of COMOF - Confederation of Mediterranean Orienteering Federations. Apart the competition between the selections belonging to the COMOF, the event will also include an open competition, with the Middle Distance and Long Distance courses - both count towards the FootO Portugal Cup 2014 - and whose sum will announce the winners of this parallel event.


The stars

The extraordinary moments lived at Viseu and Satão, on the Carnival of 2012, are still present in everyone's memories. Beautiful sunny days, the fierce competition in magnificent terrains, the show played by the world's best athletes, the invaluable support and interest of the local authorities and, last but not least, the distinction of the Middle Distance course on third day, signed by Bruno Nazario, as the World of O's Course of the Year 2012, turned the Portugal O 'Meeting 2012 into a major reference of the organizational quality of Portugal in this as fascinating as spectacular sport.

In 2014, the history repeats. The weather conditions are still uncertain but everything else “condemn” the event to the success. The barrier of seven hundred entries is really close and the elite men class, with almost two hundred participantes, attracts the major part of the attention. Olav Lundanes, William Lind, Valentin Novikov, Bjørn Ekeberg, Edgars Bertuks and Jonas Vytautas Gvyldis, all athletes of the top-30, will face the great rival, the man who everyone wants to hit and number 1 in the world, the French Thierry Gueorgiou. Also the leader of the women's ranking, the Swiss Simone Niggli, has already confirmed her presence in the MCO 2014, having beside her Mari Fasting, Eva Jurenikova, Elena Roos, Outi Ojanen, Emma Johansson, Lea Vercellotti and Riina Kuuselo, all of them top athletes. To the mentioned, we must join all the big national names, that find here the ideal conditions to compete at the highest level without the need to go abroad.


Working closely

Miguel Nóbrega is, along with Rafael Miguel, the Event Director. Both represents the most visible face of a solid organizational team, joining the experience of Bruno Nazario, António Aguiar, Sergio Aguiar or Jorge Saraiva, to the youth of Diogo Miguel, João Moura, Rui Martins and many others. This cooperation between the two clubs is defined by Miguel Nobrega as “essential”, adding that “there are elements of both clubs in every area, working closely in order to enhance the event in all its aspects”.

Showing something of the event, Miguel Nobrega says that “the Nosso Senhor da Agonia's map (Avelal), where the Middle Distance course will take place, is contiguous to the Nosso Senhor dos Caminhos' map and the terrain presents areas of steep slope and rocks, alternating with areas of pine forest with good progression. A super challenging terrain requiring a very careful navigation”, he says. Already in Aguiar da Beira Norte's map, which stage will end this MCO 2014, we will find “a terrain with huge rocky outcrops, faster than the Avelal's terrains but with areas of very steep slope.”


Essential support

One last word for support of the authorities of Aguiar da Beira and Satão. Miguel Nobrega says that “being small municipalities and, as such, having no major economical capabilities, they do everything to disclose the region and to boost it, showing 100 % available from the beginning, to help in whatever they could”. Also the Parish of Avelal and Aguiar da Beira deserve from this responsible a word of appreciation: “They are fundamental to having such enjoyable Arenas, as we'll see there.”


Joaquim Margarido

3 comments:

  1. "Apart the competition between the selections belonging to the COMOF, the event will also include an open competition, with the Middle Distance and Long Distance courses - both count towards the FootO Portugal Cup 2014"

    COMOF is tend to be a high level elite event. At other elite events like WOC, EOC, VC, WG you also don't have OPEN competition on same course. Because event is somehow young this shouldn't be the reason to have same courses for all Elites. It looks then like summer event and not an event for selected national teams. Open course should be different and run like a side event or parallel to COMOF course if it must be. It would be enough to have only age classes separated from COMOF course.

    Mixing Elite (COMOF) and Open (Other Elite) has no logic. Organizers/Elite runners must understand that COMOF want to promote orienteering to be included in the Mediterranean Games. Some respect to this cause must be evident in competition rules, start list, course, prize giving ceremony, etc. Elite runners who are belonging to COMOF countries must understand that OPEN competition means (side event and not the same course) and if they still want to run COMOF course it is only possible after COMOF event is over Maybe 10 min after last start and without official result. If they want to have a official result than they should register for OPEN competition.

    Samo K.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Samo,

    Before you write something like this you should be really informed on how things will be organized.

    COMOF has its rules and we are following it.
    There is no type of confusion or mixing. The COMOF runners will be the first to start, will have their own classification, own prizes. So we will give COMOF the due attention....
    However, this is at the same time a WRE. So it does not make any sense to have a WRE with only 10 runners on the start list, or does it?
    So, runner in the open event will run after COMOF runners, in the same course so that all of them can point to the WR (that is very important nowadays with the new IOF rules for WOC).

    As for your comment "Organizers/Elite runners must understand that COMOF want to promote orienteering to be included in the Mediterranean Games. Some respect to this cause must be evident in competition rules, start list, course, prize giving ceremony, etc."
    We organizers are giving all the respect the COMOF requires (start list, prize giving cerimony)... But are the COMOF countries giving COMOF the due respect?
    How many Mediterranean countries are present? How can we be visible if we don't have runner on the national teams?

    MCO Organization
    Bruno Nazário

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Bruno,

    A good solution in this situation. My initial reply was based only on info. provided in article where it was not clear enough what has bigger importance. Especially because in the headline article promote Niggli as a runner who will compete at MCO. But she will not because Switzerland is not a COMOF country. She will compete only on OPEN course. This lead me to the conclusion that OPEN event tend to be very important for the media.

    You know that COMOF is a political project and heaving national teams present at the event is a task for IOF or EU working group first. If they want to give the event the credit they need to include the event into the IOF event structure. At least our Olympic committee can not recognize this event if it has no official status and not organized by the IOF. World ranking (OPEN event) is an official status for now.

    COMOF organization produced an idea and the goal but they shouldn't rely on countries. If they want to develop this event and promote it inside the international sports structures they need to find money source to promote this high fly idea. The vision is OK but runners or countries will not spent money just because event is called COMOF.

    And it is great that you as an organizers do all the necessary work to promote COMOF but after 3 years someone within COMOF should present more info. how event need to develop in the next years.

    Be well. It would be nice to see you one day again.
    Samo

    ReplyDelete