Monday, November 24, 2014

"Course of the Year 2014": Thierry Gueorgiou and Yannick Michiels choose Portugal



After having seen, in the last two years, Portuguese victories in the popular "Course of the Year", contest promoted by the World of O, Portugal is again in focus in the present edition. Although the poll has not even begun, the truth is that Portugal has two extremely well positioned courses to discuss the first places, counting on two great supporters: Thierry Gueorgiou and Yannick Michiels.


For the fifth consecutive year, the World of O, the most important "window" open to Orienteering worldwide, is searching for the “Course of the Year”. In the second half of November, invariably, the visitors are invited to share their suggestions based on their favourite courses along the ending season and that will be scrutinized later, in order to establish the final results. The popular Relay Jukola was the winner in 2010, followed in 2011, by the Middle Distance Final of the World Orienteering Championships, at La Feclaz (France). In 2012 and 2013 the winner had a common denominator called Portugal O' Meeting. First it was Bruno Nazario, with his course setting of Middle Distance WRE on the map of Senhor dos Caminhos (Sátão), to achieve such an important distinction. Last year, it was Tiago Romão and his course of Sprint WRE in the "most Portuguese village in Portugal", Monsanto, to get the prize. How will it be this year?

While we wait for the courses that will be subject to scrutiny, Jan Kocbach is bringing to us, daily, the opinion of some of the biggest orienteers. This is here that Portugal has a prominent position, first by Thierry Gueorgiou's words and, more recently, through the opinion of Yannick Michiels. According Thierry Gueorgiou, World Champion in Long Distance and winner of four editions of the Portugal O' Meeting, the course of Middle Distance WRE at Arcozelo da Serra, set by Mariana Moreira, is his favourite. Gueorgiou cannot forget the challenge from first to last control and how he felt "attacked" by the terrain in the early part of the course. But speaking specifically of terrains, Thierry is back again to Portugal and to Quinta da Estrada, at Aguiar da Beira, that he considers the best of 2014. As for Yannick Michiels, his preferences goes to the village of Castelo de Vide and the corse setted by Hugo borda d'Água to the Sprint WRE course on the first day of the NAOM - North Alentejano O' Meeting 2014, due to the amount of route choices placed in a small space, making it very difficult to anticipate the controls.

A few days (hours?) to the poll starts, the time is of great anxiety already. To follow the contest please see http://worldofo.com/.

Joaquim Margarido

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