Thursday, February 26, 2015

AOM 2015: Ready!



Tomorrow, by 3:40 p.m. in Spain, will start the Andalucia O' Meeting 2015, one of the most prestigious events of the winter season in Spain. Within a strong cartel - which includes, among others, Daniel Hubmann, second placed in the IOF's World Ranking -, Portugal is represented by 23 athletes, including some of the great values of our national orienteering.


For the second time in a row, the coastal town of Punta Umbría welcomes the Andalucia O' Meeting 2015, an event that is already an Orienteering reference in Spain and all over the world in the beginning of each season. Second event scoring for the Spanish Foot Orienteering League 2015, the AOM 2015 is organized by the Sun-O and the Ayuntamiento of Punta Umbría, with the support of the Tourism Provincial Patronate, the Consistorio and the Junta de Andalucía.

With 890 entries from 24 countries (numbers to whom must be added the participants in the open classes) the AOM 2015  starts tomorrow afternoon with the Prologue, in a fun format - “mass start”, two formal legs and two 'score' legs, alternately -, followed by three stages during the weekend. On Saturday will take place the stages of Middle Distance (in the morning) and Sprint (from 4.30 p.m. local time), both scoring for the respective IOF's World Rankings. The AOM 2015 ends on Sunday with the Long Distance stage. The Middle Distance WRE's course setter is Cristian Bellotto, the same of the WOC's Middle Distance that was awarded with the “Course of the Year 2014” prize, sponsored by World of O.


The Portuguese are present

Among the favourites, the highlights goes to the IOF's World Ranking nº 2, the Swiss Daniel Hubmann, reaching Punta Umbria with his 16 medals in World Championships (three silver medals in 2014) and 10 in European Championships (two golds at the European in Palmela). The major opponents of the Swiss will be the Latvian Edgars Bertuks, the Belgian Yannick Michiels, the British Scott Fraser and the young Russian Gleb Tikhonov. True helmsman of the “Spanish Army”, Andreu Blanes will be the big star of this great “casting”. Currently Long Distance World Champion and European Vice-Champion, Svetlana Mironova is the biggest name in the female sector, having the Norwegian Marianne Andersen and Siri Ulvestad as her biggest opponents.

In Punta Umbria will be, also, a little more than two dozen Portuguese athletes, namely Tiago Martins Aires and Raquel Costa, both from GafanhOri and Tiago Gingão Leal and Carolina Delgado, from the GD4C. Miguel Reis e Silva will be another Portuguese athlete at the AOM 2015 here representing his Finnish club of Turun Metsänkävijät.

For more detailed information, please see the event page at http://andaluciaomeeting.com/.

[Photo: Ayuntamiento de Punta Umbria / puntaumbria.es]

Joaquim Margarido

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