For the first time ever in its history, Croatia will receive a major event with the seal of the International Orienteering Federation. From 22nd to 28th June, the cities of Zagreb and Karlovac will host the World Trail Orienteering Championships WTOC 2015, event organized by the club OK Vihor, Croatia Orienteering Federation and International Orienteering Federation.
Place of the qualification of TempO, the city of Karlovac hosted the Press Conference held at the city Sports Hall to launch the event officially. Presents, other than the mayor, Damir Jelic, the Director of WTOC 2015, Damir Gobec, also members of the Organizing Committee and the map maker for the Event, Ivana Gobec, The President of Karlovac sports community, Želimir Feitl, and the coordinator for Karlovac part of the Championships, Mladen Kuka.
“Everything will be at the highest level”
President of the Organizing Committee of the WTOC, Damir Gobec, pointed out that “Karlovac was chosen because of the ideal location for the event, nice parks with good network of paths, beautiful rivers and its old town centre”. Emphasizing that “Karlovac is quite a new location in the orienteering sport and we are really thrilled with it”, Damir Gobec mentioned that “from Karlovac we got full support for the organization of this WTOC. This is quite a demanding competition, but with the help of our colleagues from Karlovac, I am sure that everything will be at the highest level.”
Member of the Organizing Committee and map maker, Ivana Gobec informed the media representatives about Orienteering sport, Trail Orienteering and the disciplines of PreO and TempO. “Karlovac will host on Thursday, 25th June, the qualifications in TempO discipline, on a map drawn specially for this occasion”, she said, adding that “we will also introduce one new moment after the qualifications when we will announce all participants qualified for the Final. They will receive their number bib, according to their result, and probably a small gift.”
23 countries entered
After the Opening Ceremony, that will take place on June 23rd at Bundek Park, the first competitive moment of WTOC 2015 will be the next day with the first stage of PreO, in the map of Divjača (Sesvete, Zagreb). On the 25th, as said before, will take place in Karlovac the TempO qualification heats and the Final is scheduled for the 26th, in Blato, Zagreb. The competitive program closes on June 27th with the PreO's second stage, again in Blato map. Then, we'll know who will be the new World Champions in the Open and Paralympic Classes and also the winner of the Team Competition. Extra-competition, the participants in WTOC 2015 will have the chance to participate, on the 28th, in a demonstration of PreO Relay, a model that will replace the Team Competition already in 2016. The Danish Vibeke Vogelius is the IOF Senior Event Adviser, assisted by the Finnish Lauri Kontkanen. Vladimir Tkalec and Tomislav Kaniški will be the National Controllers, while Zdenko Horjan will be the course setter.
Reached the deadline for preliminary entries, 23 countries have already expressed the intention in participating at WTOC 2015. They are: Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine and the United States of America. Appealing to the memory, Trail Orienteering in Croatia has a short history, dating back to 2004 with the first participation at WTOC in Sweden, counting with only one participant, while in Japan 2005 it was just observers. The “new era” begun with the first official team entry on WTOC in 2008, in Czech Republic. Since then, Croatia has been a regular participant in WTOC every year, having won until now four individual and four team medals. The last one was the team gold in Italy 2014!
Follow the WTOC 2015 at http://www.wtoc2015.org/.
[Photo courtesy of Damir Gobec]