Friday, June 24, 2016

Two or three things I know about it...


1. After Spain, Turkey, Portugal and Israel, it's now Serbia's turn to host the Mediterranean Championships in Orienteering MCO 2016. The event starts today at Divčibare, about 130 kms southwest Belgrade, extending over the weekend in a three-day program that will consist of Sprint, Long and Middle Distance, all stages scoring for the IOF World Rankings. Promoted by COMOF - Confederation of Mediterranean Orienteering Federations and International Orienteering Federation, this is an organization of Serbian Orienteering Federation whose competitive vector covers the classes of Men/Women Junior and Men/Women Elite, with four athletes per team in each class, two men and two women. Having won the four previous editions, Spain is again the big favorite to win the competition, facing the national teams of Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt, Montenegro and Serbia. Beside the MCO, an open event - Serbia OPEN - will be held, assembling in the beautiful Divčibare Mountains two hundred and fifty athletes from eleven countries overall. To follow the event, please visit its webpage at http://mco2016.org/.

2. In connection with the General Assembly 2014 in Italy, it was agreed that an overall review of the competition programs in each of the four IOF disciplines should be carried out. The project has been ongoing since then, looking forward proposing programs which are attractive to athletes, organizers and external partners i.e. media and sponsors, while balancing this with the need for increased event quality and financial viability. Based upon the principle decision at the Extraordinary General Assembly in Scotland last year, alternating forest and urban World Championships from 2019 onwards, work has continued on establishing a complete FootO program. News here include a new concept for the World Cup, an annual European Orienteering Championships (EOC) running on an opposite cycle to the new World Championship program and clarifications on qualifications methods. It is proposed that the World Masters Championships also include a middle distance event. For MTBO, it is proposed to add a mass-start event at the World MTBO Championships to round out the championships week. Masters Competitors will be offered an additional mass-start event and an annual European MTBO Championships will be embedded into the World Cup. In SkiO, the World Championships are proposed to become an annual event, with formats alternating on a two year cycle, comparable to the FootO split WOC. The World Cup is also proposed to become an annual occurrence, with one of the rounds being constituted by the competitions at the World Championships and with an annual European Championships embedded as in MTBO. Direct link to the General Assembly SkiO proposal. For TrailO, no changes are being proposed from the current program. The proposals will be presented and decided upon at the General Assembly in Strömstad 26th August, 2016.

3. Last weekend, more than 150 competitors from six different countries assembled in Smiltene, Latvia, for the Latvia MTBO 3-days 2016. Organized by IK Auseklis and SAA Magnēts, in cooperation with OK Azimuts, Latvian Orienteering Federation and Smiltene municipality, the event offered three races, two of which scoring for the IOF MTB World Ranking. The Middle Distance WRE, on Saturday, had in the Russians Svetlana Poverina and Anton Foliforov, the big winners. In both cases, a two-minute victory respectively on Olga Shipilova Vinogradova, Russia and Jonas Maišelis, Lithuania. The Long Distance race on the last day of competition had the same winners, and also here Jonas Maišelis got the second place in the Men Elite class, 4:40 after Foliforov. In the Women Elite class, Karolina Mickevičiūtė-Juodišienė, Lithuania, finished second, spending more 1:01 than the winner. Results, splits. GPS tracking, photos and maps to see at http://www.magnets.lv/?p=orienteering_competitions&fid=1260.

4. The IOF Regional and Youth Development Commission hereby announces the first IOF Global Development Conference, taking place in conjunction with the World Orienteering Championships 2016. The purpose of the conference is to provide an opportunity for networking between people who are interested in contributing to the development of orienteering, both in new countries where orienteering is not yet developed, but also in established IOF Member Federations. The focus is on increasing participation of different groups, especially youth. The conference is open to everyone who wishes to take part. The Conference will take place the 24th August 2016, in Strömstad Gymnasium, and the program includes really interesting presentations such as “World Orienteering Day”, by the project's leader Göran Andersson, “Developing orienteering in South America”, by Luiz Sergio Mendes and José Angel Nieto Poblete and “IOF LiveCenter - Orienteering Channel (not only) for young people”, by Hans Jørgen Kvåle. Participants are required to register in advance. Please register using the Doodle Poll via this link: http://doodle.com/poll/68ndze5ha42h2h3h#table. If you experience problems with registration, please send an email to iof@orienteering.org. Welcome to the first IOF Global Development Conference!

Joaquim Margarido

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