Friday, August 19, 2016

World Trail Orienteering Championships 2016: Step by step

Having gone full circle as it were, the World Trail Orienteering Championships (WTOC) return this year to Sweden, where the very first edition took place. Twelve years ago, Västerås provided the scene for the first great moment of the young Orienteering discipline, bringing together 52 athletes from 17 different countries. Today, Strömstad is ready to host 113 athletes competing under the colours of 22 nations.

WTOC 2016 is about to start, but from the first edition in Västerås in 2004 to the event just ahead of us in Strömstad, much has happened. Above all, Trail Orienteering has consolidated into a discipline with fully established rules and very sound practices, thanks to the unswerving work of those responsible. As a result of these developments, TrailO is now more attractive because it is more competitive, and more people are taking part in TrailO because it is fairer.

In this evolutionary process Strömstad will always be a reference, since here the TrailO Relay format comes in for the first time in the history of the Championships. But also because here, another country will make its debut in the competition. The debut of a country that is in fact also the debut of a whole continent. A continent called Africa and a country called Egypt!

Detailed program

Saturday, 20th August
14:45: Opening Ceremony (Strömstad, Skeppsbroplatsen)

Monday, 22nd August
10:00-15:00: Model Event, TempO + PreO 1 (Strömstad, Saltö)
12:00: Final name entries, TempO
17:00: Team Officials Meeting (Strömstad, Event Center)

Tuesday, 23rd August
09:00: TempO, qualification (Strömstad City)
12:00: Final name entries, PreO
13:00: Welcome ceremony (Strömstad City)
14:00: TempO, final (Strömstad City)
17:00: Flower Ceremony (Strömstad City)
19:00: Team Officials Meeting ( (Strömstad, Event Center)

Wednesday, 24th August
10:00: PreO, day 1 (Strömstad, Saltö)
15:00: PreO, public competition (Strömstad, Saltö)
18:45: Award ceremony TempO (Grebbestad, Sportshoppen)

Thursday, 25th August
10:00-15:00: Model Event, PreO 2 (Tanum, Torseröd)
17:00: team Officials Meeting

Friday, 26th August
10:00: PreO, day 2 (Strömstad, Tolvmanstegen)
15:00: PreO, public competition (Strömstad, Tolvmanstegen)
17:00: Team Officials Meeting (Stömstad, Event Center)
18:45: Award Ceremony PreO (Strömstad, City Park)

Saturday, 27th August
10:00: PreO Relay (Strömstad, Tolvmanstegen)
14:00: Award Ceremony Relay (Strömstad, Tolvmanstegen)
20:00: Athletes party (Strömstad, Nordbyhallen)

Note: All timings are in local time (GMT timezone).

Egypt’s debut

Sweden is the country with the highest representation in WTOC 2016, with six athletes in the Open Class and four in the Paralympic Class. Finland, with nine athletes, and Italy, Japan, Latvia and Ukraine, with seven athletes each, follow Sweden in the list of the most represented. The Swede Martin Fredholm and the Norwegian Lars Jakob Waaler feature yet again on TrailO’s big stage, selected for the 13th time in as many editions of the event, the only two to have achieved this. With Tamer Mehanna in the Open Class and Ahmed Shaaban in the Paralympic class, Egypt participates for the first time in the competition, increasing to thirty-four the number of countries that have participated in the WTOC so far. But this is a historic debut for a second reason, since Egypt is the first African country to participate in the competition. After three years of absence the Netherlands is back, represented again by Mark Heikoop, who achieved a brilliant 6th place in 2012 in the championships held in Dundee, Scotland.

As in 2015, the Dane Johanne Biering and the US David Irving provide the extremes in age range, she 15 years old, he 77. The younger block also includes the Dane Karoline Saxtorph Schulz (15 years old) and the Spaniard Jorge Valente Barrera (16), both making their first appearance in the competition. Towards the other extreme there is the North American Sharon Crawford, who at the age of 72 is participating in her 9th WTOC in a row. Also Inga Gunnarsson, Sweden is a WTOC veteran on several accounts, completing at the age of 69 her 6th presence in the World Championships; her bronze medal in 2011 (Savoie, France) is the most significant moment of her career so far.


Model 1 and PreO 1
1:4000 , E=2,5 m, ISOM.
Mapper: Göran Olsson.
Pine forest with detailed curving. End of course: shore terrain with bare rock. Good hard forest path with roots appearing.
Coordinates: WG S84 58˚52’27,0’’N 11˚8’7,0’’E

Strömstad City
1:4000, E= 2,5 m, ISSOM.
Mapper: Maths Carlsson.
Park and forest terrain. Paved roads with some steep parts.
Coordinates: WG S84 58˚56’27,2’’N 11˚11’33,0’’E.

Model 2
1:4000, E=2,5 m, ISOM.
Mapper: Göran Olsson.
Windmill park with open pine forest. Partly rough dirt road.
Coordinates: WG S84 58˚47’26,4’’N 11˚15’12,5’’E

PreO 2 and Relay
1:4000, E=2,5 m, ISOM.
Mapper Göran Olson.
Windmill park with sparse pine trees, mostly bare rock with moss, heather and marshes. Good dirt road, with some steep parts.
Coordinates: WG S84 58˚53’40,9’’N 11˚25’5,6’’E.

Useful information

Classes for PreO
• Open class is open for all.
• Paralympic class. Only competitors who have a permanent disability that significantly reduces
their mobility and have an official IOF certificate confirming this are eligible to be entered for the paralympic class.
• In TempO there is only one class, open for all.

TrailO Relay
Each Federation may nominate one team in each class, Open and Paralympic. The team consists of three members.
The principle for TrailO Relay 2016 will be that each team member solves seven controls. The competitors on leg one and two are free to choose which ones.
Leg three solves the seven remaining controls. All three legs have one timed station.

Zero tolerance
If there is a flag on wrong place on correct object, the distance is substantial. If the flag is on wrong object the distance is substantially smaller, and we are talking in terms of meter and not decimeter. It is also zero if the control description say otherwise, for instance opposite side of point feature, or if the control description says corner of house and the flag sits clearly on the side.

For further information, please visit the Event's website, at

Joaquim Margarido

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