Friday, July 07, 2017

WOC 2017: Norway and Sweden win relay



Norway defended their Relay World Champion title, and Sweden pulled off an impressive performance. Both races were dramatic, with mistakes throughout, however both Norway and Sweden were always in control, retaining the lead throughout the race.


Sweden’s team of Emma Johansson, Helena Jansson and Tove Alexandersson enjoyed a victory by 2.41 over last year’s champions Russia, holding the lead throughout.

There were no dramatic early mistakes by runners from the best teams, as happened in the men’s race, but few athletes completed the course without some distinct time loss at some point on their course. Finland (Venla Harju) kept in touch with Sweden on the first leg and were 45 seconds down at the changeover, but Jansson stretched the lead by a minute on the second leg.

However as Alexandersson completed her leg comfortably but not entirely without error – she missed her way on the spectator run-through and lost a minute between controls 9 and 13 – the Russian Natalia Gemperle was running well, and took advantage of a couple of mistakes in the middle of the course by the Finn Merja Rantanen to pull up into second place, which she held to the end. Rantanen was not pressed in bringing Finland into bronze medal position.

There was a sprint finish for fourth place between Latvia and Switzerland, just won by Sabine Hauswirth for Switzerland. The Latvian team was fourth after leg 1 (Inge Dambe) and was never below fifth – a very good team performance. Norway took the final podium place.

The Norwegian team of Eskil Kinnerberg, Olav Lundanes and Magne Dæhli ran an impressively controlled race throughout to take what in the end was a clear victory, with France getting the silver medals and Sweden the bronze.

There was drama from the start as Fabian Hertner, Switzerland’s first leg runner, could be seen on GPS making a huge mistake at control 1, losing more than 4 minutes. Great Britain, New Zealand and Hungary also faltered badly there. Sweden and the Czech Republic set the pace, but Frederic Tranchand for France was going well too. It was he who came to the changeover first, along with Lithuania and Norway, with Czech Republic and Denmark not far behind.

The decisive leg was the second one, where Olav Lundanes for Norway had a brilliant race to come back with a lead of 1.21 over France and Lithuania, with Sweden and Ukraine a little over 2 minutes down. This lead was too much for Thierry Gueorgiou to make up on last leg as Magne Dæhli continued Norway’s near-faultless progress; Gueorgiou cut the gap to 45 seconds at one point, but he was never close enough to see the leading Norwegian.

I was really nervous,” said Dæhli, “I knew Thierry is in really good shape. Yesterday I struggled at the beginning, and today I was very focused on the way to the first control. It felt really good except for the first control after the arena passage, where I made a small mistake.”

I was just focusing on my orienteering,” said Gueorgiou, “and I didn’t see Magne on the course. The second place feels like a gold for us. We are really satisfied.”

Estonia ran a good race throughout to finish fourth, to the great pleasure of the home crowd, and the podium places were completed by Switzerland, picking up well after Hertner’s early mistake, and Russia. The Lithuanian team dropped back on the final leg after being surprisingly close to the lead up to the second changeover.

For the full official results, go the WOC webpage: www.woc2017.ee.


[Press Release from the International Orientering Federation 2017-07-07; photo: Matias Salonen, IOF Digital Team]

WOC 2017: Master class from Thierry Gueorgiou



In his final individual WOC competition before retiring, Frenchman Thierry Gueorgiou ran a near-perfect race to take his 8th Middle Distance title at Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships.


This was a fantastic performance by Gueorgiou, once known as the ‘King of Middle Distance’ because of his string of victories in this format, the last being in 2011. Today’s is his 14th WOC gold; he also won the Long Distance three years in succession, 2013-5. Gueorgiou had some close challengers today but none were able to keep to his technical accuracy which he maintained throughout; he also showed that he has not lost a lot in speed over the years.

Gueorgiou described the day as being very tough emotionally. He has prepared only for this race this year, not competing in any other international race. “This is a dream coming true,” he said at the end, “I wanted to finish on top.”

Silver medal went to Fabian Hertner, Switzerland, who was close to Gueorgiou’s time until he made an error on the short leg to control 17. Oleksandr Kratov, Ukraine ran a very consistent race, just a shade off the pace but good enough for the bronze medal today. Defending champion Matthias Kyburz made mistakes on the course and ended 1.54 down. Norway had all their athletes in the top ten in the results, but out of the podium placings.

Johan Runesson, Sweden had a great run too but had to settle for fourth place, with Sprint champion Daniel Hubmann in fifth. The forest was very detailed and with quite low visibility in places, so mistakes were common.

It is difficult to compare the medals and I have won many medals in Middle, it is my favourite distance,” said Gueorgiou. “This medal is very special and of course when you become a world champion for the first time it is a life changer. And for me also the Relay medal with my team-mates was special. My plan was to stay focused for the whole race, but also to smile and enjoy the moment.” And that he most certainly did, along with his many friends and admirers throughout the world of orienteering.

WOC 2017 website: www.woc2017.ee.

[Press release from the International Orienteering Federation 2017-07-06. Photo: Matias Salonen, IOF Digital Team]

WOC 2017: Outsanting win by Tove Alexandersson



Tove Alexandersson, Sweden took her second gold medal in three days with an outstanding run in the Middle distance at the Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships. Her winning lead was 2.10.


The very strong Swedish athlete showed from the start that she meant business today, setting new fastest times at every control and making only small hesitations. She continued in the same vein throughout, gradually building up an unassailable lead and taking sound routes all the way, to make a successful defence of her title won on home ground last year.

Silver medallist today was the very experienced Norwegian Marianne Andersen, one of only two of the current leading athletes to run in Estonia in the European Championships 11 years ago. She too ran a very good technical race, but could not match Alexandersson’s speed through the forest. “I made only some small errors, never more than 30 seconds,” she said. “My tactic was to stop, and continue very carefully, when unsure. This silver is like a gold for me!”

There was a close fight for the bronze medal, which was won by Finland’s Venla Harju who just missed a medal in the Sprint, after a strong challenge from Svetlana Mironova, Russia. Emily Kemp, Canada excelled to get a top six placing for the second year running.

Alexandersson said she was really satisfied with her race, and took her time on the few occasions she lost concentration slightly and was uncertain of her position. “I was running the shortest way and trying to be focused all the way reading the details. It is almost a clean race. I had good focus all the way and didn´t make any mistakes at the controls.”

Tomorrow the final races of the Championships take place, the relays.

WOC 2017 website: www.woc2017.ee.


[Press release from the International Orienteering Federation 2017-07-06. Photo: Matias Salonen, IOF Digital Team]

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

World Orienteering Championships 2021 awarded to the Czech Republic



At today’s IOF Presidents’ Conference, the organisers of several IOF Major Events were announced. Most notably, the Czech Republic will host both the World Orienteering Championships in 2021 and the World MTB Orienteering Championships in 2020.

The World Orienteering Championships 2021 will be in the Czech Republic/Czechoslovakia for the fourth time (1972 Czechoslovakia, 1991 Czechoslovakia, 2008 Czech Republic). In 2021, the city of Mladá Boleslav will host the championships. The World MTB Orienteering Championships 2020 will be hosted by the city of Jeseník, Czech Republic.


World championships

World Orienteering Championships 2021 Czech Republic
World MTB Orienteering Championships 2020 Czech Republic
Junior World Orienteering Championships 2020 Turkey
World Masters Orienteering Championships 2020 Slovakia
World Masters MTB Orienteering Championships 2019 Germany

Regional championships

Asian Orienteering Championships 2018 Hong Kong
European Youth Orienteering Championships 2019 Belarus


[Press Release from the International Orienteering Federation 2017-07-05]

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

WOC 2017: Alexandersson and Lundanes retain Long distance golds



Both Tove Alexandersson, Sweden, and Olav Lundanes, Norway won the Long distance at Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships for the second year in a row.


Tove Alexandersson, Sweden, ran a near-perfect race in the difficult Estonian terrain of the Long distance today, with only Sprint champion Maj Alm, Denmark, able to come anywhere near challenging her time.

- It was a good race and I was fighting all the way. I am very satisfied with the race and the gold, she said.

For Maja Alm, this was far and away her best result in a forest race, although she has shown on many occasions that she is a very good runner and navigator in forest terrain. Three days of sprint racing appeared not to have affected her performance. Natalia Gemperle, Russia, proved yet again that she is becoming one of the strongest and most consistent performers at world level in taking the bronze today, 5.36 down on Alexandersson.

In the men’s class, Olav Lundanes showed his determination in the way he set out from the start – almost a sprint down the run-out route. He posted fastest times throughout the course, but his run was not faultless. About making a mistake:

- I know I was close to the control, but it is difficult even if you are close to it in the green Estonian forest, he said.

This was his fifth individual WOC gold, and just like Tove Alexandersson he retains his Long distance title from last year.

- I am really really happy I managed to win two years in a row, and also get my fourth Long distance gold. They are all completely different and I am proud I have been able to win in different terrains, he said.

Silver medallist and closest contender throughout was Russian Leonid Novikov. The bronze medal went to the Swedish athlete William Lind, his first individual WOC medal. Norway’s strength in depth in this kind of race showed as they took fourth and fifth places.

For the full official results, go the WOC webpage: www.woc2017.ee.


[Press Release from the International Orientering Federation 2017-07-04; photo: Malin Fuhr]

Sunday, July 02, 2017

WOC 2017: Sweden wins Sprint Relay



Sweden won the Sprint Relay at the Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships in Viljandi, Estonia. Denmark was second and Switzerland third.


The Swedish Sprint Relay team finally managed to be world champions.

- We have been fighting in the top for a long time, but this is the first time we finished on top. I couldn´t have dreamed about a better start of the championships, says last leg runner Helena Jansson.

The sprint terrain was challenging with a mix of urban terrain and steep slopes. The deciding moment came on the third leg when Great Britain and Switzerland made big mistakes. Jonas Leandersson in the Swedish team kept calm and got a 40 second lead.

- I managed to keep focused but I was surprised at the big gap at the end, says Jonas Leandersson.

Helena Jansson made a good race without any mistakes and Sweden won with a margin of 29 seconds.

- I focused really hard on my technical performance and I am really happy with the gold, says Helena Jansson.

The reigning champions Denmark won the silver after a very strong finish from Maja Alm. Switzerland with Sabine Hauswirth on the final leg took the bronze.

For the full official results, go the WOC webpage: www.woc2017.ee.


[Press release from the International Orienteering Federation 2017-07-02]

Saturday, July 01, 2017

WOC 2017: Maja Alm and Daniel Hubmann World Champions in Sprint



The 2017 Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships kicked off today with the Sprint. The Danish Sprint Queen Maja Alm won for the third year in a row. In the men’s class Daniel Hubmann won, making this his 7th gold medal at World Orienteering Championships.


Orienteering’s Sprint Queen continues her reign

The Sprint at Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships took place in Tartu, Estonia, today. Maja Alm, Denmark, took a new momentous victory, after running an excellent race. She was 37 seconds faster than the silver medallist Natalia Gemperle, Russia.

- I feel very happy and it is also a relief. I have been looking forward so much to this day although I am getting more and more nervous every year. I am very proud of this medal, as the pressure is getting bigger and bigger, says Maja Alm.

Galina Vinogradova, Russia, was third just one second after Gemperle.


Close competition

In the tight men’s class, the Swiss Daniel Hubmann ran an impressive race and finished two seconds faster than Frederic Tranchand, France.

- It feels so great now, especially because I have focused a lot on sprint training ahead of these championships, says Daniel Hubmann.

Last year’s world champion Jerker Lysell, Sweden, took the bronze.

For the full official results, go the WOC webpage: www.woc2017.ee.


[Press Release from the International Orienteering Federation 2017-07-01; Photo Mathias Salonen | IOF Digital Team]

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

World Orienteering Championships to be broadcast worldwide



The Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships, WOC, held in Estonia 1 – 7 July, will be broadcast throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The championships will be broadcast live in Denmark, Estonia, Finland and Sweden. Highlights programs will be broadcast in 139 countries around the world.

- We are very happy that we have been able to further increase the visibility of orienteering and WOC through several new broadcasting deals, says Tom Hollowell, IOF CEO. We have also established a consistent quality in our live productions and are glad to see a continued interest from core markets. We are still awaiting last-minute answers from several other broadcasting partners, among others in North America, so the above numbers might grow slightly.

Live broadcasts

Denmark, Estonia, Finland and Sweden will send the full live package including all medal races. Switzerland is receiving the full live package to tape to create their own programming and the Czech Republic will broadcast overall highlights.

- As an organiser, we are very happy that this fantastic event and views of beautiful Estonia will be broadcast to such a big audience in many parts of the world. It’s proof that orienteering is a growing TV sport and proof of our many years of dedication to make this event happen, says Markus Puusepp, event director WOC 2017.

In addition, through a partnership with Broadreach Media, highlights programs from each event in the IOF Orienteering World Cup (including the Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships) will be broadcast in another 137 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

The full live productions will also be available globally via LIVE Orienteering at www.liveorienteering.com.


[Press release from the International Orienteering Federation 2017-06-22]

World Orienteering Day: A continued success



On Wednesday May 24th 2017, the second World Orienteering Day took place all over the world. It has proved an even greater success than last year, with over 288 000 participants all around the world taking part in an orienteering event. This is new record, with 35 000 more participants than last year.

In the end, 288 007 participants at 2265 locations in 79 countries have been part of something bigger, World Orienteering Day. Turkey is showing a fantastic result and has increased the number of participants with more than 75% compared to last year. As a final result, Turkey registered 86 436 WOD participants. Amazing!

From Antarctica to Greenland, from Singapore to Cameroun, from Ecuador to Kosovo, from Indonesia to Cyprus, hundreds of thousands of youngsters participated in World Orienteering Day. Following the idea “Be part of something bigger-Colour the World”, people all over the world took part in locally organised orienteering events, and celebrated the biggest world-wide orienteering event ever. World Orienteering Day is a very important tool to attract young people to the sport of orienteering, and it has been a success even in many countries where orienteering is not so well-known.


Hard work paid off

-Trying to repeat and surpass a successful first event is always daunting, as was the prospect of World Orienteering Day 2017. A lot of hard work has gone into building on last year’s achievement, and I am very happy to see that it has paid off. World Orienteering Day would not be possible without the initiative and dedication that can be found in the orienteering community, so I want to say a great thank you to everyone who organised a WOD event, as well as to our generous sponsors who helped make the event possible for many of us. I hope you all had a great day of celebration of our sport and congratulations on beating the World Record together! says Leho Haldna, the President of International Orienteering Federation (IOF).

There are many great examples from a lot of countries with increasing participants compared to last year. Amongst them were Serbia and the young IOF member Egypt, who did fantastic work with WOD this year and increased their number of participants by 103% and 43% respectively. This is a remarkable improvement! The largest WOD event was implemented at Hunan University in the city of Changsha in China with 3160 participants and the smallest one was carried out in an apartment in USA. This is orienteering; you can do it everywhere and anytime!


Reaching new territories

We also have to welcome new countries and territories as Cambodia, Lebanon, Philippines, Kosovo, Isle of Man, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Mauritius, Luxembourg and Antarctica. Without World Orienteering Day it has been quite difficult to get all these countries involved in orienteering.

- The global reach of the World Orienteering Day project made it clear already last year that it is an important way to spread orienteering, especially to young people. This is particularly important as it is in line with the key objective of the IOC Olympic Agenda 2020: engaging youth through sport. It has been inspiring to follow the many events on the WOD website and to see the wide spread of events. I am already looking forward to next year’s event, Leho Haldna concludes.


[Press release from the International Orienteering Federation 2017-06-14]

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Clare Durand: "I'm the only serious Trail Orienteer within a three hour drive"



To talk about Clare Durand is to talk about resilience. It’s in Lancaster, in the desert north of Los Angeles, in the United States, that we’re going to find her. Clare studied Geography and Computer Science, worked for the government making military maps, worked on movies and television as an assistant director and taught Mathematics. She’s now directing local musical theatre productions, is an active volunteer with the Girl Scouts and is writing a series of children’s spy novels. Enough? It seems not. She’s also building a small business, organizing local orienteering races and training. In the midst of this whole bustle, Clare doesn’t neglect her own preparation, as she’s one of the most prominent and committed North American Trail Orienteers.


How did Orienteering came to your life? Why Orienteering and why not Gymnastics, for example?

C. D. - As a child, I was a competitive swimmer. But I stopped swimming at the age of 15 to have more free time. I did a single trail-based orienteering event during college with a colleague but didn't pursue it. A few years later, I had moved to the East Coast and attended a beginner's event that I read about in the newspaper and was hooked. I've always really enjoyed maps, navigation, and hiking, so it's no doubt this was the sport for me.

Do you remember when you first did TrailO? Was it love at first sight?

C. D. - I first did TrailO at a demonstration event in Wyoming, around 2000. I did very well. This was exciting to me, because I am not a naturally talented runner, which makes it more difficult for me to have high placings in Foot Orienteering. But TrailO was something I could really excel in.

What do you see in TrailO that makes it so special?

C. D. - What makes TrailO special is it's availability to people of all mobility challenges and it's purity as a map reading challenge. But I think it does make it difficult to get people practicing TrailO. Most outdoor enthusiasts want to be more active, and I'm sure it must be difficult for someone who cannot enter the terrain to understand the map in the same way that those of us who also do FootO can.

We are used to see you representing the US team in the World Trail Orienteering Championships. How do you assess your results so far? Would you expect something better?

C. D. - I've been disappointed to not have some higher placings, especially in PreO. I have had a few really excellent single day performances, but have not accomplished this for two days in a row when it counts. I've been encouraged by my continued improvement in TempO. Last year I came close to making the final, which is a big jump from being near the bottom of the standings in Italy. It's hard to keep up with the amount of TrailO that goes on in Europe. My competitors are getting much more practice. I also have never won the U.S. Championships in TrailO. That's a big target for me.

What is the most difficult part of being Trail orienteer in the United States?

C. D. - Lack of events and training opportunities. The U.S. is a very large place with very few Trail Orienteers. I'm the only serious Trail Orienteer within a three hour drive, so there is no one to help me train near home. Any local events are put on by me, but since I am also putting on most of the local Foot Orienteering, it leaves little time for TrailO. Similar conditions exist for most of our team members.

Please, complete the sentence: For having a strong TrailO team, the United States would...

C. D. - (…) Commit to having many more TrailO events throughout the country and have Trail Orienteering training camps. Our team is not attracting new people. We need to attract more new orienteers and especially figure out how to bring Trail Orienteering to the Paralympic population who might be interested in our sport.

You were the course setter of the 2017 US TrailO Championships, recently said held in Camp Sherman, California. Are you happy with your work and with the overall event?

C. D. - I was very happy with the course. The competitors had high praise and really enjoyed it. I did have to throw out one control, but this was fine, since I agreed with the complaint once I looked at the situation. I wish we had a better turnout. Less than 20 people competed in the Trail Orienteering events. The last time I set the U.S. Champs (2009), we had over 50 people compete. So this shows how Trail Orienteering is on the decline in the U.S.

What are your goals for the season?

C. D. - I am hoping to go to Lithuania, but am having difficulty fitting it in my budget, so I'm still working on that. A trip from California to Europe is very expensive. If I can go, my goals would be to have two excellent PreO days, possibly reaching the awards level, and to make the TempO final.

Would you like to share your biggest dream with us?

C. D. - I have many big dreams related to my different pursuits. I dream that orienteering would become popular enough in the U.S. that we would have events every weekend in every city. In TrailO my biggest dream would be to achieve the gold medal in PreO at the World Champs.

Is there anything you'd like to add?

C. D. - I think that it is difficult to attract people to TrailO because orienteering is an inherently active sport and TrailO is not. I sometimes wonder if we should develop some sort of Paralympic wheelchair sprint event to bring more athleticism to the Paralympic format.

Joaquim Margarido

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Latin Countries Cup 2017: Victory for Portugal



With eight individual victories and 74 points overall, Portugal won the 23rd edition of the Latin Countries Cup which took place in Asiago, Italy. With two victories each in the Elite classes, João Mega Figueiredo and Andra Cecilia Anghel were prominent individual figures.


Sub-Regional event of the International Orienteering Federation, the Latin Countries Cup came back to Italy and to the beautiful scenery of the Asiago Plateau, for another edition. Included in the Highlands Open HOP 2017, the event was organized by A.S.D. Erebus Orientamento Vicenza and Italian Orienteering Federation, gathering teams from Spain, Portugal, Romania, Italy and Brazil. The program started in Turcio with the Middle Distance race, in which Romania achieved the lead in the standings with three individual victories, against two victories of Italy and one of Spain. However, the favouritism of Italians and Romanians would have an amazing response in the second stage, a Sprint that took place in Marostica, in which the Portuguese team got five individual triumphs, against one victory from Spain.

The stage of Long Distance took place in Monte Corno and, in it, Portugal returned to be the most effective team, adding three more victories to its own account, against two triumphs of Spain and one of Romania. In the sum of points reached in the three stages, Portugal registered a total of 74 points, achieving its second victory in 23 editions of the Latin Countries Cup, after the victory on home ground seven years ago. Romania with 65 points, Italy with 61 points and Spain with 56 points finished in the immediate positions. Brazil, winner of the previous edition organized in Chile, closed the standings with just 4 points. Italy gives now the testimony to Uruguay that will be in charge of the organization of the 24th edition of the Latinum Certamen, in 2018.


Results

Middle Distance
Men/Women Elite – Ricardo Scalet (Italy) and Andra Cecilia Anghel (Romania)
M/W20 – Mihai Andrei Tintar (Romania) and Ágnes Néda (Romania)
M/W18 – Enrico Mannocci (Italy) and Inés Pozo (Spain)

Sprint
Men/Women Elite – João Mega Figueiredo (Portugal) and Mariana Moreira (Portugal)
M/W20 – Ricardo Esteves (Portugal) and Beatriz Sanguino (Portugal)
M/W18 – Alvaro Casado (Spain) and Helena Lima (Portugal)

Long Distance
Men/Women Elite – João Mega Figueiredo (Portugal) and Andra Cecilia Anghel (Romania)
M/W20 – Ricardo Esteves (Portugal) and Beatriz Sanguino (Portugal)
M/W18 – Alvaro Casado (Spain) and Inés Pozo (Spain)

Latin Countries Cup 2017
Overall standings

1. Portugal 74 points
2. Romania 65 points
3. Italy 61 points
4. Spain 56 points
5. Brazil 4 points

More information can be found at http://www.fiso.it/.

[Photo: Jose Ángel Nieto Poblete / facebook.com/ja.np.56]

Joaquim Margarido

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

City Race Euro Tour 2017: Orienteering in focus in seven big european cities



Between 7th May and 12th November, 2017, Orienteering will be in focus in seven major European cities. Bringing together the efforts and interests of Paris, Antwerp, Bristol, Treviso, Porto, Barcelona and Bilbao, the 4th edition of the City Race Euro Tour puts sport and tourism once more hand in hand.


Paris was the venue chosen for the inaugural presentation of the 2017 City Race Euro Tour. Starting in the French capital on 7th May, the event will take in Belgium (Antwerp, 13th and 14th May), Great Britain (Bristol, 10th and 11th June), Italy (Treviso, 17th and 18th June), Portugal (Porto, 22nd to 24th September) with the finish in Spain (Barcelona, 4th and 5th November and Bilbao, 11th and 12th November). “Think hard, run fast, feel good” stands as the motto of these seven major Orienteering events in seven major European cities. The Tour targets everyone, leading competitors and also beginners.

The idea of creating the Euro City Race Tour was the result of a partnership established in 2012 between the organising groups of the London City Race and Porto City Race. The outcome of combining the social and sporting interests proved indeed heartening, and then to decide to extend the invitation to other organisations took only a brief moment. Edinburgh and Barcelona joined Porto and London in the first edition. Krakow and Seville joined the event in 2015 and Antwerp, Malaga, Firenze and Lille were ‘newcomers’ in 2016. With a good recipe for success, the European City Race gives the public and the media visibility to increase the popularity of Orienteering, attracting crowds to applaud runners in an urban environment.


First races in Paris and Antwerp

Held for the first time ever, the Paris City Race called to Montmartre, one of the main tourist attractions in the French capital, 393 competitors from 15 different nations. It was quite unusual to see people running, maps and compasses in their hands, through the little streets, parks, restaurant terraces and stairs, side by side with painters at Place du Tertre or tourists searching for the places where Georges Seurat, Erik Satie Vincent Van Gogh or Pablo Picasso lived about one century ago. It was in this nostalgic and, at the same time, life-buzzing atmosphere, that the French Juste Raimbault (CLSG Melun) and the British Caroline Craig (North Gloucestershire OC) were stronger than their opponents, achieving clear victories in the Elite category.

One week later, the third Antwerp City Race attracted to Antwerp’s city centre 273 competitors from 18 countries. The event took place on the Het Steen map, a mix of old and new city centre with a passage on the Quay of the Schelde, towards the castle ‘Het Steen’ and the finish on Antwerp’s main square. In the Men’s Elite race, two of the best Sprint specialists fought hard for the victory, with the Belgian Yannick Michiels (TROL) getting a nearly two-minute win over the New-Zealander Tim Robertson (Fossum IF). In the Women’s Elite, the New Zealander Laura Robertson (Edinburgh Southern OC) was 43 seconds faster than the Spaniard Anna Serralonga (TROL) in taking first place.


Results

Paris City Race, 7th May 2017

Men Elite
1. Juste Raimbault (CLSG Melun, FRA) 1:03:23 (+ 00:00)
2. Fleury Roux (NOSE, FRA) 1:04:34 (+ 01:11)
3. Julien Le Borgne (Quimper 29, FRA) 1:04:43 (+ 01:20)
4. Pierre Boudet (Garde Rép., FRA) 1:05:12 (+ 01:49)
5. Maxime Chabance (NOSE, FRA) 1:08:20 (+ 04:57)

Women Elite
1. Caroline Craig (North Gloucestershire OC, GBR) 57:04 (+ 00:00)
2. Celine Finas (T.A.D., FRA) 1:00:13 (+ 03:09)
3. Francesca Taufer (U.S. Primiero, ITA) 1:03:05 (+ 06:01)
4. Clarissa Ricard Borchorst (AC Beauchamp, FRA) 1:03:49 (+ 06:45)
5. Nathanaëlle Gerbeaux (GO 78, FRA) 1:04:28 (+ 07:24)

Antwerp City Race, 14th May 2017

Men Elite
1. Yannick Michiels (TROL, BEL) 31:42 (+ 00:00)
2. Tim Robertson (Fossum IF, NZL) 33:39 (+ 01:57)
3. Tristan Bloemen (C.O. Liège, BEL) 34:21 (+ 02:39)
4. Tomas Hendrickx (K.O.L., BEL) 36:00 (+ 04:18)
5. Benjamin Anciaux (TROL, BEL) 37:30 (+ 05:48)

Women Elite
1. Laura Robertson (Edinburgh SOC, NZL) 35:19 (+ 00:00)
2. Anna Serrallonga (TROL, ESP) 36:02 (+ 00:43)
3. Miek Fabré (Omega, BEL) 36:31 (+ 01:12)
4. Kim Geypen (Omega, BEL) 37:29 (+ 02:10)
5. Caroline Craig (North Gloucestershire OC, GBR) 40:28 (+ 05:09)

All information can be found at http://cityracetour.org/.

Text and photo by Joaquim Margarido


[See the original article at http://orienteering.org/orienteering-in-focus-in-seven-big-european-cities/. Published with permission from the International Orienteering Federation]

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Thermenland Open 2017: Jan Furucz wins TrailO competition



The Thermenland Open 2017 took place last weekend in Hungary, with some really interesting FootO and TrailO competitions. Susy De Pieri and Jan Furucz were the main figures in the PreO and TempO stages, respectively.


Organized on a basis of a cross-border cooperation between the orienteering clubs of Zalaegerszeg in Hungary, Fürstenfeld in Austria, Medimurje in Croatia and Slovenia, the Thermenland Open returned to Hungary after 2010, 2011 and 2014, for a two-day competition of FootO and TrailO.

Attended by 26 athletes from Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy and Hungary, the TrailO competition was arranged by Zoltán Miháczi, with a PreO stage in Zalakaros Park, and a TempO stage, in Nagykanizsa, a beautiful place near a boating lake. Susy de Pieri (Eridano Adventure), Italy, achieved the victory in the PreO stage, after a tight fight with the Slovakian Jan Furucz (Farmaceut Bratislava) and the Slovenian Emil Kacin (OK Azimut). All three competitors finished the course with 22 out of 23 possible points. The two timed stations, with three tasks each, were decisive regarding the winner, with De Pieri being one-second faster than Furucz.

Jan Furucz took his revenge on the next day, performing amazingly in the TempO competition were
he was not only the fastest - with 215 seconds spent in the six timed stations, with five tasks each, and an average of seven seconds of answering time per task -, but also the most accurate, with three incorrect answers. Jan Furucz's total time was 305 seconds, 266 seconds less than the Hungarian Fruzsina Biró (BEA), second placed. Suzy De Pieri and Emil Kacin finished in the third position with the same time, just one second after Biró. Jan Furucz was Thermenland Open's overall winner, Suzy De Pieri finished second and Emil Kacin got the third place.



Results

PreO
1. Susy De Pieri (Eridano Adventure, ITA) 22 points / 38 seconds
2. Jan Furucz (Farmaceut Bratislava, SVK) 22 points / 39 seconds
3. Emil Kacin (OK Azimut, SLO) 22 points / 194 seconds
4. Renato Bettin (Or Swallows, ITA) 21 points / 79 seconds
5. Ferenc Fehér (ZTC, HUN) 21 points / 91 seconds
6. Krešo Keresteš (OK Trzin, SLO) 20 points / 86 seconds
7. Fruzsina Biró (BEA, HUN) 19 points / 133 seconds
8. Alessandro Casarin (Or Swallows, ITA) 17 points / 114 seconds
9. (1. Junior) András Csertán (ZTC, HUN) 17 points / 161 seconds
10. Edit Palumbi (VHS, HUN) 17 points / 212 seconds
(…)
15. (1. Paralympic) Miksa Laáber (BEA, HUN) 15 points / 156 seconds


TempO
1. Jan Furucz (Farmaceut Bratislava, SVK) 305 seconds
2. Fruzsina Biró (BEA, HUN) 571 seconds
3. Susy De Pieri (Eridano Adventure, ITA) 572 seconds
3. Emil Kacin (OK Azimut, SLO) 572 seconds
5. (1. Junior) Barnabás Hargitai (ASK, HUN) 683 seconds
6. Krešo Keresteš (OK Trzin, SLO) 687 seconds
7. (2. Junior) Vid Keresteš (OK Trzin, SLO) 725 seconds
8. Ferenc Fehér (ZTC, HUN) 729 seconds
9. (3. Junior) Bertalan Kiss (SZT, HUN) 732 seconds
10. Renato Bettin (Or Swallows, ITA) 735 seconds
(…)
17. (1. Paralympic) Miksa Laáber (BEA, HUN) 900 seconds

Complete results, all maps and further information at http://adatbank.mtfsz.hu/esemeny/show/esemeny_id/6564.

Joaquim Margarido

Monday, May 15, 2017

Portugal City Race 2017: Raquel Ferreira wins in Santo Tirso and Vila Real



The Portugal City Race 2017 had its 4th and 5th stages in Santo Tirso and Vila Real. Raquel Ferreira was unstoppable, winning both stages in the Women Senior class. In the Men Senior class, José Lopes and Maikel Rodriguez got the victories.


After Esposende, Braga and Vila do Conde, the Portugal City Race 2017 continued, this time in the City of the Jesuits. The 4th stage, in Santo Tirso, was organized by NAST – Núcleo Associativo de Santo Tirso, gathering more than two hundred participants. With a weak entry on the map, which made him lose quickly two minutes to the lead, José Lopes (Individual) turned out to be the most regular on a grueling course, taking advantage of the successive mistakes of his direct opponents, achieving a surprising triumph in the Men Senior class with the time of 44:50, against 45:06 from Miguel Nóbrega (COV - Natura), second placed. As in Vila do Conde, in the previous stage, Raquel Ferreira (Individual) and Daniela Alves (AD Cabroelo) were the top protagonists in the Women Senior class, with the advantage smiling once more to Ferreira by a comfortable four-minute advantage.

The city of Vila Real hosted the 5th stage of the Portugal City Race 2017, in a race organized by the OriMarão Club which joined 150 participants. After a one-stage break, in Santo Tirso, Maikel Rodriguez (Budiñoraid) returned for another victory, the fourth in the Portugal City Race this season. The Spanish athlete spent 43:06, leaving his compatriot Ángel Soto (Aromon) more than 5 minutes apart. In the women's race, Raquel Ferreira and Daniela Alves played, for the third time in a row, an interesting duel, and once again the victory went to Ferreira with the time of 44:14, against 46:47 of her opponent. With five of the thirteen stages of Portugal City Race 2017 already contested, Maikel Rodriguez and Raquel Ferreira register four wins each and are in the lead of the respective rankings. Ángel Soto and Daniela Alves follow in the second position, while the third place is occupied by Miguel Nóbrega and Andrea Dumitru.


Results

Santo Tirso City Race, 07th May 2017

Men Senior
1. José Lopes (Individual) 44:50 (+ 00:00)
2. Miguel Nóbrega (COV – Natura) 45:06 (+ 00:16)
3. Pedro Rama (ADM Ori-Mondego) 46:52 (+ 02:02)
4. Gil Sousa Pinto (OriMarão) 47:56 (+ 03:06)
5. André Fonseca (COALA) 48:01 (+ 03:11)

Women Senior
1. Raquel Ferreira (Individual) 41:14 (+ 00:00)
2. Daniela Alves (AD Cabroelo) 45:21 (+ 04:07)
3. Candela Puime López (Budiñoraid) 46:30 (+ 05:16)
4. Sara Miranda (Amigos da Montanha) 48:55 (+ 07:41)
5. Cristiana Lagoa (NAST) 50:40 (+ 09:26)


Vila Real City Race, 14th May 2017

Men Senior
1. Maikel Rodriguez (Budiñoraid) 43:06 (+ 00:00)
2. Ángel Soto (Aromon) 48:31 (+ 05:25)
3. Miguel Nóbrega (COV – Natura) 51:25 (+ 08:19)
4. Luís Ferreira (AD Cabroelo) 53:53 (+ 10:47)
5. André Fonseca (COALA) 53:58 (+ 10:52)

Women Senior
1. Raquel Ferreira (Individual) 44:14 (+ 00:00)
2. Daniela Alves (AD Cabroelo) 46:47 (+ 02:33)
3. Alicia Perez (Aromon) 48:40 (+ 04:26)
4. Andrea Dumitru (Individual) 49:03 (+ 04:49)
5. Candela Puime López (Budiñoraid) 49:38 (+ 05:24)

Results and further information at http://www.cityrace.pt/.

[Photo: Susana Luzir / facebook.com/cityraceportugal]

Joaquim Margarido

Monday, May 08, 2017

Javier Oramas: "There are lots of things to do"



Javier Perez Oramas is from Colombia. Passionate about Orienteering, he's a keen contributor to the revitalization of the sport in his country. But the task ahead is anything but easy, as we can see in another great Interview in the Portuguese Orienteering Blog.


I would start by asking who is Javier Perez Oramas?

Javier Oramas (J. O.) - I was born in 1981, in Bogota, the capital of Colombia, and currently live in Barcelona (temporarily because I am getting a master's degree in Big Data). I am passionate about the Biomechanics of sport and my professional formation is in Sports' Sciences.

How were you introduced to orienteering and what makes it such a special sport?

J. O. - I was introduced to Orienteering in the University, as part of a discipline's content, and since then (2006) I've been very interested in it. The most interesting part is the requirement of developing strategies during the course, which make it very fun and also encourages the competitiveness from start to finish because, since you don't know if you are leading, it forces you to push it to the limit.

Would you like to tell us about your career so far?

J. O. - I have practised a wide range of sports, but mostly BMX and Artistic Gymnastics. In 2006 I took part in my first Orienteering race and in an Adventure Race (with maps in black and white), which motivated me to follow the Outdoor sports' line. However, the only offer I found in my country was Adventure Racing (I participated in everything I could) and it was only in 2012 that I ran my first orienteering race under the IOF regulations. Although the Colombian Federation must have had about 10 years at that time, we had very few events and athletes, and it was very difficult to keep a competitive orienteering calendar. So, I started with Trail Running to do my physical preparation while waiting for the next National event. In 2015, thanks to the support of the IOF, which provided two spots to Colombia, I had the opportunity to attend the IOF Clinic and the WOC in Scotland, as a representative of my country.

Is there any truly remarkable situation that you would like to highlight along ten years of Orienteering?

J. O. - The WOC 2015 is, undoubtedly, the moment when my sports and professional career took a new direction. Being my first Orienteering experience outside Colombia, everything was new, but what made it more valuable and enriching was that, before the Championships, we had - and I mean in the plural because we were people from several countries there – an Orienteering Clinic in which they strengthened us as athletes and gave us tools to contribute to the development of this sport in our countries. In addition to this, we were exceptionally accompanied by the IOF throughout the WOC and the 6 Days of Scotland, which made it possible to successfully meet the participation targets.

It was a great pleasure to have you among the participants in the Trail Orienteering Seminar promoted, last December, by the University of Valencia, Spain. Why Trail Orienteering?

J. O. - In addition to being a very interesting discipline for FootO competitors, the Colombian Federation shows a great interest in its development because of its characteristics of inclusiveness.

What memories do you keep from the Seminar?

J. O. - The structure and the topics covered seemed very well addressed, in my opinion, and I now feel able to organize a small TrailO event. I intend to pass this knowledge on to the Federation of my country, which is really interested in organizing some TrailO events in Colombia.

In 2013, Colombia hosted The World Games, gathering some of the best orienteers in the world. This would suggest Orienteering could reap the benefits of such important event but, unfortunately, it seems that things had the opposite effect and Colombia is among the countries that have just been suspended from members of the IOF. I would ask you for a comment.

J. O. - It's very discouraging as an athlete to learn that your country has been suspended, making you reevaluate the international goals. I was surprised by the suspension and tried to get a reaction from the Colombian Federation. They feel that “IOF doesn't provide enough support". I think that IOF didn't evaluate the situation correctly, as The World Games could represent an impulse for this sport in Colombia. The Colombian Federation has had administrative ups and downs and, for that year, was emerging again, with very few athletes. The event didn't have a significant impact on Orienteering's development because of the lack of experience and resources, so I think that, if the IOF really wants the Federations of emerging countries to consolidate, they must adapt their cooperation policies and strategies to the socio-economic and technological realities. And I say it because we are not the only ones with difficulties to make this sport sustainable in the region.

Could you tell us how difficult, or easy, it can be to combine your passion for Orienteering with living in Colombia?

J. O. - No one can expect it to be easy. There are lots of things to do, but there's also a great opportunity of work here. That's why I decided to come to Europe with the aim of preparing myself personally and professionally in Orienteering, and I shall carry all my knowledge to my country.

How can you help Colombia return to Orienteering's map?

J. O. - The scene is somewhat complex to analyze because we have two situations to deal with: a reality of sports development and another purely administrative. In the sporting context, we find that the country's international sporting goals are still unclear, and although the IOF had extended its support in the previous years, I think that an additional support plan towards the WOC is necessary, because the participation in such an event represents a huge sport and administrative effort for small federations, which threatens the continuity of their participation (as it's clear now). On the other hand, the internal situation of the Colombian Federation, with an administration weakened and far from the international framework, requires the dialogue to be resumed. In my opinion, the initiative has to start from the IOF, getting our leaders to react to the call of the International community. Although there are athletes and people in Colombia who are interested in developing the sport, it has not been possible to articulate with the National Federation; and if we add the recent suspension of the IOF, the will will increasingly be less, making it a lot more difficult to return to the international scene.

Would you like to share your goals for 2017 with us?

J. O. - I have planned to prepare this season in Europe, aiming to participate in one World Cup, at least, and if possible, although the panorama has changed, go to the WOC in Estonia.

Is there anything you'd like to add?

J. O. - Developing this sport, in any country, has special conditions that makes the whole process more complex and, therefore, requires a more solid assistance and monitoring model from the IOF than the current one.

Joaquim Margarido

Saturday, May 06, 2017

British Orienteering celebrates 50 Years!


On the 17 June this year it is exactly 50 years since the British Orienteering Federation came into being. The occasion is being marked by the cutting of a celebratory cake, production of a short film, and a special multi-page feature in British Orienteering’s member magazine Focus.


Organised orienteering started in Scotland in the early 1960s with the help in particular of the Swede Baron CA Lagerfelt from Stockholm. The Scottish Orienteering Association was founded on 24 June 1962, with the first Scottish Championships held on the same weekend at Craig a’ Barns (Dunkeld) as part of a ‘demonstration event’ by visiting Swedes. Over the following couple of years, growth of the sport in the south-east of Scotland was particularly strong.

In 1964 orienteering was featured in a 7-minute film on Scottish TV. The book ‘Know the Game: Orienteering’ was first published in 1965; it ran to several editions and, updated, was still on bookshop shelves in the early 1980s.


First steps in England

In England, the West Midlands Orienteering Association was set up on 13 October 1963 following a ‘practice race’ in the Wyre Forest. The first orienteering club in England was South Ribble OC in the north-west, in 1964. This followed closely on the first ‘proper’ o-event in England, held at Whitewell near Clitheroe in late 1963.

In the south of England, a group of well-known ex-athletes – Roger Bannister, Chris Brasher, John Disley, Martin Hyman, Gordon Pirie and Bruce Tulloh – started orienteering after attending a training course led by Disley, who had first taken part himself in Sweden. They soon found that speed and fitness alone didn’t bring success! Southern Navigators was the first southern club, formed in 1965.


Scots and English collaborate – but process is slow

The next big step was the formation of the English Orienteering Association in October 1965. The Scottish Orienteering Association’s suggestion to have a joint meeting in Edinburgh with the new English OA, to consider affiliation to the International Orienteering Federation (IOF), was welcomed. However, for one reason or another it was not held until March 1967, in conjunction with the 1966 Scottish Championships which had been deferred, from the autumn before, because of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

The joint meeting agreed on the need to form a British Orienteering Federation, because “it had been made abundantly clear that membership of the IOF could only be obtained through British membership”. A meeting of the English Orienteering Association in April 1967 recommended the change and agreed to the disbanding of the English Orienteering Association at the time British Orienteering Federation was formed.


First World Orienteering Championship participation in 1966

Enthusiasm for competing abroad was high, and the main goal was participation in the World Orienteering Championships. In May 1966 the IOF Council accepted both England and Scotland as temporary members, pending the formation of a British federation. The English Orienteering Association paid an IOF affiliation fee of 400 Swedish Crowns, and selected a team of ten athletes to take part in the World Orienteering Championship.

The team was astonished to find, on arrival at the venue in Finland, that the Relay team had to be selected from amongst the six participating in the Individual race, as opposed to being four additional athletes. It seems that a vital Bulletin giving this information failed to reach the team beforehand. After much representation it was accepted, on the basis of giving more runners some international experience, that the rule could be broken in the circumstances. However in the end, two of the team, Toby Norris and Chris James who were down to run third and fourth leg respectively, never got a competitive run because the team was timed out at the end of the second leg.


Within 50 miles of Kendal”

The ground was laid for the formation of the British Orienteering Federation. Tony Chapman and Chris Brasher, Chairmen of the Scottish and English Orienteering Associations respectively, began the invitation to the first British Orienteering Federation Championships and Annual General Meeting with the words: “This is the preliminary announcement and entry form for a championship, run by an organisation that does not exist. So let us explain.”

Intending participants were told that the Championships “will be held within 50 miles of the town of Kendal, Westmorland on Sunday 18 June 1967” and that “the inaugural meeting of the British Orienteering Federation will be held at 7.30 p.m. on Saturday 17 June 1967 at a venue within ten miles of the Championship area.” The Annual General Meeting venue, revealed just a week beforehand, proved to be in Barnard Castle, 45 miles from Kendal, with the Championships venue, Hamsterley Forest, the full 50 miles away. Such was the secrecy felt to be required at that time!


Early days of the British Orienteering Federation

The new Federation soon found its feet, led by Brasher and Disley. Whereas Brasher managed things, Disley was the technical and ‘field’ expert, and moderator of some of Brasher’s wilder ideas. “Brasher lit fires; Disley dampened them down,” as the obituary for Disley in the British newspaper The Guardian put it.

Brasher led the team that took part in the 1966 World Orienteering Championships, and was the Event Director for the World Orienteering Championships (WOC) in Scotland in 1976. His influence was immense in all aspects of orienteering’s development in its early days in the UK. Hugh Brasher, son of Chris Brasher, says: “My father loved orienteering; he called it like car rallying without a car, the best sport so far invented by man and the only sport that keeps you completely and utterly stretched both mentally and physically.”

Disley worked hard to develop course planning, mapping and training standards. Highly respected the world over, he was a member of the International Orienteering Federation Council from 1973 to 1984.


Through the 80s and 90s

Helped greatly by the publicity gained from WOC 1976, orienteering grew rapidly in the subsequent years, and became firmly established in all parts of the UK. In Scotland, helped by the ever-growing Scottish 6-Days event held every other year, but also in many other areas, the standards of competitors and competition increased immensely. Competitors such as Geoff Peck and Carol McNeill were showing the way, and it was in 1993 that Great Britain won its first World Orienteering Championship medals in Foot Orienteering, with a bronze for Yvette Baker (née Hague) and silver for the men’s relay team. Yvette went on to win two silver medals in 1995 and then the gold medal in Short Distance at the next World Orienteering Championships held on home soil, in 1999.

Great Britain also contributed much to IOF work, in Council, on various Committees and in other ways. Sue Harvey became the IOF Secretary General in 1983, working from home. She held this role until 1986. In 1988 she was elected as an IOF Vice President and then from 1994 to 2004 she was IOF President, and is now IOF Honorary President for Life.


Growth and development in the new century

British Orienteering Federation moved with the times: it is now known as British Orienteering and has changed its logo to a more modern design. Domestic championship events have grown in number as in the IOF, and urban orienteering has become a popular alternative to outings in forest and open terrain. The number of clubs has remained much the same for a long time now, and the average age of competitors is getting steadily higher, but a number of initiatives have been introduced to create new forms of competition and bring new people into the sport, and these are beginning to bear fruit.

More World Orienteering Championship medals have come Britain’s way, including Gold for Jamie Stevenson (Sprint, 2003), the Men’s Relay team in 2008, Dave Gittus in TrailO in 2006 and the TrailO team in 2004 and 2005. Most recently, in 2016, Emily Benham won two gold medals in the MTBO World Championships.

GBR staged the World TrailO Championships in Scotland in 2012 and then the World Orienteering Championships, for the third time, in 2015. Here the same assembly area as in 1976, a field in front of Darnaway Castle in NE Scotland, was used for the Middle and Relay races.

Brian Porteous became the second IOF President from Great Britain and held the office from 2012 to 2016, having been a member of IOF Council from 2004.


Looking forward

Over the last 20 years British Orienteering has benefited greatly from government and National Lottery funding, but unfortunately as with many other sports, British Orienteering has recently lost a lot of the financial support it has had from government agencies. British Orienteering has had to trim its cloth accordingly, and become more self-supporting. This is particularly affecting international preparation for the top athletes. Sponsorship too is proving extremely hard to come by. However, there are many positive signs too, and with several top athletes on the fringe of World Orienteering Championship medal standard, Great Britain orienteering moves into its next half-century in good shape.


Text: Clive Allen

[See the original article at http://orienteering.org/british-orienteering-celebrates-50-years/. Published with permission from the International Orienteering Federation]