Sunday, April 23, 2017

Spanish Trail Orienteering Championships 2017: Søren Saxtorph and Inês Domingues were the winners



Inês Domingues and Søren Saxtorph won their classes and were the great figures of the 2017 Spanish Trail Orienteering Championships. Internally, Santiago Pérez and Miguel Ángel Garcia achieved their first TrailO Spanish titles.


As usual during the Easter season, the Spanish Orienteering Federation organized, this time with GOCAN club, the 2017 Spanish Orienteering Championships, whose program included a PreO competition. With courses set by Hector Lorenzo, the event was held in Miraflores de la Sierra (Madrid) and was attended by 126 competitors from Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Israel, the United States and South Africa. In the Paralympic Class, the Spanish Miguel Ángel Garcia (ADOL) wasn't an easy opponent for the super-favorite Søren Saxtorph (Ballerup OK), Denmark, holder of four individual medals at World Championships. Both answered correctly to 23 out of 25 tasks and both missed one of the timed controls, being the victory to the Nordic competitor because of his faster answering speed in the timed station.

In the Open Class, the Portuguese Inês Domingues (COC) showed once again all her talent, being the only competitor to answer correctly all tasks. To this immaculate performance, Inês added a "supersonic" answer time in the timed station, clearly below the average of the other competitors. One point less than the winner were classified eight competitors, with another Portuguese, Jorge Baltazar (GDU Azoia), getting the best time in the timed station and achieving the second position. In the third position were placed two competitors with equal time of answer in the timed controls: the very young Danish Karoline Saxtorph Schulz (Ballerup OK), one of the great revelations of the recent World Championships, and Santiago Pérez (COMA), thus achieving his first national title.


Results

Open class
1. Inês Domingues (COC, POR) 25 points / 12 seconds
2. Jorge Baltazar (GDU Azoia, POR) 24 points / 36 seconds
3. Santiago Pérez (COMA) 24 points / 40 seconds
3. Karoline Saxtorph Schulz (Ballerup OK, DEN) 24 points / 40 seconds
5. Arturo Garcia Dingra (Escondite-T) 24 points / 77 seconds
6. Alex Tello Lacal (Valencia-O) 24 points / 91 seconds
7. Jorge Valente Barrera (Imperdible) 24 points / 92 seconds
8. Javier Arufe (APA Liceo) 24 points / 98 seconds
9. Ana Belén Calvo (UPV-O) 24 points / 116 seconds
10. Juan Pedro Valente (Imperdible) 23 points / 43 seconds

Paralympic class
1. Søren Saxtorph (Ballerup OK, DEN) 23 points / 84 seconds
2. Miguel Ángel Garcia (ADOL) 23 points / 100 seconds
3. Carlos Riu (COMA) 18 points / 112 seconds
4. Sergio Martin (COHU) 18 points / 116 seconds
5. Alice Rouillard (Montsant Orientació) 11 points / 180 seconds




[The Portuguese Orienteering Blog thanks Miguel Ángel Garcia for his kind attention in providing all the information]

Joaquim Margarido

Saturday, April 22, 2017

JK 2017: Victories of Geir Myhr Øien and Sarah-Jane Barrable in the TrailO stages



To British orienteers, Easter matches with Jan Kjellström International Festival of Orienteering. This year's competitive program included two TrailO stages, the first of the season in the UK, with victories of Geir Myhr Øien in TempO and Sarah-Jane Barrable in PreO.


JK's TrailO competition was attended by 60 competitors in the TempO stage and 42 in the PreO stage, mostly British, but also representatives from Germany, Latvia, Sweden, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Ireland and Norway. And it was precisely a Norwegian who showed up at his best by winning the TempO, a stage planned by Scott Collier, with Charles Bromley Gardner in the role of Controller and played on the campus of Brunel University in London. Geir Myhr Øien (Ringsaker OK) answered in 204 seconds to the 30 tasks of the course (six timed stations, with five tasks each), getting a 150-second penalty for five wrong answers. The final 354 seconds guaranteed him a comfortable win over one of the best British specialists in TempO, the young Tom Dobra (UBOC), credited with 467 seconds overall. The fight for the bronze medal was titanic, with the German Anne Straube (OD) scoring 482 seconds and beating the Norwegian Sigurd Dæhli (Løten OL) for one second and the British Nick Barrable (SYO) for two seconds. Still a word for the British Anna Harris (DEE), the most accurate with only two wrong answers, but with an answer time of 494 seconds, which meant that her final classification was not beyond the 8th place.

Designed by Ian Ditchfield and Peter Huzan and supervised by Dick Kighley, the PreO stage took place in Owibeech and featured an 18-control course, plus a two-tasks timed station. Mark Nixon (FVO) was almost perfect over the course, but he was charged by the time pressure on the last two controls, missing both and finished with 15 points overall and the third place. Sarah-Jane Barrable (SLOW) and Kenny Leitch (SO) got 16 points overall and Sarah-Jane was faster than her direct opponent in the timed station, keeping the victory. One final word to the difficulty inherent to the control nº 4 and also to the second timed control, registering abnormally high percentages of incorrect answers (93% in the first case and 86% in the second case).


Results

TempoO
1. Geir Myhr Øien (Ringsaker OK, NOR) 354 seconds
2. Tom Dobra (UBOC) 467 seconds
3. Anne Straube (OD, GER) 482 seconds
4. Sigurd Dæhli (Løten OL, NOR) 483 seconds
5. Nick Barrable (SYO) 484 seconds
6. John Kewley (MDOC) 496 seconds
7. Alan Hickling (SAX) 507 seconds
8. Anna Harris (DEE) 554 seconds
9. Matthew Leitch (EUOC) 557 seconds
10. Sarah-Jane Barrable (SLOW) 561 seconds

PreO
1. Sarah-Jane Barrable (SLOW) 16 points / 95 seconds
2. Kenny Leitch (SO) 16 points / 110 seconds
3. Mark Nixon (FVO) 15 points / 79,5 seconds
4. Peter Suba (WSX) 15 points / 87 seconds
5. John Crosby (NATO) 15 points / 95 seconds
6. Charles Bromley Gardner (BAOC) 15 points / 99 seconds
7. Nick Barrable (SYO) 14 points / 31 seconds
8. Tom Dobra (UBOC) 14 points / 78 seconds
9. Christine Roberts (EBOR) 14 points / 145 seconds
10. Simon Greenwood (SAX) 13 points / 84 seconds

Complete results and solutions at http://www.thejk.org.uk/.

Joaquim Margarido

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spanish Orienteering Championships 2017: Anna Serralonga and Antonio Martinez were the main figures



The Holy Week ended and, with it, the Spanish Orienteering Championships CEO 2017, which called to Canencia and Miraflores de la Sierra (Madrid) close to 1,900 competitors. Three days, five races and 27 medals distributed in the Elite category, mostly achieved by the Valencian Community and Catalonia, are a few numbers of a great event. Individually, Antonio Martínez and Anna Serralonga were the main figures.


Organized by GOCAN – Grupo de Orientación Complutense y Actividades en la Naturaleza, Spanish Orienteering Federation and International Orienteering Federation, the CEO 2017 kicked off on Friday, 14th April, in Pinares de Canencia with the Middle Distance, a very technical and fast race in which no one was saved from mistakes. In the Women Elite class, Esther Gil (Colivenc), was the fastest, ahead of the favorite, Anna Serrallonga (Go-Xtrem) and Annabel Valledor (Badalona-O). Among the Men, Luis Nogueira (COMA) achieved a surprising gold, ahead of Antonio Martinez (Colivenc), who was also a favorite. The bronze was taken by Eduardo Gil (Tjalve).

Friday afternoon, took place the always exciting Relay races, in which Catalonia and Valencia fought hardly for the victory, both in Men and Women Elite classes. The women's team of Catalonia would take the gold for the second year in a row, ahead of the Valencian Community and Castilla la Mancha. In the men's class, the Valencia team climbed to the top of the podium, ahead of Andalusia and Catalonia, who contested the silver in a tight and intense final.


10 individual medals for Colivenc

The second day of competition was dedicated to the urban races, having Miraflores de la Sierra as the perfect stage for two amazing moments. Scoring for the IOF Sprint Orienteering World Ranking, the Sprint had in the athletes of Center Esportiu Colivenc (Alicante), Violeta Feliciano and Andreu Blanes, the big winners. The podium was completed by Ona Ràfols (COC) and Anna Serrallonga, in the Women's class, and Eduardo Gil and Antonio Martínez, in the Men's class. During the afternoon, time for the Mixed Relay where Catalonia achieved the first and the second positions, ahead of Castile and Leon, third placed.

The third day of competition was reserved for the Long Distance that will surely be the hardest of the season, not only for the demanding courses but also for taking place after two intense days. After 1 hour and 21 minutes of race, Anna Serrallonga got the victory by just eight seconds over Esther Gil. The bronze would be achieved by Violeta Feliciano. In men Antonio Martinez would take the gold ahead of his team mates, Andreu Blances and Roger Casal. Looking on the overall standings, the Center Esportiu Colivenc took 10 out of 18 possible medals in the individual races, being possible to say that the Valencians were stronger in the individual races, while the Catalans got the most out of the Relay races.


Results

Long Distance

Men Elite
1. Antonio Martinez (Colivenc) 1:14:28 (+ 00:00)
2. Andreu Blanes (Colivenc) 1:17:07 (+ 02:39)
3. Roger Casal (Colivenc) 1:22:01 (+ 07:33)
4. Eduardo Gil (Tjalve) 1:22:50 (+ 08:22)
5. Pau Llorens (COB) 1:23:35 (+ 09:07)

Women Elite
1. Anna Serralonga (Go-Xtrem) 1:21:44 (+ 00:00)
2. Esther Gil (Colivenc) 1:21:52 (+ 00:08)
3. Violeta Feliciano (Colivenc) 1:27:23 (+ 05:39)
4. Ona Ràfols (COC) 1:28:39 (+ 06:55)
5. Annabel Valledor (Badalona-O) 1:36:42 (+ 14:58)

Middle Distance

Men Elite
1. Luis Nogueira (COMA) 28:10 (+ 00:00)
2. Antonio Martinez (Colivenc) 29:46 (+ 01:36)
3. Eduardo Gil (Tjalve) 29:51 (+ 01:41)
4. Marc Serralonga (Go-Xtrem) 30:08 (+ 01:58)
5. Andreu Blanes (Colivenc) 30:24 (+ 02:14)
5. Roger Casal (Colivenc) 30:24 (+ 02:14)

Women Elite
1. Esther Gil (Colivenc) 37:43 (+ 00:00)
2. Anna Serralonga (Go-Xtrem) 38:47 (+ 01:04)
3. Annabel Valledor (Badalona-O) 42:38 (+ 04:55)
4. Ona Ràfols (COC) 42:57 (+ 05:14)
5. Esmeralda Ruiz (Sant Joan) 45:28 (+ 07:45)

WRE Sprint

Men Elite
1. Andreu Blanes (Colivenc) 13:37 (+ 00:00)
2. Eduardo Gil (Tjalve) 13:45 (+ 00:08)
3. Ricardo Ferreira (FPO Portuguese Team) 14:47 (+ 01:10)
3. João Mega Figueiredo (FPO Portuguese Team) 14:47 (+ 01:10)
5. Gregory Ahlswede (Escondite-M) 15:06 (+ 01:29)

Women Elite
1. Violeta Feliciano (Colivenc) 13:25 (+ 00:00)
2. Ona Ràfols (COC) 13:34 (+ 00:09)
3. Anna Serralonga (Go-Xtrem) 13:57 (+ 00:32)
4. Mariana Moreira (FPO Portuguese Team) 14:00 (+ 00:35)
5. Amparo Gil (COB) 14:21 (+ 00:56)

Relay

Men Elite
1. Comunidad Valenciana (Roger Casal, Andreu Blanes, Antonio Martinez) 1:38:49 (+ 00:00)
2. Andalucia A (Jose Manuel Garcia, Javier Ruiz de la Herran, Luis Nogueira) 1:45:44 (+ 06:55)
3. Cataluña A (Marc Serralonga, Biel Ràfols, Pau Llorens) 1:45:59 (+ 07:10)
4. Madrid A (Greg Ahlswede, Alvaro Benavente, Alvaro Prieto Del Campo) 1:52:09 (+ 13:20)
5. Cataluña C (David Tarres, Llei Viles Bonet, Eloi Marti) 1:53:34 (+ 14:45)

Women Elite
1. Cataluña A (Ona Ràfols, Amparo Gil, Anna Serralonga) 1:30:32 (+ 00:00)
2. Comunidad Valenciana A (Violeta Feliciano, Esmeralda Ruiz, Esther Gil) 1:39:15 (+ 08:43)
3. Castilla-La Mancha A (Carmen Patiño, Maria Rodriguez, Guadalupe Moreno) 1:48:03 (+ 17:31)
4. Cataluña B (Marta Sanchez, Laura serra, Annabel Valledor) 1:50:13 (+ 19:41)
5. Castilla Y León A (Marina Garcia, Marta Perez, Amanda Pons) 1:52:45 (+ 22:13)

Mixed Relay

1. Cataluña A (Ona Ràfols, Pau Llorens, Marc Serralonga, Anna Serralonga) 45:25 (+ 00:00)
2. Cataluña B (Laura Serra, Biel Ràfols, Pol Ràfols, Amparo Gil) 51:51 (+ 06:26)
3. Castilla Y León A (Marina Garcia, Diego Lázaro de Juan, Cosme Sánchez, Yara Bores) 53:33 (+ 08:08)
4. Cataluña C (Andrea Guillen, Eloi Martí, Sebastián Ordoñez, Laia Gil) 56:41 (+ 11:16)
5. Aragón A (Jara Gracia, Israel Fuentes, Jesus Chicharro, Esther Arias) 56:51 (+ 11:26)

Complete results and further information at http://ceo2017.es/.

[Photo: Ampa Gil-Brotons]

Joaquim Margarido

Friday, April 14, 2017

Two or three things I know about it...



1. The England team came first in both the overall and Junior Cup competitions at Interland 2017. The event took place on the 2nd April in the Herbeumont Forest, in the Ardennes, southern Belgium. The English Fiona Bunn and Peter Bray, got comfortable victories in the M21 classes, respectively Women and Men. Bunn finished his race with a three-minute advantage over Greet Oeyen, Belgium, while Bray's advantage over the second placed, the French Benjamin Lepoutre, was of five minutes. Overall, England got the first place with 202, Belgium was second with 158 points and France third, with 132 points. The Interland Cup is England’s only international competition outside the British Isles. England competes annually in this five-cornered match against two Belgian teams (Flemish and French speaking), the Netherlands, and the French Ligue des Hauts de France de Course d’Orientation (LHFCO) . The competition is truly a team effort spanning age groups from W and M14 to W and M60+: 42 team members in all. Complete results and further information at http://orienteeringengland.org.uk/2017/04/04/interland-2017-win-for-england-team/.

2. OK Vihor Zagreb organized, on 2nd April, the Vihor TempO Challenge, event that called to the beautiful Bundek Park, in Zagreb, 30 competitors from Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia. Third stage of 2017 Croatia-Italy-Slovenia Trophy, the event consisted in six timed stations with five tasks each and was dominated by the Slovakian Ján Furucz (Farmaceut Bratislava), the winner of the Trophy's last edition. Furucz finished with 305 seconds, corresponding to 185 seconds of answering time and 120 seconds of penalty (four incorrect answers). Slower and less accurate than Furucz, the Croatian Ivo Tišljar (OK Orion) got the second position with 350 seconds. The Slovenian Krešo Keresteš (OK Trzin) was third with 357 seconds. Ján Furucz is now the leader of 2017 Croatia-Italy-Slovenia Trophy with 288,5 points, nine points ahead of Ivica Bertol and fifteen points ahead of Tomislav Varnica, both form OK Vihor, Croatia. The results can be seen at http://www.trailo.it/Classifiche%20internazionali/CIS.asp.

3. Would you like to know who are the top 10 most popular orienteering races in the world, open to everyone? The answer is at ALL4orienteering blog [HERE] https://www.all4o.com/orienteering-blog/top-10-orienteering-races-in-the-world. The number of participants it's, surely, an important issue, but it's not the most important. That's why Jukola / Venla Relay (Finland) cames first and O-ringen (Sweden), world's biggest orienteering festival, stands on the second place. Events like Scottish Six Days (Scotland), FIN5 orienteering week (Finland) and Jan Kjellström International Festival of Orienteering (United Kingdom) are also on the list. Probably other events, like Portugal O' Meeting (Portugal) or MTBO 5 Days Plzeň (Czech Republic), would deserve a place on the list, but the presented events can be a good starting point for knowing and living wonderful and exciting orienteering moments.

4. IOF Newsletter of April is now published and there's lots of interesting reading on it. The eyes of the orienteering world turn to Oceania for the next few weeks, to follow the action at the Oceania Orienteering Championships and the World Masters Orienteering Championships, both taking place in New Zealand. An interview with IOF FootO Athletes’ Commission member Lizzie Ingham will get you excited to follow the Oceania Champs this weekend. Excellent terrains, a great atmosphere and fierce rivalry await the Oceania orienteers who will fight for regional titles and bonus WOC spots. Of course, the newsletter also includes important news from the IOF. The IOF Council had a meeting recently, and a summary of the most notable decisions makes it easy to follow the development of orienteering. Most notable from this council meeting is perhaps the approval of the long awaited International Specification for Orienteering Maps. The IOF is also very active on the international sports scene. Make sure to read about what we got up to at this year’s SportAccord Convention. For TrailO enthusiasts, the newsletter offers interesting reading on the European Cup in TrailO. Not heard of it? Dive in and find out all about the exciting competition. Are you missing out? Find out more and subscribe here. Happy reading!

Joaquim Margarido

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Damir Gobec: "WTOC must be our show room"



Damir Gobec is, surely, one of the most committed persons with Orienteering worldwide. His work at the helm of the World Trail Orienteering Championships WTOC 2015, in Croatia, remains a benchmark in terms of the highest standards of technical and logistical requirements. Already in February, this year, he was at the epicenter of another great event, this time in Egypt. The Portuguese Orienteering Blog is proud to have him on its tribune, recalling intense moments and talking passionately about the future of our sport.


Time goes by quickly and the WTOC 2015, which saw you as Event Director, in our minds, seems to have been so recently. What memories do you keep from those days in Zagreb and Karlovac?

Damir Gobec (D. G.) - WTOC 2015 is something that I’ll never forget. It was a life experience from which I learned a lot about myself, my friends, politics, marketing, transport, catering and a lot of other things, not necessarily related to sport. I also learned how we (WTOC team) work under pressure. We learned that it’s impossible to predict everything that can happen in a big organization like that. Many of us spent a few years working on this project and it still remains quite alive in our hearts. One of the big things (except for the technical part of Event) we did was a huge picture gallery with few thousands of photos and I often go there, remembering some particular moments. It's interesting, the way you see the whole organization afterwards and you’re able to enjoy every moment of it, saying that this is something we are proud of and we did it right. Even the well-known "mud day", from this perspective, looks like a special moment which made our work even more interesting and challenging.

I remember a lot of nice little moments behind the scenes, which kept us going from day to day and night to night. The whole organization team is still full of memories which will probably never fade away and we will talk about them for many years to come. I think that most of the competitors don’t even think about the amount of work which has been done. For example, we spent more than 30 days just preparing paths for the first PreO day and then we had a "millennium rain" which ruined all that work. You cannot predict something like this.

Looking back on it with almost two years of distance, how do you assess the event in a global way and how satisfied are you with the final result?

D. G. - I think the whole team can be proud of the work which has been done. We know that we made a good job, the best possible at that time, as we had to have on our minds that we stepped in much later than other countries which were organizing WTOC. We learned our weak points and we know that some things could be done better. We are also extremely proud of our report which came out more like a book or Guideline for future organizers and I hope that it helps future organizers to learn even more from our experiences and mistakes (http://www.vihor.hr/assets/iof_report_part_one.pdf).

In my opinion future organizers should make the effort to be better than WTOC 2015, so we can all enjoy good events and we should look forward to the Championships which make you proud to be part of it. We should treat our Championships with honour because, if we don’t do it, nobody else will. Something below the standards which were set would not be good. We have to show the World that we are part of sport community with developed competitions. WTOC must be our show room.

How was the break or resting period after the event? Did you think about giving up Orienteering?

D. G. - I can’t say that I had a proper rest, as we continued our work in orienteering. We are still working a lot with kids within the club, we are working on new maps, new events. World Orienteering Day is also one of the projects we accepted and we are developing it in Zagreb.

Forgetting about orienteering was something that was done in some days after WTOC, as you can feel really tired after spending few years preparing something really intense and, as Ivana and I were together in that work, it is normal that we had tough times when we also had to deal with our ordinary and professional obligations, not connected with orienteering. Our escape was spending two weeks cruising around the Greek islands and spending some time in Turkey on the coast, far away from everybody and then we restarted all over again, thinking about new projects.

One of the projects you took up this year was the Supervision of the Egypt International Orienteering Championships and the organization of a TrailO stage as part of the event. Would you like to tell me about your experience in Sharm El Sheikh?

D. G. - The supervision of Egyptian International Orienteering Championships was more like organizing the event. First, I was just supposed to help out with the project, but, finally, seven of my club members, from OC "Vihor", ended up contributing to a big, successful orienteering event. We spent ten days in Egypt and made a three-day TrailO seminar for all interested competitors, one PreO competition and three Foot-O competitions (one WRE Event) and we also spent a lot of time adjusting the maps for FootO and specially for PreO.

Sharm El Sheikh turned out to be a big crossroad for Egyptian orienteering and, especially, for the TrailO team. Working in different environments and with people of different cultures is always challenging and we learned how time can be completely irrelevant. We found out that the Egyptian TrailO team can be very good. They are strong-willed, have some basic map reading experience and now they have some knowledge. After gaining some international experience, I believe they will be competitive even on international level. You know that Croatia came out of nowhere at WTOC in Czech Republic and there we picked up our first IOF medal so I hope that this Croatian-Egyptian work will give us some new very good results.

What does it mean to talk about Orienteering in Egypt?

D. G. - Orienteering in Egypt is taking big steps. Maybe even, steps that are too big, as they cannot follow the needs of organizing International Events and they want to make big events every year. At this moment, Egyptian orienteering is developing within universities, Military and foreign schools. There are lots of people keen on developing orienteering, but they don’t have experience and knowledge on how to do that, and nobody from the Federation can also help them as they are all new to our sport. The only solution is to get help from more developed countries. Tamer Mehana, President of the Egyptian Orienteering Federation, is trying his best and we can see progress and we can see that Egypt is already an orienteering country with national teams and International events but still lacking knowledge and experience.

IOF support, implementation and development of Orienteering in new countries should be better and more efficient . IOF should not focus just on World Championships and "big countries" which are taking medals on those events. There would be no World Championships if "smaller nations" didn't participate in such events and if they didn't get support to develop. Of course money is always a big issue and sending one or more instructors from IOF to the developing countries, with paid flights and everything, could be a good solution to it. Developing countries need everything, from basic equipment to well educated people. Sending some old orienteering flags, compasses, old organizing equipment, etc. would help out a lot.

What other projects do you have to deal with this year and in the upcoming ones?

D. G. - This year we already did one big project which was challenging, as it was in another Continent. At the moment we (I’m always saying “we”, as my wife Ivana is also working on all of these projects and, of course, without the support of club members most of those projects wouldn’t succeed) are preparing several Foot orienteering and PreO events. The main focus at the end of the month will be on our orienteering school, which we do annually and where we try to get as many people as we can to our sport.

Afterwards we will have WOD in few school locations in Zagreb. Last year we did it in three locations with over 600 participants and this year we hope to add a few more. Of course, in the meantime, we will participate on many orienteering competitions. During summer we hope to be able to send a small team to Lithuania, to help the WTOC organizing team. Developing our sport in the region is also one of the things which are on our list of priorities, so my work in the South East European Association is part of that. This year, the SEEOC and the South East European Masters Championships will be held in Montenegro and I hope that it also is a major success for their federation and for the development of orienteering within their country.

Working as an associate lecturer at the University of Kinesiology in Zagreb, where I have the chance to teach orienteering to future PE teachers, is also one of the important steps towards better understanding orienteering and involvement with orienteering within school curriculum in Croatia.

Have you already started working with the Portuguese Orienteering Federation on the WTOC 2019' Supervision?

D. G. - Just a few days ago, I had a first contact with organizers of WTOC 2019. There were some issues with venues and dates and they are still working on it, but I hope this will be settled very soon, so we can start working properly. Two years and few months until the Event seems like a lot of time to prepare the WTOC but it is actually a very short time and we can say that we are a little behind schedule. I hope the first visit of SEA will be soon and we will then approve all the proposed terrains and accommodation facilities, so we can publish Bulletin 1 two years before the event and just before WTOC 2017.

The next visit, the Assistant Event Adviser (hopefully Ivana) will join me and we will check all the courses and maps and this should be exactly one year before the Event. So, in 2018, the organizers should be done with most of the technical stuff. Some final technical adjustments, additional advertising, promotion of Event and all other issues will be taken care of in the last year of preparations. I know how much help my team had from our Advisers Vibeke Vogelius and Lauri Kontkanen so I hope I can be useful to the organizing team, even on the days when we will push them to work better, harder, more accurately, more precisely and more in advance.

How do you assess the TrailO in Croatia currently?

D. G. - Unfortunately, TrailO in Croatia didn’t develop much after WTOC 2015 as I hoped for. The Croatian team is still very competitive and good but we are missing a major step towards the development of this discipline within the clubs. In my opinion there are too many discussions about how to participate in ETOC, WTOC or some major Event, rather than how to develop the sport and how to attract more people and foot orienteers to try this discipline. Only a few are willing to spend some extra time teaching others or organizing training and events in the country. We are still the only club working hard to get more people to try our sport and specially to TrailO. It’s somehow easier for others to sit in the car and to go to the Event which is organized by somebody else in the country nearby.

Would you like to add something else?

D. G. - Orienteering is a great sport and we all are like one big family. Wherever you go, if you find a local orienteering club, you’ll get a warm welcome and the help you need. This is really great. Most of those people are local enthusiasts which are spending most of their free time setting courses, putting controls in the forest, printing, drawing maps, giving lectures and doing a lot of different things for orienteering and for others.

In my opinion, we are still missing support to all those people within the local community and within national Federations and worldwide. If just every national elite runner after his carreer gives back some small part of the experience and knowledge he gained on the work of those enthusiasts, we would all have more help and energy to move on developing our sport.

Joaquim Margarido

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

CamBOr 2017: Gelson Andrey and Elaine Lenz were the best in the first round of Brazilian Championships



The 2017 Brazilian Orienteering Championships started last weekend, with the first round taking place in Tiradentes and Prados. Good orienteering, lots of excitement and, in the end, two big names coming out ahead for the next round: Gelson Andrey and Elaine Lenz.


CamBOR 2017, the Brazilian Orienteering Championships, have already started. Traditionally spared by three rounds, the event kicked off in the municipalities of Tiradentes and Prados, in the state of Minas Gerais, for its 19th edition. Organized by the Brazilian Orienteering Confederation, Mineira Orienteering Federation and Serra do Lenheiro Orienteering Club and counting on the presence of six hundred competitors from the four corners of Brazil, this CamBOr 2017's first round broke with the tradition, leaving aside the Relay “party” and opening with a Sprint race, a true novelty in the program of the largest Orienteering Championships in the Americas. João Pedro Jaber (ADAAN) and Raquel Sales Arendt (IDESP Dourados), two of the greatest representatives of the new wave of Brazilian athletes, were the winners in the Elite category, in both cases with differences of less than one minute for the runners-up, Sidnaldo Sousa (ADAAN) and Edinéia Roniak (COGA).

Unlike the Sprint stage, the next two stages - Long Distance and Middle Distance - scored for the first round of CamBOr, in which Gelson Andrey Togni (COGA) and Elaine Lenz (ADAAN) were the major figures overall. Gelson Andrey won the Middle Distance stage, with Sidnaldo Sousa being second placed, while in the Long Distance, the victory in the Men Elite class was hardly contested, with Claudinei Nitsch (CASUSA) beating Carlos Henrique Souza (COGA) by the difference of two seconds and with Andrey occupying the third position. In the Women Elite class, Elaine Lenz won comfortably the Long Distance stage, with the winner of CamBOr 2016, Franciely Chiles (COSM), achieving the second place. In the Long Distance race, there was a heated duel that ended in favour of Camila Cortinhas (COSM) with a difference of 12 seconds over Letícia Saltori (ADAAN), second placed. Here, Elaine couldn't get better than the fifth place.

In his Facebook page [HERE] Gelson Andrey reveals himself surprised with his performance and speaks of “a tough event that has left me satisfied with my physical, technical and psychological shape”. The young athlete reveals that “I have not been racing for a long time without mistakes and with a strong rhythm as I was able to do in the Middle Distance” and believes that he's back to “that 'good' orienteering” he was able to do when he was in the Junior category. Last words goes to those who more closely follow his career: “I can see now the importance of having good people by my side, who didn't bother to waste their time to give me good advice, and especially a constructive sermon”, he says. Also Elaine Lenz shares some impressions on her Facebook page [HERE], speaking of “sweat, mud and many contour lines” to characterize the first round of CamBOr 2017. Driving her career under the motto “insist, persist and never give up”, the athlete confesses to be “super happy with the result”, overcoming “two really demanding courses from the physical, technical and psychological point of view”. And concludes: “I only have to thank especially to my coach, Albano João, and those who are always by my side, supporting me, cherishing me, giving me strength and encouragement.”


Results

Men Elite

Sprint
1. João Pedro Jaber (ADAAN) 15:51 (+ 00:00)
2. Sidnaldo Farias Sousa (ADAAN) 16:29 (+ 00:38)
3. Everton Daniel Markus (COSM) 16:38 (+ 00:47)
4. Carlos Henrique Souza (COGA) 17:18 (+ 01:27)
5. Claudinei Nitsch (CASUSA) 18:50 (+ 02:59)

Long Distance
1. Claudinei Nitsch (CASUSA) 1:22:37 (+ 00:00)
2. Carlos Henrique Souza (COGA) 1:22:39 (+ 00:02)
3. Gelson Andrey Togni (COGA) 1:25:52 (+ 03:15)
4. Cleber Baratto Vidal (COSM) 1:30:59 (+ 08:22)
5. Marciano Claudir Kaminski (CASUSA) 1:31:31 (+ 08:54)

Middle Distance
1. Gelson Andrey Togni (COGA) 54:31 (+ 00:00)
2. Sidnaldo Farias Sousa (ADAAN) 55:05 (+ 00:34)
3. Carlos Henrique Souza (COGA) 56:45 (+ 02:14)
4. Cleber Baratto Vidal (COSM) 58:03 (+ 03:32)
5. Claudinei Nitsch (CASUSA) 58:40 (+ 04:09)

Women Elite

Sprint
1. Raquel Sales Arendt (IDESP Dourados) 18:52 (+ 00:00)
2. Edinéia Roniak (COGA) 19:10 (+ 00:18)
3. Maisa Franco Szczypior (COC) 20:06 (+ 01:14)
4. Franciely de Siqueira Chiles (COSM) 20:10 (+ 01:18)
5. Leticia da Silva Saltori (ADAAN) 20:42 (+ 01:50)

Long Distance
1. Camila Luisa Cortinhas (COSM) 1:13:06 (+ 00:00)
2. Leticia da Silva Saltori (ADAAN) 1:13:18 (+ 00:12)
3. Edinéia Roniak (COGA) 1:16:13 (+ 03:07)
4. Franciely de Siqueira Chiles (COSM) 1:20:49 (+ 07:43)
5. Elaine Dalmares Lenz (ADAAN) 1:25:20 (+ 12:14)

Middle Distance
1. Elaine Dalmares Lenz (ADAAN) 1:10:03 (+ 00:00)
2. Franciely de Siqueira Chiles (COSM) 1:13:37 (+ 03:34)
3. Maisa Franco Szczypio (COC) 1:16:03 (+ 06:00)
4. Sara Fabrina Weis (COGA) 1:17:31 (+ 07:28)
5. Leticia da Silva Saltori (ADAAN) 1:17:58 (+ 07:55)

Complete results and further information at https://www.cbo.org.br/evento/105.

[Photos: Mineira Orienteering Federation / facebook.com/pg/fmorienta/photos]

Joaquim Margarido

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

2017 Sweden PreO Championships: Victories for Marit Wiksell and Erik Stålnacke



The Swedish Trail Orienteering season started with the National PreO titles' contest. Marit Wiksell, in the night competition, and Erik Stålnacke, in the daytime version, were the big winners.


After the long break of the Nordic winter, Trail Orienteering returned to Sweden with the PreO National Championships, day and night. Organized jointly by OK Pan-Kristianstad, Andrarums IF and Stigmännen Karlshamns OK clubs, the 2017 PreO Syd called to Skåne and Blekinge, in Southern Sweden, 56 Elite competitors, mostly Swedes, but also from neighboring countries of Finland, Norway and Denmark as well as Slovakia.

At the beginning of the night of the first day, took place the National Championships of PreO-Night, which finished with the top seven competitors tied in points, with all 20 tasks answered correctly. Marit Wiksell (Rehns BK) has shown her great quality in the timed controls, being the fastest with a 19-second answer time to the three challenges. With this result, Wiksell reached her second National PreO-Night title in ten editions, after a previous victory in 2013. Winner in 2016, Jens Andersson (OK Roslagen) spent four seconds more than Wiksell and achieved the second position. Six seconds behind the winner, Robert Jakobsson (Tidaholm SOK Sisu) got the third place.


Overall winning for Jens Andersson

Kept for the National Championships of PreO-Day, the last day's course took place on a very detailed terrain where Erik Stålnacke (IFK Göteborg) reached his second title of the last three seasons. In a course consisting of 20 controls and two timed stations with two tasks each, were ten the competitors that finished with the same score, managing to answer correctly to nineteen tasks. The fastest in the sum of the timed stations was the Norwegian Geir Myhr Øien (Ringsaker OK) with 29 seconds. The second fastest competitor was Stalnåcke with 40 seconds, with the third position in this stage - and the title of vice-champion – being to Karl-Gustaf Däldehög (Fjärås AIK), with 37 seconds more than the winner. Missing the penultimate timed control, Bosse Sandström (OK Skogsmunken) also missed the national title, eventually having to settle with the bronze medal. The defending champion, William Rex (OK Landehof), finished in the 25th position, two points behind the winner.

The competition wasn't just the two National Championships stages, having a third PreO course in the intermediate day. The Norwegian Lars Jakob Waaler and Martin Aarholt Waaler, both representing PorsgrunnOL, were the great figures this time. Lars Jakob Waaler finished with 30 points, followed by a group of six competitors with one point less, including Martin Aarholt Waaler, second-placed and the Swedish Robert Jakobsson (Tidaholm SOK Sisu), third. In the reckoning of the three stages, the victory would smile to Jens Andersson (OK Roslagen) with 68 points, followed by Magnus Sterner (Strängnäs-Malmby OL) and Sigurd Dæhli (Løten OL), both with 67 points, but with Sterner being faster than the Norwegian in the timed controls.


Results

PreO Day 1
National Championships - Night
1. Marit Wiksell (Rehns BK) 20 points / 19 seconds
2. Jens Andersson (OK Roslagen) 20 points / 23 seconds
3. Robert Jakobsson (Tidaholm SOK Sisu) 20 points / 25 seconds
4. Magnus Sterner (Strängnäs-Malmby OL) 20 points / 27 seconds
5. Stig Gerdtman (Vingåkers OK) 20 points / 46 seconds

PreO Day 2
1. Lars Jakob Waaler (Porsgrunn OL, NOR) 30 points / 75 seconds
2. Martin Aarholt Waaler (Porsgrunn OL, NOR) 29 points / 16 seconds
3. Robert Jakobsson (Tidaholm SOK Sisu) 29 points / 22 seconds
4. William Rex (OK Landehof) 29 points / 23 seconds
5. Ari Tertsunen (Tuusulan Voima-Veikot, FIN) 29 points / 29 seconds

PreO Day 3
National Championships - Day
1. Geir Myhr Øien (Ringsaker OK, NOR) 19 points / 29 seconds
2. Erik Stålnacke (IFK Göteborg) 19 points / 40 seconds
3. Karl-Gustaf Däldehög (Fjärås AIK) 19 points / 66 seconds
4. Vibeke Vogelius (Silkeborg OK, DAN) 19 points / 69 seconds
5. Bosse Sandström (OK Skogsmunken) 19 points / 86 seconds

PreO Syd
Overall standings
1. Jens Andersson (OK Roslagen) 68 points / 171 seconds
2. Magnus Sterner (Strängnäs-Malmby OL) 67 points / 219 seconds
3. Sigurd Dæhli (Løten OL, NOR) 67 points / 258 seconds
4. Erik Stålnacke (IFK Göteborg) 65 points / 68 seconds
5. Robert Jakobsson (Tidaholm SOK Sisu) 65 points / 78 seconds

Complete results and further information at https://eventor.orientering.se.

[Photos: svenskorientering.se]

Joaquim Margarido

Monday, April 10, 2017

Tim Robertson: "I have a big focus on my physical shape"



Preparing the big competitions of the Summer, Tim Robertson took a little break to answer some questions for the Portuguese Orienteering Blog. It's another great interview, in which the New Zealander athlete looks back on his elite athlete career and lists some of the goals for this season.


Let me start by asking you about the last season, the first one in the Elite. How big the gap can be between the Junior category and the Elite?

Tim Robertson (T. R.) – This, of course, depends on many things. The step up in every country is different and the step up for sprint, middle and long are also different. In New Zealand I began running elite in local competitions at age 12 and by age 14 was starting to reach the podium at the New Zealand Champs, something that wouldn’t happen in a nation such as Switzerland or Norway.
When racing internationally, the step up is a lot greater. But I feel the step up from junior to senior in the sprint distance is very achievable. I was lucky to be exposed to this step up very early on at age 16 when I ran my first World Champs in Lausanne, Switzerland. I qualified for the final and finished in 33rd position. Since 2012 I have competed every year at the World Champs in the sprint distance and also from 2013 the middle and relay events; and I believe the experience I gained from these races helped me to get to the level I am today.

How happy are you with your achievements in 2016?

T. R. - I was very happy with my achievements in 2016. Originally it was going to be a ‘building year’ for me, just taking results as they came and trying to keep the motivation high, even if the results weren’t. But after finishing 5th place at the first World Cup, in Poland, I realised I already had the potential to perform well in the Elite class. Next on the 2016 calendar was the European Champs. In my opinion EOC is the pinnacle of orienteering with top countries sending up to 8 runners. I was very pleased with my preparation and my result of 7th equal, narrowly missing out on the podium by 1 second.

After this competition I had a goal of a top 10 performance at the World Champs. A goal I was close to achieving but lost in the final few controls, finishing 13th place. A little disappointed, this fuelled my training for the final World Cup in Switzerland. I had an almost perfect race here, only lacking the endurance/stamina in the final few minutes. I finished 4th place, 3 seconds off the bronze medal.

Is there one in particular that you keep in your memories?

T. R. - The most memorable was probably the first World Cup in Poland. I wasn’t sure exactly how my shape was. I had a good qualification and finished second behind Daniel Hubmann. This meant starting the final as the 4th to last competitor, a position I had never found myself in before. The race itself suited me perfectly. It was flip map race in a very small technical area, a style I have raced often in New Zealand. I knew I was having a great race but the noise in the arena was so loud that I couldn’t hear, during the run through, which placing I was in. After finishing I only had to wait three more minutes to know my official placing of 5th, it was a very unbelievable moment and something that drives my training so I can experience more of these feelings again!

2017 is a new story and it seems that you're starting to write it in the best way, after some great results in Italy and now in Denmark. Would you like to tell me about your winter season?

T. R. - Not everything went to plan for me over winter. After returning from China in October I took a month off training to refresh my body and mind for the 2017 season. Unfortunately when I was ready to begin my winter training I got sick for a few weeks. During this time I also moved from Oslo, Norway to Vienna, Austria. So there were many new changes!

It was also my first whole winter in Europe, the first month I was very excited and motivated. I wasn’t worried about the snow or the cold temperatures; it was all a new experience. But the next month and a half were very difficult. I had no motivation for my training; I wasn’t use to training in cold temperatures and struggled to find my rhythm. In February I travelled to Northern Ireland for a weekend of sprint orienteering and this was a ‘turning point’ for me. I raced a 5km there and was very disappointed with my time. I was also lacking speed in the orienteering and when I returned back to Austria I had full motivation back and started to prepare for the next trip to Italy.

How far from the best shape are you?

T. R. - It is still very early in the season and although I am happy with my shape now. I feel like I have a lot I can improve on over the next few months before WOC. I have a big focus on my physical shape this year. I have seen from my results in the World Cup races last year that I was always beginning strongly but fading in the final minutes. From the top 10 runners in the world ranking for sprint I am quite sure I have the slowest personal best times over 3000m and 5000m. This weekend I was racing another 5000m, this time on the track, so it’s a good comparison to the 5km road race in Armagh that I ran in February.

Is mental training part of your concerns?

T. R. - For some people, mental training is essential but for others not. I don’t do any specific mental training but I do like to prepare myself for competitions with the help of google maps or old maps and this I call my ‘mental training’. I know other teams are working a lot more with specific mental training however I have not looked into this much.

What are your main goals for the season?

T. R. - Next up on the calendar is 10Mila where I will race with my club Fossum. Hopefully we can improve on last year’s great result. We will also race Jukola later in the year. My 2017 plan is to race all of the World Cup rounds. The main focus will be on WOC in Estonia, but I will also be running the World Games a few weeks later. New Zealand has a very strong relay team here and I look forward to this competition. I hope to improve on my World Cup and World Championships results from last year, it would be great to finish in the top ten, but maybe a podium finish is also possible.

What kind of WOC are you expecting?

T. R. - I haven’t spent much time looking at the WOC terrains yet. I like to approach races one at a time so at the moment for me the focus is on 10Mila.

Where will the key for a successful WOC be?

T. R. - Being the best prepared I can be for the race. Getting my running speed faster and making sure I can still navigate well at that new pace.

You're a Sprint specialist and I'm sure that you are already living in the dilemma of a WOC forest vs a WOC urban. What are your thoughts on the subject?

T. R. - It’s an interesting subject, one I didn’t agree with but am following closely to see what the outcome will be and how it will affect me and my preparations. The first forest WOC is still a long way away so, for me, the focus over the next few years will be mostly sprint orientated with the goal of reaching the podium before it splits into Forest/Sprint Championships. I am still very interested in forest orienteering and love to run the Long Distance. When WOC splits I plan to start focusing on forest orienteering for a year and then continuing with sprint the following. The other option for me would be to train athletics/cross country/mountain running/mountain biking during the forest WOC year and then focus on sprint orienteering the following. It was great fun to be a part of the MOC training camp in Italy where we tested the new format for Sprint WOC. I enjoyed the concepts and am very interested to see how they are developed over the next few years!

To those who are stepping up to the Elite this season, would you like to leave a message?

T. R. - I think it’s good to acknowledge the step up but not to let it get too much into your head. Keep your motivation high and the results will come. If it is possible it’s also a great idea to train with the Elite runners. You get to see the level they are on and can gain a lot from their experience.
Personally I think it’s important to have things outside of orienteering to be doing so that it’s not just orienteering every day. For example when I was living in New Zealand I was often surfing between trainings, or now that I am living in Europe I am doing a lot of bike riding in my spare time, or skiing in the winter. It’s still exercise, but gives your mind a short break from orienteering which I feel is great for the motivation.

[Photo: Natalia Gemperle]

Joaquim Margarido

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Nazário interviews Gueorgiou: "I couldn't have dreamed of a better ending"



Bruno Nazário's face to face with Thierry Gueorgiou resulted in a great Interview presented by O-Portugal.pt and now accessible on Youtube. It's nearly 37 minutes, divided in three parts, in which the French multi-champion revisits his career, talks about a last season in the Elite and projects the future as coach of the strong Swedish team.


Would you like to know why Thierry Gueorgiou took the decision of trying one last season at the highest level? The answer is in the first part of the Interview conducted by the Portuguese coach and organizer Bruno Nazário, in which the French shares some of his best memories of twenty years of the most challenging Orienteering. At the age of 18, he started competing at the World Orienteering Championships (Grimstad, Norway), so, one part of his words goes to those youngsters who are 18 years old now, based on his own experience in the early years, were he tried to learn from the best. There are also interesting thoughts on the “Stephanoise method” and Thierry's exceptional map reading skills.


The second part starts with Thierry's theory "100 metres into the future". Looking forward orienteering naturally, “like breathing”, Thierry remembers that “quality was always the key word”. Then, time to talk about Portugal, a true “love story”, and to share the memories of more than a decade, to state that “Portugal is the best place in Europe in the Winter time” and that “Portugal O' Meeting is probably one of the best organized competitions in the world”. This part's last minutes are dedicated to review the amazing 2007 season - “for sure the best year of my career in terms of results” - and also the WOC 2011, in France, a special WOC, “where the motivation was very easy to find”.


The last part of the Interview starts with an approach to Thierry's next (and last) WOC and a strong wish: “I really would like to do something great in the Middle Distance one last time”. Then, time to talk about another “love story” called Kalevan Rasti and the incredible memory of winning Jukola in 2004. Finally, time to look on the future as coach of the Swedish team, rated as “a dream came true”. Enjoy!


Joaquim Margarido

Friday, April 07, 2017

Two or three things I know about it...



1. Six intense orienteering days, two days of training, 6 stages of competition, 169 different courses, 365 controls placed on the terrain, 51 competition and open classes, three municipalities involved and a total of 2,467 participants from 36 countries. These are the final numbers of the biggest Portugal O' Meeting ever. For those who haven't been in Alter do Chão, Crato and Portalegre, from February 25th to 28th, here is the extended summary, in a 25-minute film that was broadcasted on the Portuguese public television last Sunday. A great way to revisit the dream terrains of Alto Alentejo and to re-vibrate intensely with the best that Orienteering has to give us. Everything to see at https://youtu.be/I-VImO1A4_g.

2. It wasn't only in Portugal that MTB Orienteering was in focus last weekend. In Hungary, too, took place the Balaton MTBO, an event organized by the Hangya SZKE club, which brought together to Csopak, on the northern shore of Lake Balaton, almost 100 riders from Hungary, Austria, France and Slovakia. The French Yoann Garde and Hana Garde, both representing Team Elite MTBO, were the big winners in the Elite category in both stages, a Middle Distance on the first day and a Free Order stage on the second day. The fight for the immediate places in the Men's class was tough, particularly on the second day, in which the Hungarians Csaba Bedö, László Rózsa and András Holluby occupied by this order the immediate positions, with only 6 seconds of difference between each other. Hana Garde had an apparently simpler task, winning comfortably both stages, with the veteran Hungarian Veronika Cseh taking the second place, with disadvantages over than three minutes in the Middle Distance stage and eight minutes in the Free Order stage. Results and other information can be seen at http://mtbo.hu/balatonmtbo/en/.

3. With the presence of President Leho Haldna and the counselors, the International Orienteering Federation joined in Madrid, last weekend, having approved a set of measures with effect as of this year. Is in this case the approval of the International Specification for Orienteering Maps ISOM 2017. For IOF events between 1 May and 31 December 2017, both ISOM 2000 and ISOM 2017 could be accepted, but which map standard is used at the event must be clearly stated in the Bulletin(s) for the event. For all events after 1 January 2018, ISOM 2017 should be used unless there are contractual limitations which would prevent this. The Council also approved the program proposed by the IOF Foot Orienteering Commission regarding WOC from 2019 and the proposal from the IOF Ski Orienteering Commission to appoint the European Ski Orienteering Championships (ESOC) 2019 to Turkey during the dates 4–12 February 2019. Other subject discussed by the Council was a positive doping case in an athlete participating in a Foot Orienteering World Ranking Event in Brasília, Brazil, in September 2016. When charged with the Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV), the athlete accepted a provisional suspension whilst awaiting the decision of the hearing body of the CBO. They determined that the athlete had not committed the ADRV willfully, and therefore sanctioned them with a period of ineligibility of six months, starting on 24 November 2016, and the athlete’s results connected to the event at which the ADRV occurred have been disqualified. The council decided not to appeal the decision in this case. The IOF will work with the CBO to offer support in the Anti-Doping education of its athletes. The minutes of IOF Council Meeting can be seen HERE.

4. A new Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships WOC 2017 web page was launched a week ago, with an in-depth interview of the Long Distance course-setter Tõnis Erm. So far, you can also read interviews with top athletes Oleksandr Kratov and Marika Teini, Evely Kaasiku, one of the best Estonian orienteers and Meelis Mälberg, Chairman of the Organizing Committee and Member of the Parliament of Estonia. Take a look at http://woc2017.ee/ and see by yourself!

Joaquim Margarido

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Bosse Sandström: "Fair play is very important in our sport"



It's been over seven months, but for Bosse Sandström it looks like it was still yesterday. Main figure of the 2016 World Trail Orienteering Championships, he was the course setter of four great days of the best and most challenging Orienteering. This is part of the memories he shares today to the Portuguese Orienteering Blog. But there's more!


I would start by asking you to introduce yourself. Who is Bosse Sandström?

Bosse Sandtröm (B. S.) - I'm 56 years old, born, raised and live near Lysekil, on the west coast of Sweden. I work in a metallurgic factory and as a firefighter. I'm divorced and I have four sons. My hobbies are orienteering, photography and travelling, and to be able to combine all of my hobbies at once is really nice.

You were the course setter of the last World Trail Orienteering Championships, held in Strömstad, Sweden. What came to mind when you first received the invitation to play such an important role? How hard was it to say yes?

B. S. - I didn't hesitate one second. I saw it as an honour to be able to play such an important role.

What was the most difficult part of the course planner's job?

B. S. - I was the sole course planner and, to be honest, it was a little bit too much responsibility and it felt like a great pressure on my shoulders. But I had good help from my staff, especially Knut Ovesen, who volunteered as my mentor.

If you had the chance to go back, would you do anything differently?

B. S. - I probably wouldn't have been course planner for all competitions, because the last year before WTOC I felt as though I had three jobs. Every free weekend was dedicated to planning and I also took some days off work to be able to do a good job with the courses. On the other hand, I must admit I'm a little bit of a control freak, so I would probably have nosed in their work anyway… (laughs). Seriously, I am very happy with my work, and to be able to present the venues, Saltö and Tolvmanstegen, was very satisfying. And with the TempO competition, I deliberately made the controls easier than previous WTOCs, to speed up the answering time, making competitors make mistakes when I made some controls a little bit trickier. As I understand, the competitors appreciated that.

Could you mention one or two of the strongest moments of the Championships from the course planner´s point of view?

B. S. - Some words from Jana Kostova moved me. She said, after the competition at Saltö, “On this course I did not feel I had any disadvantage, sitting in a wheelchair”.

Is there any organizational issue in a TrailO competition which always runs on the edge of a knife, that's quite easy to escape your control?

B. S. - It's very important to bring a chair when you plan controls, to get the view of wheelchair users, and avoid any disadvantages for them. Fair play is very important in our sport. It's better to void a nice control if it's not solvable for wheelchair users.

You've been part of the strong start field in Lipica, a few days ago, for the Unofficial European Cup in Trail Orienteering 2017's kick off. How “free” did you feel there, without WTOC's concerns?

B. S. - As soon as WTOC was over, I put it behind me, so I could enjoy every competition after that very much. And since the trip to Lipica was a small vacation for me, I appreciated the Vilenica cave and I also took a trip to Venice.

Are you happy with your performance at Lipica TrailO? Did you like the courses and the maps?

B. S. - Both yes and no. I know I'm a little bit slow in TempO and, as I didn't compete so much in 2016 (for obvious reasons), I was a little bit rusty. But only three wrong answers and placing 25th was a little surprise. But four wrong answers on the PreO competition on Sunday was at least two too many. The maps and courses were of good quality, but courses were tricky, in a good way.

How beautiful can Trail Orienteering be?

B. S. - TrailO is a relatively small sport, and, if you compete a lot, you get a lot of friends from different countries, which is very nice. And to be able to solve a tricky course and not fall into the course planner's pitfalls is a very good feeling. Too bad this does not happen too often for me.

Is Trail Orienteering going in the right direction? If you had the power, would you change anything?

B. S. - Yes, I think so. The maps are getting better, and we had, at least in Sweden, in recent years many education possibilities for course planners, so there will also be better courses. And the new Relay format is a good continuation for TrailO.

Would you like to share your goals for the season?

B. S. - As I'll compete more in 2017 than I did in 2016, I hope to climb up the Swedish rankings. I also plan to compete in all ECTO competitions this year. I am also planning for our district's Championships in June, using one of the WTOC venues. And since I'm allowed to be coach again for the Swedish national team - despite the fact that Swedes didn't take any medals in Croatia, where I was coach, and last year when I wasn't able to be coach, Sweden took six gold, three silver and two bronze, in ETOC and WTOC -, I will try to lead my team to more medals.

Do you have any tips or advice to the WTOC 2017 Lithuanian organizers?

B. S. - I'm sure that they have everything under control by now, only four months before competition, but one thing I experienced was how good it is to have fine relationships with landowners. The attendant of reservation on Saltö was very helpful both before and during competition.

If, hypothetically, your Federation invited you to be the course planner of the next Swedish European or World Trail Orienteering Championships, would you accept?

B. S. - No, and for two reasons. It was a little bit too much work, and since my district federation is small, I feel we can’t summon marshals once again for such a big competition.

Joaquim Margarido