Friday, February 24, 2017

Portugal O' Meeting 2017: Step by step

A new edition of the Portugal O' Meeting is here and the North Alentejo embraces the World Foot and Trail orienteering Elite. Along six days, Alter do Chão, Crato and Portalegre will host the most important Portuguese Orienteering event, offering to 2.342 competitors a warm welcome, great maps and terrains and lots of fun.


For the third time in its history, GD4C - Grupo Desportivo dos Quatro Caminhos organizes the Portugal O' Meeting. Is the returning to Alter do Chão / Crato / Portalegre where, in 2011, the 16th edition of the Portugal O' Meeting took place. In a scenery of great beauty, perfect for tourism and orienteering, all the conditions are gathered for an amazing Portugal O' Meeting.

The party has already started with the Model Event, yesterday and today. But tomorrow onwards everything will be different ... and for real! Two Middle Distance stages on Saturday and Monday and two Long Distance stages, on Sunday and Tuesday. In the meanwhile, there will still be room for a Urban Night Sprint, on Saturday, in Alter do Chão and, on Sunday afternoon, the usual PreO stage.


Portugal O' Meeting 2017 official schedule


February 23rd
10h00
– Event centre opening – Alter do Chão
10h00 – Model Event open – Crato
18h00 – Event centre closing

February 24th
10h00
– Event centre opening – Alter do Chão
10h00 – Model Event open – Crato
22h00 – Event centre closing

February 25th
08h30
– Event centre opening – Arena
10h00 – Middle distance – Crato
17h00 – Event centre opening – Alter do Chão
19h00 – Night Sprint – Alter do Chão

February 26th
08h00
– Event centre opening – Arena
09h00 – Long distance – Crato
11h00 – Event centre opening for PreO (Alter do Chão)
12h30 – PreO – Alter do Chão
18h30 – PreO – Prize giving ceremony

February 27th
08h00
– Event centre opening – Arena
09h00 – Middle distance WRE (NAOM 2017) – Portalegre
15h00 – Middle distance WRE and Night Sprint – Prize giving ceremony

February 28th
08h00
– Event centre opening – Arena
09h00 – Long distance – Portalegre
14h00 – POM2017 – Prize giving ceremony

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


Technical details



Participants

The overall number of participants in this edition of the Portugal O' Meeting is of 2342, representing 36 countries. Portugal, with 582 competitors, is the most represented country, followed by Sweden (302 competitors), Spain (273), Finland (244), France (157), Norway (145) and Switzerland (144 competitors). The list also includes athletes from Australia, Brazil, Canadá, Colômbia, Japão, Macao, Taiwan, Turkey and the United States of America, among others. It's the highest number ever registered in 22 editions of the event, both in competitors and nations.

Olav Lundanes, Norway, is the competition's headliner. Following her preparation to the World Orienteering Championships, the Long Distance gold medalist in 2016 and current leader of the IOF World Orienteering Ranking chose Portugal to some good training tests. Other important names present in the competition are Gernot Kerschbaumer, Austria, Magne Dæhli, Norway, Jan Sedivy and Milos Nykodym, the Czech Republic, Catherine Taylor and Hollie Orr, Great Britain, Baptiste Rollier, Switzerland, Helena Jansson, Emma Johansson, Johan Runesson, Albin Ridefelt and Gustav Bergman, Sweden, Frederic Tranchand and Lucas Basset, France, Nadiya Volynska and Oleksandr Kratov, Ukraine, Svetlana Mironova, Russia and Timo Sild, Estonia. Six times winner of the Portugal O' Meeting Simone Niggli, Switzerland and five times winner of the Portugal O' Meeting Thierry Gueorgiou, France, are also two of the most important names in the Elite category. There are 116 competitors in the Women Elite class and 211 in the Men Elite class. 




141 entered the PreO stage

The number of entries in the PreO stage has risen beyond the best organizing team plans and that is due to the high interest of the athletes, in number of 141 entered for the stage. For that reason, there is a commitment of POM 2017 organizing team in order to allow everyone to participate and not frustrate expectations by limiting entries.

In the Open class, names like Remo Madella, Italy, Koji Chino, Japan, Bartolomiej Mazan, Poland, Zoltan Mihaczi, Hungary, Guntars Mankus, Latvia, Mark Heikoop, the Nederlands or Toño Hernandez, Spain, will face the Portuguese squad, with Inês Domingues, Luis Gonçalves, João Pedro Valente, Jorge Baltazar, Cláudio Tereso, Edgar Domingues and Nuno Pires, amongst others. In the Paralympic class, it will be interesting to watch a particular duel between Portugal and Spain, with Carlos Riu, Miguel Angel Garcia and Sergio Martin, from the Spanish side, against the Portuguese Ricardo Pinto, Cláudio Poiares, Julio Guerra and Alexandre Guedes da Silva.


For further information, please visit the Event's website, at http://pom.pt/2017/en/.

Joaquim Margarido

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