Wednesday, March 22, 2017

EIOC 2017: Kettunen and Halawa won first-ever TrailO event in Egypt



Eeva Kettunen, in the Open Class, and Mohamed Halawa, in the Paralympic Class, were the winners of the Egyptian International Orienteering Championships 2017’s PreO stage. These were two historical victories in the first-ever TrailO event to be held in Egypt.


After Luxor, in 2016, the 2nd Egyptian International Orienteering Championships took place in Sharm el Sheikh, Southern Sinai, Egypt, in early February 2017. Organized by the Egyptian Orienteering Federation and International Orienteering Federation, with the strong support from the Croatian club OK Vihor Zagreb, the event attracted 130 competitors from 15 different nations. The EIOC 2017 kicked-off with a Sprint race scoring for the IOF World Sprint Orienteering Ranking, whose winners were Will Critchley (Edmonton Orienteering Club, CAN) and Linda Verbraken (TROL Belgium, BEL). After a Middle Distance race and another Sprint race, in the second and third days, Will Critchley and Mariana Marynchenko (Ukrainian Hunters, UKR) get the top positions in the overall standings.

A surprise addition to the event’s Program was the first-ever TrailO/PreO event to be held in Egypt, which was attended by 22 competitors from 9 countries. Set by Ivana Gobec and Damir Gobec, the course took benefit of the detailed terrains surrounding a holiday resort on the shore of the Red Sea, offering 15 challenging tasks, plus two timed stations with three tasks each. In the Open Class, Eeva Kettunen (Edmonton Orienteering Club) and Yau Chiu Hui finished the course with 14 points each, but Kettunen was more accurate in the timed stations and achieved the victory. In the fight for the immediate positions, Bartlomiej Mazan (WKS Śląsk Wrocław) was clearly better than Chris Virgo (Devon OC) and Shoaib Kareem (Egyptian Military Team) in the timed stations, finishing in the third place. Four competitors from Egyptian Military Team took part in the Paralympic competition, in which Mohamed Halawa get the win with 12 points.

To the Portuguese Orienteering Blog, IOF Adviser Damir Gobec left some thoughts: “Sharm El Sheikh came out a big crossroad for Egyptian orienteering and specially for the TrailO Team. Working in different environment and with people of different culture is always challenging and we learned a lot how time is something completely irrelevant. We found out that Egyptian TrailO Team can be very good. They have a strong will, some basic map reading experience and now they have some knowledge. After gaining some international experience, they will be competitive even on international level”, he said. And a last note: “You know that Croatia came out of nowhere at WTOC in the Czech Republic and we picked up there our first IOF medal, so I hope that this Croatian-Egyptian work will give us some new very good results.”


Results

Open class
1. Eeva Kettunen (Edmonton Orienteering Club, CAN) 14 points / 81 seconds
2. Yau Chiu Hui (Kong Kong Island Orienteering, HKG) 14 points / 153 seconds
3. Bartlomiej Mazan (WKS Śląsk Wrocław, POL) 13 points / 49 seconds
4. Chris Virgo (Devon OC, GBR) 13 points / 231 seconds
5. Kareem Shoiab (Egyptian Military Team, EGY) 13 points / 415 seconds

Paralympic class
1. Mohamed Halawa (Egyptian Military Team, EGY) 12 points / 226 seconds
2. Ahmed Mohamed Nagieb (Egyptian Military Team, EGY) 11 points / 323 seconds
3. Ahmed Abd Allatif (Egyptian Military Team, EGY) 8 points / 313 seconds
4. Hassan Mohamed (Egyptian Military Team, EGY) 8 points / 481 seconds

Complete results and further information at http://egyorinteering.org/.

[Photo: Tamer Mehanna / facebook.com]

Joaquim Margarido

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