EOC_organisersOrganisers in Neuchâtel

The European Sprint Orienteering Championships did take place. The place was Neuchâtel, Switzerland; it looked lovely. The weather was a bit rainy. The Swiss, Swedish and Norwegian teams provided the medal winners, apart from Yannick Michiels (who got an EOC medal after many close misses, and lots of wins in other World Cup races.) And there was a small British team taking part.

On May 13th, there was an International Sprint Relay, the first since the the final round of the 2019 World Cup. In fact the whole meeting was the first senior international since then. May 14th was the Sprint Qualification. Saturday May 15th was the Knockout Sprint Final stages of quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals. Sunday May 16th was the individual sprints.

The three days that medals were awarded had excellent TV coverage. Throughout, COVID secure protocols were in place, and substantially there were no local spectators apart from the organisation team, but as it was sprint racing in an urban setting there were always some people about.


GBRteam_EOC2021British Team: Tam Wilson, Megan Carter-Davies, Jo Shepherd

The GBR Team Announcement, 20th April.

UK Government COVID rules meant nearly all British athletes and coaches could not travel internationally.

Links

Competition Bulletin-4

As usual there are excellent reports, with maps and analysis at World of O.

Preview of the Championships by World of O.The preview includes useful summaries of the previous European and World Championships in the Sprint disciplines. In the last Europeans, which were in 2018 also in Switzerland, Kris Jones won bronze in the individual sprint and the GBR relay team was only 25 seconds off a medal.

Report on Sprint Relay

Report on Knockout Sprint Finals

Report on Individual (Traditional) Sprint

British Results

WSF1_15May21Women's Semi-Final 1

Megan Carter-Davies qualified for the knockout sprint finals, coming second in her quarter-final. For the semi her quarter-final was paired with the one that promoted the eventual gold and silver medalists. Realistically it was always going to be a big ask to come first or second in that company, and a SIAC battery expiry during the race removed any lingering chance. Megan was 17th in the individual sprint.

Jo Shepherd was 70th in the individual sprint; Tam Wilson was 110th.

Medals

With a tie for bronze in the men's individual sprint 16 medals were awarded. They went 6 to Switzerland, 5 to Sweden, 4 to Norway, and 1 to Belgium.


On The Red Line Highlights

  • The return of international orienteering
  • High quality organisation (as ever from Switzerland)
  • Tremendous athletic and technical performances from medal winners
  • Increasing technicality as the competition went on and
  • As team sizes can be much larger than at a World Championships (for the big countries eight runners per race, plus individual world and European champions) Switzerland could emphasise the strength in depth of their men (7 of top 12 in individual) and Sweden that of their women (7 of top 13 in individual).

On The Red Line Disappointments

  • That the British team could not be any larger. At the start of last year, before the COVID interruption there were eight GB athletes in the World Ranking List Top 50s for Sprint. What a shame we couldn't take part in the Sprint Relay especially.
  • That there were no local spectators - with it being such a scenic location and spectators being so much a part of sprint orienteering

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