TreePicVirtual Control Site, 2020

When can it all get back to how it was before? Who knows, maybe it can't, so here's a summary of the the status of the British squad, and international and big domestic competitions.

Can we be optimistic? We said that the 2020 season ended not soon after it started, which was true in a general sense as little of the season happened as originally planned. In gloomy moments we wonder if this year the season will start before it ends? Perhaps cautious optimism is appropriate. Maybe things won't be quite as they were before but they will still be good, later in the year.

British Squad

2021 Squad Announcement from British Orienteering

Two athletes, Matt Speake and Jess Halliday, both with fine records for representing Great Britain, have left the squad. Two, both first year seniors, have joined.

Thanks Matt and Jess

Matt Speake, who represented Britain at eight World Champs, and Jess Halliday, who represented Britain at four World Champs, both live in Scandinavia and will continue to run for elite clubs.

Matt Matt Speake (L) Jess Jess Halliday (R)


Alastair Thomas and Grace Molloy are the athletes joining the squad. They have both recorded some very fine performances in the last few years, based on strong technical skills.

Grace Grace Molloy (L) Alastair Alastair Thomas (R)

International Fixtures

Euromeeting, which was to have been in the Czech Republic later this month is cancelled. Unfortunately the Czech Republic is having a bad time with COVID, and last Friday a state of emergency was imposed.

The European Championships (World Cup Round 1), in Neuchâtel in Switzerland in May, are planning to take place without local spectators. It's the three sprint disciplines, so the "no spectators" is particularly unfortunate. From a British perspective it is not clear how travel will be possible - the competition finishes before the earliest date at which the UK Government's roadmap (for England) allows international travel.

The World Championships, in Doksy in the Czech Republic in July, are currently on. This is the forest disciplines plus sprint and sprint relay. But the usual training possibilities have stopped. We note the forest terrain for these Champs is really special - it looks spectacular and lovely but it is different to what many athletes will have much experience of - so it is unfortunate the usual opportunities for familiarisation are not possible.

World Cup Round 2, in Idre Fjäll in Sweden, in August is on. The Event Director is the well-known commentator Per Forsberg, and the event is publishing interviews with top orienteers in "Speaker's Corner".

  • Speakers Corner #1 - Simona Aebersold
  • Speakers Corner #2 - Olav Lundanes
  • Speakers Corner #3 - Karolin Ohlsson
  • Speakers Corner #4 - Vojtech Kral
  • Speakers Corner #5 - Isia Basset
  • Speakers Corner #6 - Miika Kirmula
  • Speakers Corner #7 - Andrine Benjaminsen
  • Speakers Corner #8 - Tim Robertson

The World Cup Final, in Cansiglio, Italy, is at the end of September / beginning of October.

The International Relays

TioMila is off.

"Tiomila will not be held in Valdemarsvik as planned. Once again, it is the corona pandemic that has led to the orienteering classic being deferred. And once again, the Tiomila Association is investigating whether Tiomila can be moved to the autumn."

Jukola and Venla the Arctic Circle one, is on.

Domestic Champs

> The British Relay Champs are cancelled.

> The British Middle Championships (8 & 9 May) are at the moment still on – the final decision will be around 27 March.

> The British Sprint Champs Weekend is re-scheduled for August (21-22/8).

> The British Long Championships may be in the autumn (3/10).

> The British Night Championships may be in the autumn (27/11).

There is no JK.

There is the Scottish 6-Day - 1st-7th August - the elite classes could be very interesting if this becomes the major UK competition of the year.

The UK Elite League is going to be light and agile in its nomination of focus races.

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