Nuuksio National Park, photo courtesy of the World Cup Round 1 organisation
Six men and five women are selected to represent GB at the first round of the 2019 World Cup, being held in Finland in June. All will run the middle and chasing start races, and there will be one team in the Sprint Relay. There are three officials in support.
British Orienteering Official Selection Announcement.
The biggest orienteering relay in the world, Jukola, happens not so far away the following weekend. Most/all of the GB team will be joining their Scandinavian club teams after the World Cup to prepare.
The event centre is Kisakallio, about a third of the way between Helsinki and Turku.
For the middle race (4.6km + 205m climb for women, 5.9km + 280 m for men):
The start order is determined strictly by the standing of the IOF Orienteering World Ranking List as of 6th June 2019 (highest ranked start last). The start interval is 90 seconds.
For the long race, the chasing format means start times are determined by the middle race results. The first ten in each race will gain bonus seconds, from 2 minutes for the winner to 5 seconds for 10th.
These are the five athletes who ran the forest races at last year's World Champs. They are all in the top 100 of the forest world ranking list, with Cat highest at 24 and Megan lowest at 89.
Megan has had a good spring, winning the JK long and overall (and sprint), and the British. Cat, continuing to limit her running to manage a six-month recovery from a leg injury, did not run the JK long or British, but won the JK Middle World Ranking Event. She also achieved a good result at Lørdagskjappen, on 13th April - she made the top 10 in a strong field. Jo and Charlotte are both living in Norway and ran at the JK. Jo was second in the World Ranking Event, and second overall. Charlotte was fifth overall, behind Megan, Jo, Jo's Halden SK clubmate the New Zealander Lizzie Ingham, and Cecilie Andersen (who is probably unavailable for this selection.)
Ralph lives in Norway and did not run the JK. He ran the middle and forest relay at last year's World Champs, and like Cat had an encouraging run at Lørdagskjappen. Peter Hodkinson ran last year's WOC relay (GB were sixth) and won the JK Middle Distance World Ranking Event - choosing not to start the long race. Chris, Peter Bray and Will were the top three in the JK long race and overall. Sasha, another member of Halden SK (where he spent 6 months last year), did not run the JK and was second at the British. He ran forest races in Norway and the Czech Republic in World Cup rounds 3 and 4 last year. Of the selected athletes he is currently second (behind Ralph) in the forest world ranking list.
The selection announcement also said Ralph was selected for the World Champs middle distance - he was 13th in that last year.
At the World Champs (which are in Norway) GB has places for 3 men and 3 women in the middle races (which have qualification races before the final) and 2 men and 2 women for the long race (which is a straight final.) There are also forest relays, men's and women's, both for teams of three.
For the forest individual races, middle qualifiers and long, the start order is determined by reverse world ranking list order. So in general the higher the position in the world ranking list for an athlete the better their start position. This World Cup Round is a chance to improve points - and a chasing start race can be particularly helpful as times can be compressed.
Several other athletes with World Champs experience are in contention for the World Champs team, and they may well not have been available for this selection. Notably Graham Gristwood, also managing recovery from long-term injury and who was second at the JK Middle World Ranking Event, and three athletes who ran forest races at last year's World Champs: Alasdair McLeod (the new British Champion in Individual and Relay), Alan Cherry and Hector Haines (who both live in Scandinavia). Test races, which many countries as well as GB will use, take place in Southern Norway on 5th and 7th July.