Peter Hodkinson, credit IOF/WOC2019
It was a qualification only day at the World Championships today - the first one since 2013. There were no medals won, no cameras in the forest, no big screen and it was all over in quite short time. So there was not the high sustained drama we look forward to for the three finals days coming up. There was however plenty of interest and good orienteering, there were nervous athletes, and there were of course individual dramas, triumphs and sadness. As Peter Hodkinson says in his interview (see below) "You can't win but you can lose". So it was perhaps more of a necessary day rather than a hugely memorable day for most of those present.
Home country runners won three of the six races: Olav Lundanes, Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg and Kamilla Olaussen.
Five of six British athletes qualified for the finals, which are on Friday, from approx 1230 UK-time. The Web-TV production is expected to be the best yet - it is 10 euros all-in for tomorrow's long distance, Friday's middle finals and the relays on Saturday.
Peter Hodkinson interview post-race. (Please click on the pic.twitter.com link.)
Ralph Street also shared some thoughts. (Please click on the pic.twitter.com link.)
There were three heats for women and three for men. A country with three runners (the maximum unless a country had a runner with a "personal place" as defending or regional champion) nominated them one each to early/middle/late start. Then they were randomly assigned to different heats. The first 15 in each heat would qualify, and then most of the highest placed runners from each country that would not otherwise have a final runner. For the stronger 15 countries (slightly different list for the men and the women) including Great Britain, that meant runners had to be in the first 15 to qualify. For other countries it was necessary to achieve a higher position in your heat than your teammates do in theirs (but that way expect to start early in the final: you improve your prospects for the final by qualifying via the first 15.) Five of the six British athletes qualified, finishing between 5th and 10th in their heats. Matt Speake missed out. He was really near: 17th in his heat off an early start.
Other countries with five athletes running on Friday are Norway, France and Denmark. With six are Sweden, Czech Republic and Latvia. And with seven are Switzerland, Finland and Russia.
World of O - All You Need To Know (to follow the Championships)
GPS Tracking - All Races ("2DR" works best here)
(The free live Trac Trac GPS Tracking had some performance issues.)