Nathan Lawson, on a wet day in the Lakes
The World Championships (WOC) in Czechia begin with the Individual Sprint races on Saturday 3rd July.
The qualification races are from 8am UK-time. The final begins at 1:30pm (first men start), with the TV broadcast starting at 1:50pm, ending about 4:15pm. From the three heats it is the first 15 that qualify for the final.
Most countries, and that includes Britain, enter three men and women, and the team manager will elect one early, one middle and one late starter. The expected winning time in the heats is 12 and a half minutes. In the final it's 14 and a half minutes.
The racing is at Terezín, a really interesting location. It's an eighteenth century fortress, comprising a citadel and a walled garrison town by the Ohře river just south of where it joins the Elbe. It's multi-level and the planners are also using artificial barriers. The courses are half grass and half paved - a high proportion of grass for a typical sprint race, and the fortress has some steep grassy slopes which could be "testing" if wet.
Terezín is a memorial to people as well as well as to fortress engineering. In World War II, after Czechoslovakia was annexed, the fortress became a Nazi prison and a crowded Jewish ghetto and concentration camp was established in the town. It was known by the German name Theresienstadt. The Wikipedia entry says about 2500 died in the prison and 33000 died in the Ghetto.
section of old map of Terezín, the venue for the individual sprint
Three runners make their WOC debuts, and three have run at least three WOCs. Please click the pictures for some notes about an athlete.
The debutants are:
The experienced runners are