MaryEarpsLboroHonDegree_UniWebsiteMary Earps, England Lionesses Goalkeeper, pictured at Loughborough University in Honorary Degree Regalia last December. She graduated from the University in Information Managment and Business Studies in 2016. A few days after receiving her honorary degree she won BBC Sports Personaility of the Year. She is the third Loughborough Alumni to win the BBC Award, the others being runners: Lord Seb Coe and Paula Ratcliffe MBE. picture source: University website.

On Good Friday Loughborough University will again host a major sprint orienteering race. It's the first day of the four-day JK Festival. Runners are in 40 classes (ages 10 to 90) ,and the top classes for men and women are World Ranking Events with 310 entries.

The JK Festival continues with middle and long races at Beaudesert in the West Midlands on Saturday and Sunday. and it finishes with Relays on Monday back in the East Midlands at Stanton Moor. The total number of entered participants is 2,400.

Results, which will be updated during the races.

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sarah-hagstrom-sprintRelay-eoc2023_otrlSarah Hagstrom in the walled town of Soave, a few minutes from taking the EOC 2023 Sprint Relay win for Sweden. Note grapes used for Soave wine drying traditionally in the tower! Photo: On The Red Line

The European Championships in 2023 were in the sprint formats in historic towns of Northern Italy. The event centre was in Pescheira del Garda and the races were in Verona, Soave and Vicenza. The Sprint Relay was won by Sweden, and the GB team was 6th. Ralph Street made the podium on all the race days with the sprint relay and two fourth places, but he didn't win a medal. Megan Carter-Davies, Jonathan Crickmore and Nathan Lawson had top-20 results. Cecilie Andersen, Peter Hodkinson, Eddie Narbett all got through qualification on one or two days, and Freddie Carcas missed out by the narrowest of margins. In fact the individual days were full of the competition of narrow margins.

Tove Alexandersson and Matthias Kyburz both won two gold and one silver in three races. Sara Hagstrom and Jonatan Gustafsson won two medals each and made the podium every day.

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freddie-carcas-eoc23-Knockout%20SprintQ_otrlFreddie Carcas just missed out on the knockout stages. He was tied in the final qualification spot in heat 3 and lost out because he has fewer ranking points than the other runner.

The European Champs Knockout Sprint racing took place on Sunday 8th October in Vicenza. The morning qualification (athletes in quarantine by 7:30) was in the suburbs, on the Creazzo map. The heats reduced the fields from 142 men and 131 women to 36 of each for the finals, for six "quarter-finals" of six runners each. The finals were in the largely pedestrianised centre of the City, with quite a few pedestrians and cyclists, mostly unaware of "high-speed" runners until whistles and shouting announced their approach.

The qualification races were very tight as expected, and for the many near the cutoffs it was quite chancy. The knockout stages were full of excitement and noise, fast running in the streets, some possible danger and some tiny margins.

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ralph-street-postFinish-EuroChamps23_otrlRalph Street made the podium but not a medal in the European Champs Sprint 2023: 5 seconds off gold, 2 seconds off silver, 1 second off bronze, photo: On The Red Line

The European Champs Individual Sprint racing took place on Wednesday 4th October in Verona.

It is a 2-race format, with qualification and finals. Both sets of courses were relatively straightforward by the standards of international sprint racing, and it was mere seconds deciding the quakification and the medals - especially in the men's race..

In the morning qualification races, held away from the centre of Verona, the fields were reduced from 144 men and 134 women to 45 of each for the finals (actually 46 women as in one heat two runners tied for the final qualification spot.)

In the afternoon, next to the Roman Amphitheatre and running through the Old Town near Juliet's balcony, the medals (and places, and World Cup points) were decided.

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cecilie-andersen-23WCuprd2_RLCecilie Andersen is one of 14 GB athletes in Northern Italy for the European Champs, Cecilie photo: by Rob Lines at the previous round of the World Cup this year.

The European Champs start early on Wednesday morning 4th October, continue on the 6th, and finish on Sunday 8th. It's the turn of the sprint disciplines and a large British team has gathered in Northern Italy. If you're not there the best way to follow it via the Live Internet TV with English commentary at 25 Euros for three broadcasts (or individual ones at 9 euros each), but if you don't have that then there are free online services.

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chloe-potter-BSR23_RLChloe Potter, first leg for South Yorkshire "Killer Bees" team, British Sprint Relays 2023, Brunel University London, photo: Rob Lines

There have been two important sprint format competitions in the UK this September. One was the gathering of top domestic and international runners for Sprint Scotland on the first weekend, and the other was a British Championships two weeks later. In between a 14-runner GB team for next month's sprint formats European Champs was announced.

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peter-molloy-c-WorldCup23SprintRelay_RLPeter Molloy, running in 2023 World Cup Round 2, photo: Rob Lines

As summer ends and Autumn begins GB orienteering attention is very much on the sprint formats. Our article Stepping to Edinburgh noted the next steps after World Cup Round 2 being the Antwerp Sprint Meeting in Ghent in mid-August and Sprint Scotland the first weekend in September. Both include knockout sprints.

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cecilie3Cecilie Andersen, Sweden 2022, by Rob Lines.

July 2022 Cecilie was first leg of the bronze medal winning GB sprint relay team at the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama.

Full IOF Broadcast of the Sprint Relay in Birmingham Alabama.

Cecilie competes in both forest and sprint formats,...

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grace-molloy-OWC23Czech_JiriCechGrace Molloy, photo: Jiri Cech, Český svaz orientačních sportů

After the Sprint and Sprint Relay the World Cup Round in Czechia switched to the forest. On Saturday 5th August it was a Middle Distance, and on Sunday 6th August a Long Distance. These were the last forest races in the World Cup until after next year's Sprint World Championships in Edinburgh. The next 10 international races, four competition rounds, at World Cup / World Champs level, are in Sprint of one sort or another.

In general in the forest the GB athletes had quite good technical races, but the physicality of the courses did not suit them. Almost all the running required climb or descent (and often both) or contouring on often steep slopes.

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teamGB2finishes-WorldCup23SprintRelay_RLRachel Brown finishes in the World Cup Sprint Relay in Česká Lípa, photo: Rob Lines

The second race of World Cup Round 2 was an exciting Sprint Relay with 59 teams taking part. Nations could enter up to four teams with the highest placed counting for the World Cup and podium. Team GB1 mispunched on leg 1, and it was left to team GB2 to secure 17th nation place. At the front it was expected to be a close race between the Swedish and Swiss first teams, with an intriguing contest for third and the other podium places. It went like that for a time as Sarah Hagstrom and Simona Aebersold built a sizeable lead on leg 1, and at the end of the second leg Sweden 1 and Switzerland 1 were just two seconds apart..And over a minute ahead of a group of chasing teams. But then Matthias Kyburz pulled away on leg 3 and gave Elena Roos a good margin for the final leg. So Switzerland won. Sweden 1 were overtaken right at the end by the Czechia 1 team to the delight of the home crowd.

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ralph-street-1-WorldCup23Sprint_RLRalph Street won the World Cup Sprint Race in Česká Lípa, photo: Rob Lines

Česká Lípa in North-East Czechia, close to where the World Champs were held in 2021, is hosting World Cup Round 2. The first race, on Wednesday August 2nd, was an individual sprint and Ralph Street won. He was the fifth last starter, came sixth in last year's World Champs, and has been running fast times in sprint relays in the last few years. Nevertheless his victory was unexpected by the commentators who bravely pick possible winners before a race! It was noted that the win came only a few weeks after the forest World Champs, which Ralph had prioritised in his training.

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OverViewMapCeskaLipaČeská Lípa is the location for World Cup Round 2

Close to where the 2021 World Champs races were, and like then with both sprint and forest races on the programme, Česká Lípa in Czechia hosts World Cup Round 2. It's the third of the four big international competitions in the year. World Cup Round 1 (Norway) and the World Champs (Switzerland) have passed and the European Champs in Sprint (Italy) are ahead in early October.

GB has a team of 14 athletes. Britain has six places for the sprint, middle and long races, and can enter three sprint relay teams. It is expected that most of the athletes will run all the races: Sprint, Sprint Relay, Middle Distance and Long Distance.

IOF Eventor - World Cup Round 2

There are accompanying spectator races under the label Kwak Czech O-Tour.

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joshua-dudley-WOC23RelayJoshua Dudley running Leg 2 for GBR completes the final loop at the WOC23 Men's Relay

The favourite teams in the World Champs Relays, Switzerland in the Men's Race, and Sweden in the Women's, both had clear wins. So Daniel Hubmann did become the oldest ever World Champion (and no, he has not retired.) There were no big surprises. Both British teams finished lower in the results than they had hoped. In the men's race, run first, GBR were aiming for top-10 and were 17th (6 minutes off 10th). In the women's race GBR were aiming for top-6 and were eighth (3 minutes off a close tussle for 5th/6th.)

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WOC23LongSteep terrain for the World Champs long races (the sight looking from control 8 on the women's course)

The World Champs Long Races in Switzerland lived up to expectations with very challenging physical courses, difficult route choices and superb performances by several athletes.

The highlight for the British team was Megan Carter-Davies's seventh place, an exceptionally good result, and close behind the bronze medallist. The other British athletes had sound races. Cecilie Andersen and Jo Shepherd were 30th and 31st respectively. Peter Bray and Joshua Dudley were 37th and 39th respectively.

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megan-carter-davies-WOC23MQ-LasseGronMegan Carter-Davies runs in at the World Champs 2023 Middle Qualification, photo: Lasse Gron

It was six heats: three for men, three for women, with the first 15 in each to qualify by right (some runners from countries who would otherwise not have representation in the final also qualify.)

As regards the strongest countries it all went much to plan. Very technical terrain and good preparation were perhaps the main reasons.

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IbexBulletin4One of this year's trophies, from the World Championships Bulletin-4

On Wednesday 12th July the racing in the 2023 World Champs (WOC) begins. The Champs are at Flims-Laax in the mountain canton of Graubünden in Switzerland. The competition will be top-notch and the scenery will be stunning.

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chris-smithard-2023WCupNorway-relayChris Smithard, World Cup Relay, April 2023

The final races of The World Cup Round in Østfold, Norway were forest relays. On Sunday April 30th the men started at 1pm, the women at 3pm. It was a grand occasion as the sun shone, and the arena was laid out to bring the athletes close to the crowd, most of whom had run their own races (finishing in the arena) in the morning. The changeover and an arena passage were right next to the crowds, and with quarantine only closing 15 minutes before first start many of the national team athletes mingled with the crowd in the arena. The relays were close, exciting races, with both having several teams close together throughout, and there was a particularly spectacular sprint finish in the men's race.

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chloe-potter-2023WCupNorway-middle-startChloe Potter on the start line

The second race of the 2023 World Cup was a middle distance. It was expected that the men's race could be won by any of a dozen runners and the women's race would be won by Tove Alexandersson, the current World Cup champion. Tove won the long race on Thursday and has been the outstanding athlete in this type of race for some years. Compared to those expectations both results were a surprise.

Tove Alexandersson only came second as her compatriot Sara Hagstrom ended 10 seconds ahead in the 35 minute race. It was very exciting. Tove was 5 seconds quicker at the penultimate control, less than a minute from the finish. At the same time Sara Hagstrom was being interviewed as the big screen showed drone and fixed camera footage of Tove coming through the last control and dashing over the line, as the seconds ticked down.

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TVinterview-2023wcup1-longA TV interview at the first race of the 2023 World Cup in Norway

The first race of the 2023 World Cup was a long (target winning times: 82 minutes women, 90 minutes men.) It was expected that Scandinavian runners would be the strongest in the Nordic terrain and so it proved.

In the women's race Tove Alexandersson (82:07) and Sara Hagstrom (83:02) of Sweden were one-two, with Marie Olaussen of Norway taking third place. Full Results.

In the men's race Kasper Fosser (88:06) of Norway finished 3 seconds and 9 seconds respectively ahead of the Swedes Emil Svensk and Martin Regborn. It was very, very close. Full Results

Official Results

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peter-taylor-bray_BOC23_cr_WCPeter Bray, running in after 17.8km and 480m climb, photo: Wendy Carlyle

The new British Champions are Peter Taylor-Bray and Julie Emmerson.who took the wins in the open classes at the British Long Champs on Saturday 25th March 2023.

The races were in rolling mixed woodland at Cold Ash in Berkshire, as used for the JK2019 Long Race.

The day afterwards, the British Relay races were held at Hambleden Woods near Henley-on-Thames. The premier class relays were won by the Coventry club Octavian Droobers (men) and Edinburgh University (women).

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ColdAsh_mapclipCold Ash Mapclip, from Routegadget

The British Long Champs are next Saturday 25th March, in rolling mixed woodland of Southern England at Cold Ash in Berkshire, as used for the JK2019 Long Race.

There's a good entry and the men's race in particular looks very competitive. A few though are saving their powder for two weeks later in the rockier terrain of the Lake District, when it's GB selection races.

Courses at the British are much the same length as in 2019: W21E has 12.2km, 285m climb, compared to 12.1km + 340m, M21E has 17.8km + 480m compared to 17.8km + 500m. This could be the last British with such a short winning time on the women's, and such a long winning time on the men's.

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WelomcetoColdAsh2023photo:Jane Courtier, from the British Champs website

While we're waiting, let's mention the IOF World Federation League Table and pose a few questions (for your personal amusement, no prizes.) This decides how many runners a country can enter in an individual World Cup Race. There are separate tables for men and women, combining forest and sprint.

If you've kept interest this far you can probably say what are the top four countries in the tables. But how about a guess for their order (it has changed in the last year)? And how about who's fifth, and where GB stands in each table?

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CUOC_Icenian_2023_byDikNgDuncan Birtwistle leads off the Men's Open at the Icenian Sprints UK Elite League Race, photo:Dik Ng

March is here and with it the British Championships, Long and Relay weekend. The Long is at Cold Ash, venue for the JK Long Race in 2013 (Matt Speake, Cat Taylor quickest) and 2019 (Chris Smithard, Megan Carter-Davies quickest.) The relays are at Hambleden, venue for the British Nights 2020 on the eve of the pandemic, and the JK Middle Race in 2013.

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graham-gristwood-long031022_red_CAGraham Gristwood was the highest placed GB runner at last Autumn's World Cup Final Middle race in Switzerland, photo: Christian Aebersold

Experience counts for a lot in orienteering. That was very evident in last year's results from the GB team.

We look forward to four major international foot-O meetings in 2023, and five in 2024, the latter including the Home World Championships in Edinburgh. The tremendous GB success at last year's sprint World Champs is evidence of real strength in the team. And this year there's an almost entirely unchanged group of athletes, with a great deal of experience amongst the older runners. One of the challenges for management and coaches is the differing needs of athletes. The many experienced athletes know what works for them, and they'll be the ones aiming at the target results (top 20, top 10, podium, medal.)

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fiona-bunn-wcuplong_20221003Fiona Bunn finishes the long race in a "new best time", photo: On The Red Line

The 2022 international season finished with three forest races in Switzerland on 1st-3rd October. It was Round 3, the final one, of the World Cup for 2022. Saturday was relays, Sunday was middle distance, and Monday was the long races. They were on the steep slopes of alpine valleys in the east of Switzerland, with two of the starts reached by cable car.

The international racing was well attended, with over a hundred runners in each individual race. This was partly because next year's World Championships will be held a little to the west, in Flims Laax, in July and there were training camps running after the competition.

At the same arenas there were public races on Saturday and Sunday too so there were plenty of crowds. As ever, the Swiss team were well prepared for races on home terrain.

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prevMapDavos

The international season draws to a close with three forest races in Switzerland on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. It's Round 3, the final one, of the World Cup for 2022. Saturday is forest relays, Sunday is middle distance races, and Monday is the long races. The venue is Davos Klosters, best known for World Economic Forum Conference, near the Austrian border. The terrain is Alpine, high up with plenty of climb (of course) and it might snow.

Next year's World Championships will be held a little to the west, in Flims Laxx, in July 2023.

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ralph-street-middlefinal-eoc2022_cr_FHRalph Street on his way to 13th in the Middle Final, photo: Fred Härtelt

The European Orienteering Championships for 2022 took place in Estonia and were for the forest disciplines. The medal races were the 4th, 6th and 7th August.

Eventor - Orienteering World Cup Round 2 and European Championships 2022

All races used the same arena, in the Põlula forest, near Rakvere, midway between Tallinn and the Russian border. For the previous European Championships, back pre-COVID in 2018 and covering more disciplines GB had a team of 17 including only one runner outside the 25-30 age group. This time Britain took 13 athletes, but it was much more slanted towards development. Our preview article on the team

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peter-molloy-WUOCmiddleAug22Peter Molloy in the Jura forest, image: from the TV broadcast

The World University Orienteering Champs took place in Switzerland last week. It was a big competition with teams from thirty countries and races on all the five days from Wednesday to Sunday. The age range for runners is now 18-25 (the upper limit used to be 28) and it provides a useful way for younger athletes to have international competition between the junior events (although many of the athletes are still juniors) and the World Cup.

Great Britain was represented by a full team of twelve athletes. There was a mix of results, as you would expect at this level, with some of the team taking the chance to record strong performances.

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Capri2_at_WOC2022Capri, the World Champs 2023 Mascot, on stage at the World Champs 2022

The sprint racing that has filled the international calendar so far this year is done. This week it's the second round of the 2022 World Cup, the European Championships. All races are in tough forest in Estonia: long (classic), middle and relay races.

Fourteen athletes are in the British Team, seven women and seven men. It's a larger and also much less experienced team than went to the (Sprint) World Championships in Denmark in June.

Congratulations to Rachel Brown, Chloe Potter, Peter Molloy and Joe Woodley who make World Cup debuts. Rachel and Peter are W/M20.

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Capri_WOC2023_TSThe WOC2023 Mascot, Capri, photo: copyright steineggerpix.com + woc 2023, by Thomi Studhalter

It was to Swiss mountain forests of the Flims-Laax valley for the World Orienteering Championships 2023. The courses were both as physical and technical as expected and the races threw few surprises in the medallists:.Tove Alexandersson and Matthias Kyburz both won two golds and a silver. They lost out in the long to the golden couple of Simona Aebersold and Kasper Fosser. The weather was heavy at times, but did not get as bad as two different days the next week, when the 5000 runner Swiss-O week cancelled races up the mountains because of dangerous storms.

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TWG22teamGBRTeam GB, The World Games 2022: Cecilie Andersen, Ralph Street, Jonathan Crickmore and Charlotte Ward

Early Sunday morning 17th July, on the last day of The World Games, the GB Team won the bronze medals in the Sprint Relay.

The racing was in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. It was the third day of racing. On Friday it had been individual sprint and on Saturday a forest middle race. Both had been in hot and humid conditions. It was not quite as hot for the relay, but still many of the runners poured water over themselves before running.

There was free internet TV. Using that, with the kind permission of the IOF, we have made a five minute summary video of the race from a GB perspective.

After the race the GB team talked about the race.

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TWG22teamGBRTeam GB, The World Games 2022: Cecilie Andersen, Ralph Street, Jonathan Crickmore and Charlotte Ward

On 15th, 16th and 17th July there are three top-notch international orienteering races as part of the World Games in BIrmingham, Alabama.

The races are a sprint, a middle and a sprint relay. The races are on internet TV (free.) Birmingham is about the same latitude as Tunis and at this time of year it is hot and humid, with a risk of storms later in the day, so races are early local time. First starts: 3pm UK-time.

The Games has places for 80 orienteering athletes, 40 men and 40 women, and these go mostly to teams of 4 from leading countries, and partly to individual champions. Britain selected athletes (from those available) with an emphasis on the two sprint races rather than the forest middle, but the old map for the latter looks as if it will be a great area. All four, Cecilie Andersen, Ralph Street, Jonathan Crockmore and Charlotte Ward, like most British athletes, have higher world rankings in sprint than in forest. (In fact Charlotte, World ranking 21 in sprint, does not have a forest ranking.)

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nathan-lawson-sprintRelayMay22Nathan Lawson, Borås Stadtspark, photo: Rob Lines

The GB first team of Charlotte Ward, Jonny Crickmore, Nathan Lawson and Megan Carter-Davies, were sixth, fourth nation, in the Sprint Relay in the centre of Borås on Sunday 29th May.

The race was won by Sweden's second team. The favourites, Sweden-1, made noticeable mistakes on leg3 and leg4, causing them to finish third. Switzerland-1 was second. Norway-1 were fourth, so third nation. Switzerland-2 were fifth.

Official Results - Orienteering World Cup Sprint Relay May 2022. There are two lists: one for just the leading teams for each country and one for all teams, including up to four teams per country, plus the "mixed" teams.

The GB second team of Alice Leake, Chris Smithard, Will Gardner and Grace Molloy were twenty-second of the fifty-seven teams that started, just behind Czech-1.

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mcd-inSemi-KOsprint_RLMegan Carter-Davies leads a quarter-final

Megan Carter-Davies won the silver medal in the World Cup Knockout Sprint in Borås, Sweden.

The Knockout Sprint races took place on Saturday 28th May. They comprised a qualification early in the morning, and then quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals in the afternoon.

Ralph Street got through to the men's final coming 7th (the final had an extra runner after a protest). Charlotte Ward, Cecilie Andersen and Jonny Crickmore qualified for the knockout stages and were eliminated in the quarter-finals.

Official Results - Orienteering World Cup Knockout Sprint May 2022.

The excellent photos here are the work of Rob Lines. You can find Rob's oeuvre of orienteering photographs on Flickr.

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charlotte-ward-interview_May2022Charlotte Ward, interviewed after her terrific run

A GB team of 12 athletes, six men and six women, is in Borås, Sweden for three races forming World Cup Round 1. The races are the sprint disciplines: individual sprint, knockout sprint and sprint relay.

The individual sprint was on Thursday 26th May, and Kris Jones and Charlotte Ward both finished with a "top 10" result.

Official Results - Orienteering World Cup Individual Sprint May 2022.

Thanks to Rob Lines for the excellent photos.

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hemsideBanner7

GB has named a team of 13 athletes, seven men and six women, for 2022 World Cup Round 1 in Borås, Sweden at the end of May. The races are the sprint disciplines: individual sprint, knockout sprint and sprint relay.

Broadly, selection was made on two domestic sprint competitions earlier this year, Sprint Scotland and the JK Sprint, and last year's international races in Switzerland (European Champs), the Czech Republic (World Champs) and Italy (a sprint relay).

The team will be supported by Lasse Grøn, Jo Stevenson, Murray Strain, and Emil Wingstedt. All have recent experience with the team.

British Orienteering Announcement - Team for World Cup Round 1.

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ClydachTerrace_mapclip2Part of the terrain for this year's JK Middle Race (mapper squad member Ben Mitchell)

The "JK", the biggest annual festival in the UK orienteering calendar, held every year at Easter, is back and upon us. We really missed it in 2020 and 2021. This year the Welsh Association are hosting, and some of the areas used are the same as in 2014 when they previously hosted.. How's the winter training gone? Have you got everything planned out and have you read through 37 pages of programme? How did you fare on your big weekends in the Winter and early Spring?

Event Programme (Version 6)

Our report on the most recent JK, in 2019.

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CansiglioMenMiddleStartthe start of the men's middle in the Cansiglio forest, October 2021

The Final Round of the 2021 World Cup took place at Cansiglio–Cortina d'Ampezzo in north-east Italy from 30th September to 3rd October.

The long race on Thursday 30th September and the middle on Saturday 2nd October were in runnable beech forest on high Karst terrain. These decided the individual World Cup with Kasper Fosser and Tove Alexandersson both winning both days and becoming the World Cup Winners 2021.

There was a thrilling sprint relay in Cortina d'Ampezzo on Sunday 3rd, with four nations including GB starting their last leg runners at the front within a few seconds of each other. It was like a double length knockout sprint. At the end Andrine Benjaminsen stormed in to win for Norway, the first time an international sprint relay was not won by either Sweden or Switzerland. GB were fourth nation. Sweden won the team World Cup.

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Archeton-mapclipa training area, the Archeton - Valmanera map used for Italian Middle Champs March 2021

The Final Round of the 2021 World Cup takes place at Cansiglio–Cortina d'Ampezzo in north-east Italy from 30th September to 3rd October.

There's a long race on Thursday 30th September, a middle on Saturday 2nd October (same day as the British Long Champs*) and a sprint relay on Sunday 3rd.

*if people can get to Devon despite the petrol supply problems in England

It's the region for the 2026 Winter Olympics, and it should provide a typically scenic finale to the year. The forest races are in beech forest, "Karst terrain with lots of point details; occasionally stony." The sprint relay is "Typical mountain village with detailed historical centre and houses with private and public ownership: 80% asphalt surface, 20% grass and open field."

The long will run for most of the day to a prize-giving at 4:30pm UK-time. There's no TV production but results, arena sound and picture, and GPS from 11am.

The middle and sprint relay do have Internet TV (10 Euros for both) with commentary from Katherine Bett and Jonas Merz. On Saturday it's 11:30-3:30, on Sunday 12:30-1:55.

A full British Team of 12 athletes is entered.

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Idre_WomenRelayPresentationWomen's Relay Presentation, from the IOF Internet TV Broadcast

The World Cup Round 2 at Idre Fjäll in Sweden did a good job of testing the best orienteers and in beautiful wilderness forest. There was a long race on Thursday 12th, a middle on Saturday 14th, and Sunday was forest relays. Running times were often a bit longer than expected.

There were challenges throughout the races, mental, technical and physical. In particular, some of the hardest navigation problems came later in courses, after big climbs or stretches of featureless forest slope, and often where visibillity decreased as spruce supplanted pine. We saw runners get close to controls and not see the kite, so assume that many were set low. Any faster runners who managed an error-free run did well, and amidst many smaller errors there were some big, spectacular and unexpected mistakes from very good orienteers. The surprises made for very exciting spectating on the Internet TV, and unexpected names on the podiums of the middle and relays.

Results of World Cup Round 2 at IOF Eventor.

Britain sent a full team of 14 athletes including six World Cup debutants. Alastair Thomas, Nathan Lawson and Grace Molloy made their senior debuts at the World Champs. It was first time in the senior team for Joshua Dudley, Fiona Bunn and Laura King

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previousMapIdre4

The World Cup Round 2 at Idre Fjäll in Sweden has races on Thursday 12th (long), Saturday 14th (middle) and Sunday 15th August (forest relay.) For all races the terrain is mainly high runnability and high visibility pine forest at 600m-900m, with plenty of contours and marsh, and little else.

Britain is sending a full team of 14 athletes. Six men and six women can run each individual race, and there will be two GB teams in each relay.

All races have internet TV coverage with English commentary.

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alice-leake1-spf_LukasBudinskyAlice Leake on her way to "4th in the World". photo: Lukáš Budínský.

The World Championships (WOC) in Czechia began with the Individual Sprint races on Saturday 3rd July. Morning qualification was followed by afternoon finals.

The racing was at Terezín, which was a great setting. 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 cleverly used artificial barriers to set some intriguing problems for the athletes. The TV broadcast was very well done. It was compelling viewing, showcasing the top-level of the sport at its best through great filming with smart graphics, GPS tracking and astute and well-informed commentary.

The finals, with the men going first, used very similar courses. The wins were not similar though. In the men's race many of the runners ran quickly enough to take the win, and it was the route choices and ability to reduce hesitations that made the difference. Isac von Krusenstierne who was ranked just outside the World's Top 50 beforehand, and who had been 13th in his heat (with 15 to qualify), handled things best and took the win. In the women's race Tove Alexandersson's speed was unmatched by anyone, so much so that a 30 second error (possibly partly the result of artificial barriers towards the end of a long leg) was not enough to stop her taking gold.

Five of the British runners (photos of all six below) qualified for the finals, Cecilie Andersen missing out.

Alice Leake achieved an outstanding 4th=, a mere 4 seconds off the medals. Grace Molloy in her first senior race, was 12th, saying it couldn't have gone much better. Peter Hodkinson was 14th, Chris Smithard 24th and Nathan Lawson, also debuting for the senior team, was 25th.

Official Results

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NathanLawsonNathan 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.

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Landscapephoto from Competition Bulletin 3

The Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships 2021 take place from Saturday 3rd to Friday 9th July. The host town is Doksy, a summer vacation resort in the Liberec region of the Czech Republic / Czechia. The Sprint Relay is in Doksy. The individual sprint is in/around an internationally known eighteenth century fortress. The forest races are in two types of distinctive terrain: the middle on steep bouldery slopes with plenty of thick vegetation, the long and relay in the sandstone where the best route can often be a long way from the straight line.

The previous championships, in 2019, were in Norway and were in the forest disciplines. The last time the sprint disciplines were contested in a World Championship was in Latvia in 2018.

The first entry in the competition programme is that there is no O-training on Thursday July 1st - because it's the main COVID testing for entry to the "WOC Bubble". These are the times we live in, and our first thought is gratitude to the Czech organisers, for running the World Champs, a huge task of itself, but even more this year in the significant shadow of a storm of COVID regulations. Thanks to them too for adding Sprint and Sprint Relay races to the original forest championships.

All finals will be televised. In Britain the broadcasts will as usual be a paid-for service on the internet (6 Euro per broadcast or 20 Euro for all five.) IOF Web TV Broadcast Schedule.

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LongTestRace2021-ralphRalph Street in a WOC Test Race, credit Petr Kadeřávek

The World Championships (WOC) in Czechia begin with Sprint Qualifications and Final on Saturday 3rd July.

The Great Britain Team has been selected. The team includes six women and seven men, and includes five athletes making their WOC debut. As the other eight all have at least three previous WOCs, it is an easy description that the team combines a lot of experience with the several newcomers.

Many congratulations from On The Red Line to the whole team and especially the WOC debutants: Alastair Thomas, Cecilie Andersen, Grace Molloy, Nathan Lawson and Peter Bray. Alastair and Grace are first year seniors. Nathan is not (yet) a member of the squad.

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ATAlastair Thomas took the M21E win on Saturday

It was a great weekend of top quality orienteering in the Lakes on the weekend of October 3rd/4th. Many thanks to Lakeland O.C, Warrior O.C., and the many top orienteers who attended. It was surely the strongest field in the UK this year that has been so disrupted by COVID.

The weekend was part of the UK Elite Orienteering Leaguewho encouraged attendance, and will be as close as we are going to get to a National Champs this year. The League is doing a great job of promoting the sport across the open age categories and both days had a distinct buzz in the socially distanced car parking.

Saturday Results

Sunday Results

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mapClipmap: Part of Graythwaite

Heavy driving rain is in prospect to add to the challenge of tomorrow's race on the steep and rocky slopes of Rusland Beeches. It's the first of two days orienteering in the Lake District, named "Lakes Reloaded" as it's been put together relatively quickly by normal standards - with the aim of a chance for some top competition. Because of Lockdown, this year's domestic season ended in March almost as soon as it started and before all but one of the major races took place. Also the entire international programme has had to be scrapped.

Encouragingly "Lakes Reloaded" is being well-supported and the startlist seems the strongest field of 2020 in the UK.

It's a middle race on the Saturday afternoon, and then a full length (90/75 minutes target times) long at the Graythwaite Estate on Sunday. The racing will run like the JK individual forest races, with the Saturday seeded and Sunday starts in reverse order of Saturday's times.

Saturday Startlist

Weather Forecast

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