Published on December 4th, 2014 | by nioa-coaching0
Coaching and Talent Development Officerâ€™s Report- Summer 2014
2014 has been an exciting year for the World Orienteering Champs and an exciting time for the Worldâ€™s top orienteers. TheÂ WorldÂ OrienteeringÂ ChampionshipsÂ were first held in 1966. They were held biennially up to 2003 (with the exception of 1978 and 1979). Since 2003, competitions have been held annually. Originally there were only two competitions: an individual race and a relay. In 1991 a short distance race (now called Middle) was added and a sprint race was added in 2001. This year in a sprint relay was added with two men and two women in each team.
Now with Sprint Orienteering making up 2 fifths of the races in WOC it would make sense that more and more orienteers will start to specialize in this discipline. In a way it could be argued that the playing field has been more level as all countries in the World have potentially excellent Sprint terrain. No longer will Scandinavian countries, with an abundance of highly technical forest terrain, have an advantage over the rest of the World. Interestingly only twice before the Sprint was first introduced in 2001 that non- Scandinavian males won Gold medals at WOC; Petr Kozak (Czech Rep.) & Yuri Omeltchenko (Ukraine)Â . Practically every year since Britain’s Jamie Stevenson won the Sprint in 2003 a non-Scandinavian has won Gold in at least one of the individual events (exception- 2006). Can it be argued that the introduction of Sprint has opened up World orienteering and made it more achievable for the rest of the World to compete across all disciplines. So what affect is the Sprint Relay going to have? What about a nonâ€“ European winner at WOC? Personally I donâ€™t that it will be long before the happens. And what does it mean for our orienteers? What it means, is that there is no better time to dream of being World Champion!!
By Allan Bogle