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The 2011 World Orienteering Championships are underway

Hello from Aix-les-Baines in the glorious French Alps, where hundreds of the world’s best orienteers have gathered to fight for the title of World Champion in the Long, Middle, Sprint and Relay events. Over fifty countries are represented, which is a new record. Also there are almost 4,000 spectators who will be cheering their favourites and also competing amongst themselves in the “public races”.

Pre-event racing in adjacent terrain has shown that Thierry Gueorgiou (FRA) will be favourite in the men’s race, having won the test races by massive margins. But perhaps the others have adapted to the terrain and will be able to challenge for the Golds. It will be very exciting. In the women’s races Simone Nigili the perennial favourite is taking a year off, so maybe it will be a chance for Marianne Andersen (NOR) or Minna Kauppi (FIN) to do well. But there is a lot of racing to be done before we will find out who is the best in 2011.

What can we hope for from the Canadian Team? The team’s major goal is to have at least one top-16 finish in any of the finals or in the relays. This is a very ambitious goal, with perhaps the best chance being in the women’s relay on the final day of competition. We also hope to see some number of finalists, perhaps most likely in the sprint and middle races. We have three first-time WOC competitors looking to gain some valuable experience: Damian, Emily, and Robbie. And as always, there will be the fight for North American bragging rights – with the Canadian team looking for revenge after having lost out to the American’s in the 2010 BK Cup at the NAOCs.

Saturday afternoon is the Long distance qualification race. There will be three heats and the top 15 runners in each heat will advance to the final which is held later in the week. Canada is represented tomorrow by the following five (shown with their start times):
12:00 Carol Ross
12:42 Louise Oram
13:28 Damian Konotopetz
14:16 Will Critchley
14:37 Wil Smith

Other members of Team Canada, awaiting their turn to race are:
Emily Kemp
Patrick Goeres
Robbie Anderson
Mike Smith

Team Officials: Magnus Johansson, Andrea Balakova and  Ross Burnett

HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION:

  • Read the Team Canada blog
  • Adrian Zissos will be tweeting away all through WOC – you can follow for up to the second updates – follow the COF on Twitter @OrienteeringCan
  • Check the COF’s facebook page (you don’t need a facebook account to read this page)
  • Check for live results and GPS tracking (in the finals only probably) at www.woc2011.fr
  • Check the discussions on Attackpoint
  • Get the latest gossip and comments from around the world at www.worldOfO.com (a good place to start, with links to live links and also to a runner database)

HOW TO SUPPORT THE TEAM

 

CBC Video: This Week in Canadian Sport: Orienteering

The long distance event at Carcross from the 2011 Canadian Orienteering Championships was this subject of the CBC’s This week in Canadian Sport video series.

2012 High Performance Program application information