British teams have been announced for senior internationals for the rest of the year. The announcements note the selections are made based on athlete availability (and the published selection policy.) 31 athletes feature.
To better understand the several announcements it may be helpful to review the calendar - from Scotland later this July, through to Scotland in July 2022. And to note that as athletes prioritise when to compete and how to make best use of their time and money many are tending to choose between forest and sprint. Which is not to say they completely exclude one for the other, nor to say that a competition's inherent qualities - a chance to visit somewhere new for example - are not a factor in which competitions they are available for.
World Ranking Events in Scotland are on 30th July and 2nd August, part of the big multiday festival, "Strathearn" Scottish 6-Days. The timing and terrain means they could be a good runout for World Champs runners - and Cat, Graham and Peter are entered.
The nine athletes of the Great Britain Team for the 2019 World Champs. Credits: Matt Speake by Karl Orud, Jo Shepherd by WOC2018 Latvia, CW and MCD by South London Orienteers (from the "Get up to Speed" videos), others by On The Red Line
The Great Britain Team for the 2019 World Championships includes nine athletes, all of whom have run WOC before. The championships include middle and long (classic) distance, plus relays.
Junior World Champions, the Women's Relay Team of Fiona Bunn, Megan Keith, Grace Molloy (credit: the Danish JWOC2019 organisation)
What were already stunning results at the Junior World Championships (JWOC) were made truly astonishing by the final event's result: the Great Britain Women's Relay Team winning gold.
This was the thirtieth JWOC. Already in the week Grace Molloy had won bronze medals for sprint and long. And Fiona Bunn had won silver in the middle distance. These three medals equalled the GBR medal count from the previous 29 competitions combined. For the final race Grace and Fiona teamed with Megan Keith to win the first ever GBR gold at a junior world championships.
The "Test Races" for the World Orienteering Championship (WOC) are Friday 5th and Sunday 7th July. WOC is in South-East Norway in mid-August and the test races are also, in similar terrain and with offset printed maps. Many countries use the races as part of the selection process. There are over 250 entries each day with countries split between parallel D21 and H21 races. There will be GPS tracking after the last runner starts - please see the bulletin.
Grace Molloy - winner JOK Chasing Sprint 2019
Two hours of orienteering was shown on BBC Scotland TV yesterday. It was a live broadcast of the chasing start races at the JOK Chasing Start Sprint in Callendar Park, Falkirk. It was this week's "Adventure Show" and the programme did a great job of showing sprint orienteering. It is available on replay via BBC i-Player for a month.
Hollie Orr, winner of the JOK Chasing Sprint at Birsemore in 2014
On The Red Line The World Orienteering Championships (WOC) come to Scotland in 2022 and, with forest and sprint championships alternating, they are for the sprint disciplines. Sprint Scotland (20th-23rd June) - see the impressive international startlist - and the JOK Chasing Sprint on June 28th in Callendar Park Falkirk, are both significant competitions on the way. The great appeal of the chasing sprint as a spectator event is the winner is the first to cross the line. And the name? "JOK" stands for Jesus Orienteering Klubb, the orienteering club for alumni of Oxford University. Their emblem is a pig with wings. Thanks to "Porky" for this preview.
Many of our top racers will be in action at this 25th year of the JOK Chasing Sprint, held in conjunction with the BBC Scotland TV programme The Adventure Show who plan to broadcast live.
Kangasala-Jukola Logo from the Organisation Website
The weekend of 15th/16th June is the Venla and Jukola Relays in Finland. It's both a big festival weekend - the above logo is out directing traffic on the main motorways several days beforehand - and one of the main competitive weekends of the international orienteering calendar. The relays are a mix of top-level and participation sport like the London Marathon but with a team ethos. It's a tradition, and it gets a great deal of general interest in Finland. There is also something of a link to Finnish national consciousness with it moving round the forests and its naming from the first great work of Finnish literature.
Some numbers: The competition centre, accommodation and parking takes 70 hectares. There are about 1750 tents, 450 provided by the military. 50,000 people will be in and around the competition area over the weekend.
As they say "For a good accomplishment the orienteer needs resolution, persistency and brisk sports spirit."
And thanks to World of O "All You Need to Know" to follow the racing.
British Champions 2019, Photo: Rob Lines
Today is the 1st June and as the vegetation in the forests gets high the orienteering season for many of the leading British runners passes from a domestic focus to an overseas one. Most of the big domestic competitions (the "major events") have been run, and the first senior international races, in Finland, are next weekend. That is World Cup Round 1, which also includes a sprint relay in the centre of Helsinki the following Tuesday The weekend after is Jukola and Venla. These relays have a record entry of over 20,000 this year - the organisers attribute it partly to the "growth ... of fitness orienteering". In early July, test races for the World Champs take part, after which the British team will be selected. The World Champs themselves are forest disciplines only, in Norway in August, just after the Scottish 6-Days. And then, with more of a sprint focus, there are World Cup Round 3 (September, Switzerland) and 4 (October, China).