Military World Games

CISMThe Military World Games are taking place in Wuhan. It is a big deal for some countries, including the hosts China whose President opened the Games and who head the medal table.

The Games are organised under the auspices of the International Military Sports Council (CISM).

The slogan on the Games' homepage is

Military Glory World Peace

Orienteering is one of thirty-one sports. Sadly, in the orienteering the home team had to be disqualified.

Statement from the IOF (International Orienteering Federation.)


Here's China Global Television Network (CGTN) doing a good job of introducing the sport of orienteering for the World Military Games.


Many international orienteers are part of their country's military and are taking part. The Swiss and Russian teams are particularly strong in names familiar to those who follow international orienteering, but names familiar to those who read international results are also in the Austrian, Estonian, Finnish, French, Latvian and Polish teams. (Link to entry list below.)


Following the story

When we noticed the results of the first races, the men's and women's middle distance, we felt the results were worthy of a tweet saying "Impressive Results from Chinese women: 1st, 2nd and 4th..." We attached a picture showing a six-minute margin in a 35-minute race for a Chinese runner ahead of Anastasia Rudnaya, a name we felt most of our audience would recognise. (Anastasia is currently 11th in the World Rankings.) We also posted a link to the full (unofficial) results where other names familiar to followers of international orienteering could be found, such as Julia Novikova, Elena Roos, Sarina Jenzer and Ursula Kadan.

We knew nothing of the circumstances, but clearly this was of interest. We also expected that many of our readers would be aware that the final round of this year's World Cup is about to happen in China. The first race is Saturday. This made the story even more newsworthy. (The IOF statement addresses this point.)

We expected most of our readers would immediately think that such results are, well, unheard-of in orienteering. Easing access to stories about how top results come from hard work and practice, and are built on improvement over time and through competition is part of what our website is all about. And in any case such a huge winning margin is extraordinary. In retrospect "impressive" was not the best adjective, we were forgetting that tweets - constrained to 140 characters - are often quickly passed over and "incredible" as used in the IOF statement would have been a more helpful adjective. And perhaps we should have used some helpful # too, but we knew nothing more than what we could see reading the results (there is no British "mission" as teams are called.)

We kept an eye out for further information, and were able to follow later in the day with a further tweet and link to a report by Swiss-O where the disqualifications were reported.


In the women's race it was a talented track runner Li Meizhen who recorded the win in the first unofficial results.

She features in this English language article from CGTN about how hard orienteering is.

mk Photo of PFC Matthias Kyburz by Rob Lines, taken at the World Champs 2019

We don't know for sure, but it seems reasonable to assume there was broadly similar help for the athletes of the People's Liberation Army of China in both the women's and men's races. Which makes Matthias Kyburz's run in the men's race even more impressive; he was quickest anyway.



Postscript


CISMstatement

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