lucy-walker_BOC24_WCLucy Walker at this year's British Championships, photo: Wendy Carlyle

Although the first three senior internationals in 2024 are sprint format (World Cup Rounds 1 and 2, and the World Champs in Edinburgh) it was the forest team for the European Champs (EOC) in Hungary in August (16th-20th) that...

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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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nathan-lawson-eoc23-SprintRelay_RLNathan Lawson running leg 2 for GB in the International Sprint Relay at Soave 6th October 2023, photo: Rob Lines

The European Champs Relay took place on Friday 6th October in the walled wine town of Soave. Strong runs from Wednesday's silver and gold medallists in the women's individual sprint, Tove Alexandersson and Sarah Hagstrom, helped Sweden to what was, by the standards of these races, a clear win. A close race on the last leg for the other medals was won by Elena Roos of Switzerland holding off Venla Harju of Finland who was 3rd, and Victoria Haestad Bjornstad of Norway who was 4th. France were 5th and GB 6th.

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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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EOC_organisersOrganisers in Neuchâtel

The European Sprint Orienteering Championships did take place. The place was Neuchâtel, Switzerland; it looked lovely. The weather was a bit rainy. The Swiss, Swedish and Norwegian teams provided the medal winners, apart from Yannick Michiels (who got an EOC medal after many close misses, and lots of wins in other World Cup races.) And there was a small British team taking part.

On May 13th, there was an International Sprint Relay, the first since the the final round of the 2019 World Cup. In fact the whole meeting was the first senior international since then. May 14th was the Sprint Qualification. Saturday May 15th was the Knockout Sprint Final stages of quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals. Sunday May 16th was the individual sprints.

The three days that medals were awarded had excellent TV coverage. Throughout, COVID secure protocols were in place, and substantially there were no local spectators apart from the organisation team, but as it was sprint racing in an urban setting there were always some people about.

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EOC_organisersOrganisers in Neuchâtel

The European Champs in the three Sprint formats have begun. Yesterday, May 13th, the Sprint Relay was won by Switzerland, with Sweden second and Norway third.

There was no British entry in yesterday's relay because UK Government rules on international travel meant few GBR athletes can attend the championships. Most European countries have usual size teams but numbers of athletes from further afield are down. There are no runners from Ireland, Australia and Canada, or China (which hosted the previous World Cup round, the Final Round of 2019, with runners from the home team winning two medals.)

Today May 14th is the sprint qualification races from 2pm UK-time. There are 119 men running, including Tam WIlson of Great Britain, and 105 women, including Megan Carter-Davies and Jo Shepherd.

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coatOfArmsNeuchâtel, City Coat of Arms

Fingers crossed, in Switzerland next month International Orienteering Teams will meet after a year of no racing. The European Champs in the three Sprint formats are to be contested in Neuchâtel May 13th-16th.

British Orienteering has done some good work to be able to make the announcement of a four-athlete team. As noted in the announcement many GB athletes are unable to travel to this competition, so it is not the full team Britain would have liked to send (Britain had places for six men and six women in each individual format.)

On The Red Line congratulates and wishes well to Thomas Wilson making his first senior international appearances. Thomas is a Scot, growing up with Clydeside Orienteers and the Edinburgh University setup. He's not currently a member of the GB squad so doesn't appear in our Athletes section, but we do have a picture of him on a podium

Thomas's Attackpoint log

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logo British Orienteering has published the selection policy for 2020 internationals (News Item - Senior Selection 2020). Target races are the (Sprint) World Championships, and the three rounds of the World Cup, including the (Forest) European Championships.

Only forest performances matter for forest selections, and only sprint performances matter for sprint selections.

Perhaps particularly for the various sprint disciplines - with many strong GB athletes, little racing so far in 2019, fewer spaces at the first ever sprint only World Champs, and the new knockout sprint format fully launched - it will be interesting to see how things go. On the subject of little racing the policy notes that last weekend's British Championship Sprints (a World Ranking Event, in which Kris Jones and Megan Carter-Davies had clear wins) are out of consideration because the policy is published after the races.

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Kris Jones wins Sprint Bronze

kris Photo: Kris Jones on the run through the arena (On The Red Line)

teamphoto Photo: GB team; athletes, manager and support staff, Hollie Orr not present (Source: Kirstin Maxwell Twitter)

Great Britain sent a team of 17 athletes to the Championships held in Ticino, S...

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Cat photo: Cat Taylor during Thursday's Relays. Cat was the highest placed British athlete today; she was 18th.

The European Championships concluded with the toughest races, the long or classic distance races on Sunday 13th May.

The women had 11.3km with 680m climb. The men had 14.9km with 910m climb.

Swiss Summary of Races

World of O Race Analysis

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Ali photo: Ali McLeod during Wednesday's Middle Final.

The European Championships conclude with the toughest races, the long or classic distance races on Sunday 13th May.

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ho Photo: Hollie Orr comes through the arena before the final loop in today's EOC Women's Forest Relay.

World Of O's Report

Women's Relay

Switzerland 1 and Switzerland 2 contested the gold medal, and with only the first team from a country counting for prizes, Switzerland 2 didn't get a medal for coming second.

A sprint finish for silver was won by Sweden from Denmark. GB1 were 11th (7th country - the others ahead were Norway, Russia and Finland) and GB2 were 17th.

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ForestRelay photo: 2016 EOC relay start

The European Forest Relays are on Saturday 12th May, with the women's race starting at 1pm UK-Time, and the men's at 3pm.

Each country may enter two teams in each forest relay.

GB has two teams in each, and of the 12 athletes nearly all are Scots or have strong Scottish links. In the women Hollie and Jo are Scots (and both are now members of Halden SK), Jess lives in the Highlands, and the other three all went to Edinburgh University.

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AL Photo: Alice Leake passes the coaches area near the finish of today's EOC Sprint Relay.

Home team Switzerland won the European Sprint Relay Championship Race today Thursday 10th May. They were a comfortable minute ahead of second-placed Sweden, who in turn were a comfortably two minutes ahead of a tight finish for the bronze medal which included Alice Leake anchoring TeamGB.

Charlotte Ward, Peter Hodkinson and Kris Jones had given Alice a 25 second start for the last leg ahead of a group of four other teams. But three of the teams caught her.

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CW Photo: Charlotte Ward near the finish of Sunday's EOC Sprint Final.

The European Sprint Relay Championship Race is at 4pm UK time on Thursday 10th May. There are 21 teams entered. It is live on the internet with English commentary, or for those with less time or money there are online results.

The racing is in the scenic villages area of Capriasca in the Italian speaking Ticino canton of Switzerland. And it will be Ticenese Elena Roos running the last leg for Switzerland - that could mean enough crowd noise to be heard in a neighbouring country.

The GB team will wear 7 as that was their position last time round, and they have a good chance of making the podium. The team is Charlotte Ward, Peter Hodkinson, Kris Jones and Alice Leake. Profiles of the team follow....

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ct Photo: Cat Taylor runs through the arena on the spectator passage partway through today's race (credit: On The Red Line).

Cat Taylor came fifth in today's European Championship middle distance race.

Cat Taylor talks with Jessica Tullie after today's race

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ac Photo: Alan Cherry finishes his race today (credit: On The Red Line).

All four women and three of the six GB men qualified for tomorrow's European Champs middle distance final in today's tough races in steep terrain at Carona.

Alan Cherry ran relatively early and was unfortunately 2 seconds out from what turned out to be the qualification time. It was the next to last starter in his heat who came in 14 seconds too quickly for Alan to make it.

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AMcL The Men's and Women's European Middle Champs are on Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th May.

Good luck to the ten GB athletes entered, four women and six men, all with a good chance of getting through to the finals on Wednesday.

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kj _Photo: Kris Jones runs through the arena a couple of minutes before the end of the sprint course today (credit: On The Red Line).

Kris Jones won the bronze medal in today's European Championship sprint race.

Kris Jones talks to Katherine Bett after today's race


Other British Results

Men: 22.Alasdair McLeod, 23.Peter Hodkinson, 24 Chris Smithard, 27.Ralph Street.

Women: 25.Charlotte Ward, 31.Alice Leake.

EOC Website Results

World of O report

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PH The Men's and Women's European Sprint Champs are on Sunday 6th May.

GB has ten athletes entered, four women and six men, all with a good chance of getting through to the finals in the afternoon.

There will be 17 athletes in all running in British colours during the whole Championships. It might be different if Graham were not injured and Megan not in her final year at University. but as it is only one, Sasha, is not in the age range 25-30. Sasha is in his first year as a senior. He ran very well at last year's Junior World Champs (JWOC). Interestingly, JWOC seems by no means an essential step to running in this top-level sprint competition. Of the ten Brits running on Sunday, five didn't run at a JWOC.

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Not Swiss Flag The Swedish test races are this weekend; three weeks before the European Championships (and two weeks before TioMila.) Friday 13th - Sprint. Saturday 14th - Long. Sunday 15th - Middle. All are World Ranking Events. This post will be updated with news and further links as the weekend progresses.

Monday morning: this post is now updated with results.

Test Races website.

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Not Swiss Flag 18th April: Updated with news of Swedish team.

The biennial European Championships (EOC) take place in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, 5th - 13th May 2018.

The British team was announced last Friday.

As test races complete other teams are being announced.

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Cat Cat Taylor has a tough start on a post-JK trip to the European Champs terrain.

She comments about her win in the Middle Distance race at the JK:

It helped me that the course only had a lot of short legs and I never got the chance to run too far off line. In the end I got away with the minimal preparation and took a narrow win. I was hugely relieved but also unaware that this was the last thing to go smoothly for a while…

Peter Photo: Peter Hodkinson in evening sunshine, World Ranking Sprint, Akershus Fortress, Oslo. From Lillomarka OL Facebook.

The Norwegian and Swiss Test Races for European Championships selection are this weekend, with several British runners taking advantage of quality races. This item will be updated as they happen.

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Swiss Flag Following the JK selection races, British Orienteering today announced the GB Team for the European Championships in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, 5th - 13th May.

Other countries are on the same track - please "continue reading" for information about selection races in Switzerland and Norway this weekend and Tuesday 10th, with links to live results and GPS

Good luck to the GB athletes; may the next four weeks of final preparation (and TioMila) go well.

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For Team GB it is the several rounds of the World Cup that defines the competitions. The rounds are hosted in different countries, and the programme is different each year. This year there are four rounds in all. The first round is the European Championships (EOC). The second round is the annual World Championships (WOC).

The European Championships are every two years. 2018 is a year for them - they are in Switzerland, in May.

This is the last year that the World Championships includes all disciplines. From 2019 forest and sprint will alternate. This year WOC is in Latvia in August.

The combination of an all disciplines World Championships and a European Championships makes 2018 the best year to further develop the interest of supporters and spectators in international orienteering.

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Jo Shep Jo Shepherd is one of 12 athletes gaining early selection for the British team at the European Championships. Jo is selected for sprint, middle and forest relay.

To see all the early selections for the European Champs please see our 2018 calendar article or the 21st December announcement on the British Orienteering website.