peter-hodkinson-Genoa2024_KristinaLindgrenPeter Hodkinson checks for the best route to the next control, photo: IOF / Kristina Lindgren

Genoa provided more technical and physical challenge than the previous week's World Cup sprint races in Olten, and the result was very entertaining races. Saturday was an individual sprint. Sunday was a Sprint Relay.

Twelve GB runners took part. On Saturday top-40 places were taken by Megan Carter-Davies (29th), Grace Molloy (40th), Peter Hodkinson (27th) and Nathan Lawson (35th). Ralph Street, wearing bib number 1 went through the start but had an ankle problem so did not do the course.

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On The Red Line Freddie grew up with the Edinburgh Club Interlopers.

He is known as a fast runner, with Edinburgh Athletics Club and Loughborough Students on his CV, and having spent the two years to the middle of 2023 at Boise State University in America. His 3000m pb is 8:13.

He ran JWOC in 2...

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freddie-carcas-OltenSprint24_RLFreddie Carcas in the sprint race in Olten, Sunday 26th May 2024, photo: Rob Lines

It was good weather for the World Cup sprint race in Olten. It wasn't as tricky as most expected, except for crossing the railway where the bulletin had included the relevant section of map, and a small multi-level area near the end/ Here the map was different from the previous day, as a higher level was opened up.

The "red zone" runners, in this case the top 40 ranked women and top 40 ranked men ran first, in reverse order of ranking. After that those ranked from 41 upwards ran.

The races were won by Natalia Gemperle and Emil Svensk.

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rachel-brown-OWCup2024KOSprint_Olten_RLRachel Brown made it through to the knockout stages, photo: Rob Lines

Friday was the heats in nearby Zofingen. Saturday was the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals, in Olten.

Twelve GB runners took part. Rachel Brown, Cecilie Andersen, Nathan Lawson and Ralph Street got through the heats to the knockout stages. Jonny Crickmore missed out by 2 seconds. On Saturday Ralph made it through to the semi-finals.

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mapClip_Olten1 The 2024 World Cup begins with a Knockout Sprint, the fastest possible start you might say. It's to the now well-established format except the heats are the day before the knockout stages.

Illustration above is from Bulletin-4 for the World Cup Round in Olten, Switzerland

For women and men qualifying heats will reduce the fields from over a hundred to thirty-six. Then quarter-finals (three out of six progess), semi-finals (two out of six progress) and then the finals. Women and men are set the same challenges in the knockout stages.

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freddie-carcas-2023_RL.jpgFreddie Carcas at last year's European Champs, photo: Rob Lines

British Orienteering has announced the teams for World Cup Rounds 1 and 2, in Switzerland and Italy on successive weekends of May and June.

Selection races included the three races last weekend of Sprint Scotland - Results, Winsplits, Routegadget.

British Orienteering Selection Announcement - World Cup Rounds 1 and 2 2024

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sarah-hagstrom-sprintRelay-eoc2023_otrlSarah Hagstrom in the walled town of Soave, a few minutes from taking the EOC 2023 Sprint Relay win for Sweden. Note grapes used for Soave wine drying traditionally in the tower! Photo: On The Red Line

The European Championships in 2023 were in the sprint formats in historic towns of Northern Italy. The event centre was in Pescheira del Garda and the races were in Verona, Soave and Vicenza. The Sprint Relay was won by Sweden, and the GB team was 6th. Ralph Street made the podium on all the race days with the sprint relay and two fourth places, but he didn't win a medal. Megan Carter-Davies, Jonathan Crickmore and Nathan Lawson had top-20 results. Cecilie Andersen, Peter Hodkinson, Eddie Narbett all got through qualification on one or two days, and Freddie Carcas missed out by the narrowest of margins. In fact the individual days were full of the competition of narrow margins.

Tove Alexandersson and Matthias Kyburz both won two gold and one silver in three races. Sara Hagstrom and Jonatan Gustafsson won two medals each and made the podium every day.

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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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