2015 World Orienteering Championships, Inverness, Scotland

Post date: Aug 31, 2015 1:2:37 PM

The world championships in Orienteering (WOC) took place in Inverness, Scotland from 31st July to the 8th August (http://www.woc2015.org/). There has been big efforts to make orienteering more visible - ultimately the International Orienteering Federation has its eye on the Olympics - and this year was held in parallel with the scottish 6 days competition and with its 6,000 participants meant that there were plenty of supporters at the events. Ireland sent a full squad which included 4 Cork O members - Darren Burke, Marcus Pinker, Toni O'Donovan and Niamh Corbett. There are 5 different disciplines where medals can be won. These are: Individual Sprint (12 mins) Mixed relay Sprint (2 men and 2 women) Middle distance (35 min winning time) Long distance (80min women, 100min men as winning time) Forest Relay for women and for men 2015 Irish WOC Team

Back Row left to right Marcus Pinker (CorkO), Eoin McCullough (3ROC), Conor Short (CNOC), Nicolas Simonin (BOC), Colm Moran(3ROC) and Darren Burke (CorkO).

Front Row left to right Niamh O'Boyle (CNOC), Toni O'Donovan (CorkO), Ciara Largey (FERMO), Caoimhe O'Boyle (CNOC), Roisin Long (Ajax) and Niamh Corbett (CorkO).

All events feature gps tracking of the favourites as well as a big screen and commentary creating a great atmosphere. This year the relay events were shown live on Scottish Television as well as on Swedish TV (http://www.svt.se/orientering-vm/se-program/).

The sprint events were held in housing estates and parkland and involves running at the highest speeds. There were qualifiers for the finals featuring 3 women and 3 men from Ireland running in 3 parallel heats. Only Nicolas Simonin qualified for the final. Yannick Michiels from Belgium was among the favourites and had run under 8 mins for 3K at the Morton games in Santry the week before. In the final he has the misfortune to clip the top of a fence when hurdling it. The mixed relay was a great spectacle starting in a beach side park with the courses entering sand dunes, housing estates including through someone’s back garden and some playgrounds. Emma Klingberg, whose mother is from co. Tyrone established a lead for the Danish team which was not relinquished. The middle distance was held in Darnaway estate and was notable for the leader in the women’s course (Emma Johansson) and for Thierry Gueorgiou from France, the best orienteer in the world for the last nearly 10 years coming a cropper at the second last 'orange course level' control. It turned out that the area was a little overgrown and with a fence that was tricky to identify - sounds familiar? Needless to say it generated loads of opinions about who was a fault (mapper, planner, controller, competitor, IOF..) which you can read about at http://news.worldofo.com/2015/08/07/the-second-last-control-woc-middle-2015/#comment-122855, and http://awot.fi/suunnistus/2015wocmiddle/. Ireland had Conor Short (59th) and Colm Moran (61st) representing us in the men’s class and Ciara Largey (63rd) in the women’s class. The relays were held in a different part of Darnaway with the Danish women winning their race from the very start. Ireland were 21st (Toni O'Donovan/Niamh O’Boyle/Ciara Largey). In the subsequent men’s race Switzerland has it their way while Ireland were 24th (Nicolas Simonin/Conor Short/Eoin McCullough) creditably only 18 mins down on the winners. The final event was held in the remote wilderness of Glen Affric. The map and courses were really challenging. Thierry Gueorgiou redeemed himself to win in a time of 99.46 minutes. Only minutes separated the runners with the 10th placer being 104.38. Nicolas Simonin was 30th and Marcus Pinker 45th in 126.55. The women’s race was won by another Dane, Ida Bobach (75.35) while Toni O'Donovan was 48th in 108.21. Next year it is off to the west part of Sweden.Brian Corbett

Cork Orienteering Club