World Trail-O Champs Report


Could you pick the correct control?

Nopesport member o-a was busy competing at the inaugrual World Trail O Champs which ran alongside WOC in Sweden last month, here's her story of what happened.

The first ever world champs in Trail Orienteering took place in combination with the WOC in Vsteras. 15 countries entered competitors for this event with the competition spread over two days and using the WOC sprint area. Controls were set mainly on knolls, stones, re-entrants and rock faces and it was especially challenging to find out which of the often similar, prominent features were mapped and which were not. Similarly confusing was why all those rocky bumps everywhere were sometimes drawn as boulders, hills, rock faces or brown knolls. According to the Scandinavian Trail-O counterpart Pre-O (precision orienteering), controls were sometimes set so close to each other that it was merely splitting hairs to decide for the right one. Due to this the course was challenging, diverse and really hard brain work.

For the 20 paralympic competitors it was day 1 which counted for becoming the World Paralymic Trail-O Champion. Here the Norwegian Jan Erik Haug clearly took the victory over Valeriy Tsodikov from Ukraine and US-boy David Irving. John David Gittus, 2nd place in the European Championships, from Britain finished 4th just 10 seconds behind. The competition in the open class was led by two Fins after the first day, who both came through the course with just one mistake. But for the open class you have to perform equally well on both competitions to end up on the podium. So it was the three Swedes who took all three medals with Ola Jansson being the first ever World Trail-O Champion.

Day 2 was also a bright day for the UK as the Paralympic Team Trophy went to the British team of John David Gittus, Karen Paul and Susanna Boyt. Best overall "British" result came from Edinburgh-based Anne Straube staring for Germany, who came 7th in the end. This was just one point and 19 seconds away from the 3rd place. It was on the first timed control of the competition were she frantically answered after 8 seconds only to realise just a moment later that her answer was wrong. Besides losing a point, wrong timed controls are penalized with an addition of 60 seconds. So messing up on these is especially frustrating.

Next year sees the WTOC follow WOC to Japan and the Scandinavians will have to face up to foreign forests and mapping styles, just like their more traditional orienteering counterparts.

WTOC Results


Swedish Podium and Gold Winning British Team

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