wc :: World Cup Build-up

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The build-up gathers pace and the excitement grows as we move ever closer to whats billed as being the largest event held in the UK The World Cup.
Accreditation opens on Thursday and then on with the opening of the long weekend on Friday afternoon with a parade accompanied by The Ben Steinitz Hot Seven band!.

No sooner will that be over than the racing starts. Held at the same area as the open ceremony, the Sprint qualification gets underway around the University of Surreys campus. Hopefully just a formality for GBs athletes but may show some hot tips for the final in Battersea park on the Monday.

The qualification is quickly followed by the Relay on Saturday, the venue Mytchett. Scarred by the actions of military training and the local enthusiastic mountain bikers, numerous tracks and small excavations add to the navigational challenge. The forest has recently been thinned with the resultant brashings providing minor impedance to straight line running. The hill is predominantly mature deciduous and coniferous forest. With a new recruit drafted into GBs 2003 bronze medal team, can they emulate or better that performance in front of a home crowd?

Sunday sees the Classic 18km for the men & 12.4 for the women. Both courses containing an interesting splitting system and the men having to deal with 3 maps could create some interesting problems. With no qualification there is a pre-selected start list with names incl. Mats Haldin, Niclas Jonasson, Thierry Gueorgiou, Andrey Khramov & World Cup winner (Germany) Hogler Hott Johansen who will come out on top. In the womens its equally tight but with Swedens golden girl Karolina A Hojsgaard missing its down to the likes of Jenny Johansson, Heather Munro and young Minna Kauppi to beat Simone Niggli-Luder.

What is sure to be the most media frenzied orienteering race the UK has seen, the Sprint final takes place in Battersea Park. Without GBs top hope Jamie Stevenson will one of the new generation of sprinters like Norways ystein Kvaal sterb, Australias David Brickhill-Jones & Russias Andrey Khramov or will Swedens Johan Nsman take victory. Or will it be the opportunity for one of GBs new generation shine in front of home support? Again there is just as much competition in the womens race with a number of names in the hat for the title such as Czech Republic's Dana Brozkov, current PWT leader Ieva Sargautyte, Jenny Johansson & of course Simone. British hope will be on Sarah Rollins (3rd PWT overall) and Heather Munro.

The races will be concluded with the Middle distance held in the forests of the Surrey Hills. The big question is, can anyone beat the middle distance master, Thierry Gueorgiou? With the area having extensive path networks, fast sandy ground under foot and generally very good visibility itll make for an exciting highly competitive finale for both the men and the women.

If all that isnt enough theyve also thrown in the FCC final for good measure!

This weekend is promising to be a cracking weekend of orienteering a hopefully the most spectator friendly events ever seen in the UK. Be there and watch it on the big screens debuting at UK orienteering or follow the action on online at the live site.
Check back here for full reports as the races unfold at Nopesport.com.

From all here at Nopesport.com we wish everyone the best of luck!!

More info at the World Cup site

Timetable:
Friday 29th April - Opening Ceremony, Sprint Qualification, University of Surrey in Guildford
Saturday 30th April - Relay Mytchett, Frith Hill & Old Windmill Hill, Pirbright, Surrey
Sunday 1st May - Long Distance, Winterfold, Peaslake, Surrey
Monday 2nd May - Sprint Final, Battersea Park, London
Tuesday 3rd May - Middle Distance, Leith Hill SW, Surrey

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big screen making UK Orienteering debut

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