The 2017 Junior World Orienteering Championships commence tomorrow in Finland with the middle qualifier at Viitapohja. Team Great Britain are primed and ready to take on the challenges which will confront them in this technical Scandinavian forest, close to the city of Tampere.
Having arrived into Helsinki late on Wednesday, the squad have spent the last four days completing their technical, physical and mental preparations ahead of the first race. A range of forest and urban training maps have been available for the athletes to use and, having spent a week out here last August, this has helped to remind themselves of the key technical aspects of the areas.
The middle qualification race promises a mixture of fast, open granite hills, through to green and wet re-entrants, with plenty of rock features, short steep climbs, and areas of intricate contour detail, mixed in with vague slopes.
Top British seed, and final year junior, Sasha Chepelin, has been building towards this event all season and said ‘I’m feeling strong physically and have spent the last few weeks out in Finland, including running at Jukola, and then finished off my preparations in some superb terrain around Tampere’.
Qualification for the following day’s A final will be the ultimate technical challenge for all these athletes, but with many in the squad having spent significant time recently out in Finland, they have done everything they can to prepare for this occasion and we wish them all well for day one of the 2017 competition.
Follow the action from Finland with the event website, www.jwoc2017.fi, which will carry live results and other services throughout each race.