The final competition at WTOC 2019 was the TempO competition. Each nation enters four athletes who can be either from the Open or Para class. They are split into two parallel heats with the top 18 from each heat going into the final.
This year the heats had six TempO stations, each having six flags, at which there were five tasks to be solved. The time taken to solve all 30 problems is aggregated, with 30 seconds penalty points added for every wrong answer. The winner is the competitor with the lowest time.
The qualifying competition took place at Cidral, near Monsanto, the scene of the relay competition on Friday. Great Britain entered four athletes, Tom Dobra (BOK), John Kewley (MDOC), Ian Ditchfield (MV) and, making his WTOC debut, Peter Huzan (SLOW).
It was a very tough competition in hot and dusty conditions, and only Tom Dobra made the finals, with John Kewley and Peter Huzan , who was in the tougher heat and who’s time would have qualified him, had he been in the other heat, just failing to qualify. In JK’s case, he missed out by a mere 10 seconds.
In the afternoon, the final eight(!) TempO stations were situated either side of a steep minor road, leading to the chapel of Sao Pedro de Vir-a-Corsa just below the picturesque hilltop village of Monsanto, a famous Portuguese tourist spot.
The pressure on competitors was relentless, with a considerable climb up the road to difficult problems amongst the spectacular boulder strewn terrain in temperatures rising to around 38C. After he completed his course, one competitor needed treatment for heat exhaustion but soon recovered.
Tom found the going tough. In the end, the winner was the Swede, Marit Wiksell, with, to great local delight, the Portuguese star TrailO athlete, Ines Rodrigues getting the Silver medal. Third place and Bronze medal went to a previous winner, the Finn, Antti Rusanen.
Apparently, the current IOF President, Leho Haldna, thinks TrailO is a competition for ‘old men’ so he might have been surprised to learn that the medallist contained two women in the first two places, and that all the medallists can & do compete in W/M 21!
Overall, with a Bronze medal in the Open Relay, and top 25 placings for Tom Dobra in the Open class and Colin Duckworth and Dick Keighley in the Para class, the team has had a good WTOC.
The teams thanks must go to Team Manager Liz Urquhart (OD) and the other team officials for their support and encouragement, and to British Orienteering for continuing to support TrailO.
TempO Final Live Results
Find out more here: http://wtoc2019.fpo.pt/