Report by International Orienteering Federation.
After the third round of the Orienteering World Cup in Switzerland, it is time to focus on the Final Round, which is always an exciting event as the winners of the season are finally decided and goals for next year start to appear.
However, this time there’s another thrilling point: the World Cup is visiting China from 26th to 29th October. Guangdong Province will host the first IOF Major Event with global participants, as well as the first World Cup organised in the country. With three races: a , Middle distance, a Sprint Relay and the final Sprint, China wants to ensure a weekend of top level competition while promoting our sport among its population.
Here there are a few interesting facts you may not know about the Orienteering World Cup Final Round and Chinese Orienteering:
1. Middle distance terrain: a tough mix of park and forest!
The first race of the three is the Middle Distance, a race which will be determined in unusual terrain. Not a typical European Middle Distance terrain for sure, the venue is a mix of forest and park, but this will still be a tough challenge for the athletes.
2. Did you know about these historical China’s national team results at WOC?
Even though Chinese athletes are not now among the favourites to win a medal, some historical results must be highlighted regarding their performance at Major Events: at WOC 2008 the women’s team achieved the 7th place in the Relay, and in 2009, Shuangyan Hao took a 10th place in the women’s Sprint race. Recent results indicate that the Chinese team is moving up again and it will be interesting to see if they can provide some surprises on home ground.
3. The World Cup visits another continent!
Since the World Cup 2015 Round 1 in Australia, all World Cup Rounds have been celebrated in Europe, so this is the first time in 4 years it is visiting a different continent! However, Major Events will soon return to Asia, as Japan is organizing the World Masters Orienteering Championships 2021. Asia now also has a regular schedule of Asian Championships and the number of World Ranking Events is steadily growing.
4. Orienteering promotion in China is not only about this World Cup!
In 2017, IOF President, Leho Haldna, and CEO, Tom Hollowell visited China to ensure the World Cup Final Round 2019 and reach an agreement for a long-term plan to develop orienteering in the most populated country of the world. Helping to improve the level of their top orienteers, working to build a strong base and bringing more Major Events to the country are the pillars to promote orienteering in China.
5. Chinese Time Zone, don’t miss out on the competitions!
When following an international event, it is essential to know what the local time is to avoid missing the fight for the medals. Therefore, China’s time zone is UTC+8 (in the whole country!) The weekend of the World Cup is especially challenging since Europe goes from Summer to Normal time at 04:00 in the night between 26 and 27 October.
PLEASE REMEMBER: THE CLOCKS CHANGE ON THE NIGHT OF SATURDAY 26 OCTOBER 2019 AT MID-NIGHT IN THE UK.
Get set to watch the Web-TV Broadcasts
As usually, IOF Live Services will be available to follow the last stop of World Cup. On LIVE Orienteering, we will find start lists, the TV broadcast from the Opening Ceremony and all the races, GPS tracking… and anything you may need to be informed!
The Programme for Competition is as follows:
25 October (Friday)
13:00-15:00 (CEST, UTC +2)
26 October (Saturday)
08:00-11:00 (CEST UTC +2)
27 October (Sunday)
07:30-09:00 (CET UTC +1)
28 October (Monday)
29 October (Tuesday)
07:00-09:30 (CET UTC +1))
Wishing the GB team all the very best in their final preparations as they get ready to travel to compete.