The Junior Team for JWOC have been training in Portugal for a few weeks ahead of the Junior World Orienteering Championships with races starting on Monday 11th July with Sprint races.
Unfortunately the team were set with another challenge pre race when the JWOC organisers were forced to postpone the Forest races due to take place on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week. The high temperatures which hit the region mid week last week (35C plus and still increasing) have increased the risk of forest wildfires and the Government placed a ban on entry to forests for the week of JWOC. Wildfires have been taking place further South in the country.
Despite the news our team, who’s training and focus has been predominantly forest based both here and at home, showed great resilience given the disappointment. We hope to hear some news later in the week of plans for a rerun of the Forest races later in the year.
The JWOC organisers in Portugal, together with IOF officials have been working extraordinarily hard to arrange alternatives. So tomorrow, Wednesday we will experience the first ever JWOC Sprint Relay. The race will be held in the same ancient village of Carapito with it’s winding alleyways, cobbled streets and disorderly buildings as the Sprint race on Monday. I’m sure the organisers will throw some more challenging courses at the athletes testing their map reading and fitness levels to the extreme.
If you’d like to follow the athletes in their race tomorrow , the links can be found here.
You can follow the team on Orienteering Ireland Social media and a post race analysis here following the events.