WOC2013 The Conclusion + Other Squad News
Those of us who were privileged to have been on the team for this years World Championships in Finland have had the past week to reflect on what was a well organised championships, and what will have been the last WOC to have qualification races for the Long and Middle finals. From next year a new format will see the addition of the Mixed Sprint Relay, with both the Long and Middle finals having 1 spot only for Ireland.
The qualification races for the middle were tough, and that was reflected in the results. Mistakes were costly, with few runners having clean runs. Looking at the GPS for the race you will find some spectacular mistakes. Nicolas Simonin was very unlucky not to make the final, missing out on a top 15 place by only 11 seconds in Heat 2, competition for the last spot in that heat was very tight. In the Women’s heats, Niamh O’Boyle was 19th. Full results can be found here.
|Niamh O’Boyle in action||Men Middle Qualification Heat 1|
Middle Distance Final
The Irish Team were spectators for this race. The start was near the top of Vuokatinvaara, the hill adjacent to the event centre, and the TV broadcast of the final began with shots from Koptercam of Marten Bostrom with his gold medal on top of the ski jump. Simone Niggli again showed her class by winning the Women’s race with Leonid Novikov of Russia the surprise winner of the Men’s race. Full results can be found here.
|Men’s Middle Final – Part 1||Men’s Middle Final – Part 2|
And finally we arrived at the last race of the 2013 World Orienteering Championships. In the Men’s race we had Nicolas Simonin on Leg 1, Darren Burke on Leg 2 and Neil Dobbs running the 3rd leg. The Women’s team was Niamh O’Boyle, Rosalind Hussey and Susan Lambe, running in that order. The relay was held first in front of a very large number of spectators who were located on a slope overlooking the run-in/change-0ver and with good views of the big screens. The Men finished in 21st place and the Women in 25th. The results can be found here. The men were particularly satisfied with their result, within touching distance of the top 20, an improvement of 5 places from last year, and beating nations such as Germany and Poland (10th in 2012).
|Men’s Relay||Neil Dobbs celebrating|
Paul O’Sullivan-Hourihan filled the role of team manager at WOC, and the team are very grateful for the support he provided.
The WOC team would also like to thank the travelling members of the Junior Squad and their parents who took part in the WOC spectator races. Their support was appreciated, particularly during the relay.
The WOC website has full results, maps and other links for those who want to catch-up. All runners had GPS tracking (except Women’s Long Qualification) so if you want to see how the Irish ran compared to everyone else, the GPS links are here.
In conclusion, next year will have a different feel to WOC, and in order to get 2 runners in the Long and Middle Finals for 2015, the results we achieved this year will have to be built upon. Based on how other teams in the same scenario as Ireland did this year, there is definitely an opportunity to gain additional final slots for WOC2015 in Scotland. So the build-up to 2015 starts now…
This competition is being held in conjunction with the Scottish 6-day and it is an opportunity to race in terrain relevant for WOC 2015. Further details on the large Irish team and the races closer to the event.
This year is being held in Ireland, based in Carlingford. In order to give our team the best chance of succeeding, a training weekend is being organised on the weekend of September 7/8th in Galway, based in Oughterard. Anyone interested in attending (invitation open to those outside of the SHI team) should contact email@example.com to express your interest.
Director of High Performance Orienteering
Irish Orienteering Association