Orienteering athletes run for World Games medals in USA

Orienteering fans around the world will have busy weeks this summer trying to keep up with all the international championships going on.

As the WMOC in Italy and the JWOC in Portugal come to an end this week, orienteering at the World Games in the USA is just getting started – as is the Mountain Bike World Championships in Sweden.

With three distances: Sprint, Intermediate and Relay Sprint on Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively, orienteering will be part of the World Games for the sixth time.

All competitions can be followed via TV stream, GPS tracking and live results on IOF LIVE.

The World Games are held in Birmingham, Alabama, covering 30 different sports – from Fistball to Muaythai to Tug of War. As with many other international events, the games have been postponed from 2021 to 2022 due to the corona pandemic.

But ultimately, 79 orienteering athletes are registered and ready to compete for the five sets of medals, which must be awarded at the competitions.

Go to the World Games website

Different challenges ahead
The Friday sprint takes place on land on the University of Birmingham campus with buildings and walkways and a few meters to climb during the 3.3/3.8 kilometer Women/Men.

Saturday will offer a completely different challenge for the middle distance: Oak Mountain State Park southeast of Birmingham is continental forest terrain with good rideability and plenty of hills to conquer.

Then, on Sunday, it’s back to fast shoes when the Sprint Relay is held at Railroad Park in Birmingham city centre. Expect lightning-fast racing on flat terrain with a mix of park and city orienteering.

Many of the medalists from the World Games in Wroclaw, Poland five years ago will be in Birmingham to defend their place on the podium.

Matthias Kyburz (SUI) won the middle distance in Poland and took silver in the sprint relay and bronze in the sprint and has an impressive total of six World Games medals. Her Swiss compatriot Elena Roos walked away with two silver medals from Poland (Sprint and Sprint relay), Yannick Michiels (BEL) got a silver medal in Sprint and Lina Strand (SWE) finished third in the women. Vojtech Kral (CZE) was then third on Middle.

Program – CDT Time Zone (UTC – 5):
Friday July 15:
Sprint 9.00 – 11.00

Saturday July 16
Middle 9.00 – 13.00

Sunday July 17
Sprint relay 9.00 – 10.00

Dino J. Dotson