Big challenges ahead for World TrailO Elite

The World Trail Orienteering Championships (WTOC) take place this coming week in Czechia. 22 nations in all are represented, with 161 competitors (116 Open class, 45 Physically Challenged) entered. Four competition days in very varied and challenging terrain are promised.

The best in the world in TrailO will meet up in the north Czechian town of Zákupy, the Event Centre and the venue for the last competition, the TempO Final. This is a region of Czechia famous for its special terrain, where good contour detail is coupled with masses of sandstone rock pillars, cliffs and boulders. Competitors will encounter these in both ‘positive’ situations (cliffs, pillars and hills) and ‘negative’ ones (rock passages and re-entrants). Height and distance assessment skills when looking both up and down will for sure be tested to the full, along with standard contour, feature and vegetation interpretation.

Pre-WTOC competitions a year ago gave trail orienteers the opportunity to sample this terrain; some found it extremely hard! This year there are two days of ‘TrailO Adventure’ immediately before WTOC, giving competitors the chance to get acclimatized.

The winner of WTOC 2022 Open PreO, Jan Furucz SVK, cannot defend his title as he is the IOF Senior Event Adviser this year. Michael Johansson SWE will be doing his utmost to retain the P-class (Physically Challenged) title in the 2-day PreO competition. Home country Czechia has high hopes for success, because last year their youngest competitors achieved silver and bronze medals in TempO and, yes, gold in the Open Relay. Daniel Locker and Ondrej Macek (both born in 2002) and Pavel Ptacek (1996) will be striving to do equally well again. Czechia also won the P-class Relay last year; the team of Hana Dolezalova, Pavel Dudik and Jana Kostova are all geared up to try for a repeat performance this year.

There are many other very experienced competitors in the event who will be fancying their chances too. Especially Finland, Italy, Norway and Sweden have great strength in depth. Along with Czechia, last year’s medallists came from Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Slovakia, Sweden and Ukraine. This year there is a full team (7 O, 6 P) entered from Ukraine.

Reports from the events will appear on the IOF website at the end of each day’s competition.

WTOC Competition Programme

Monday 3 July – PreO Day 1

Tuesday 4 July – PreO Day 2

Wednesday 5 July – Relay

Thursday 6 July – TempO Qualification and Final

PreO and Relay: O (Open) and P (Physically Challenged) classes

TempO: One class only