JWOC starts on Sunday in Turkey

257 athletes from 30 nations are entered for this year’s Junior World Orienteering Championships, to be held in Kocaeli Province, Turkey in the period 5-10 September. Five days of exciting competition for age classes W20 and M20 are in store, in and around the host town Gebze, 65 km SE of Istanbul. This is the first time that JWOC will be held in Turkey. All the key action will be shown on IOF Live!

The most-travelled athletes come from Japan (6) and USA (5). Nations can enter a maximum of 6 men and 6 women, and in all 138 men and 119 women have registered to take part. Covid restrictions in their home countries mean that some nations are regrettably not represented this year; these include Australia, Canada, Great Britain and New Zealand.

The first race is the Sprint in downtown Kocaeli: hilly terrain with narrow streets including some cobbles, and some flights of steps. A mainly residential area, there is also some parkland and, to quote from Bulletin 3, “there can be artificial features”.

Hilly terrain is a feature throughout the week, with a lot of contour detail promised on all forest days. The forests are mainly oak, and there are also bushy areas and thickets. In the Middle races, 160-250 m above sea level, there is a lot of rocky and stony ground reducing runnability in places. On the other hand, mainly good runnability is promised for the Long race and Relay; here there is little rock and it is dry underfoot, and it is higher ground – 270-325 m above sea level.

The events will be live-streamed on the IOF website, along with live results and GPS tracking; go to IOF Live at https://orienteering.sport/event/junior-world-orienteering-championships-2021 for more information and to watch the action. In the event arenas the TV picture will be shown on a big screen, but numbers of spectators will be limited – because of Corona restrictions there can be no full-scale ‘JWOC Tour’ public race series this year.

JWOC Race Programme

(All times are local time, CEST + 1 hr.)

Sunday 5 September, 1000-1345  Sprint

Monday 6 September, 1000-1345  Middle Distance Qualification

Tuesday 7 September, 1000-1345  Middle Distance Final

Thursday 9 September, 0900-1600  Long Distance

Friday 10 September, 1000-1300  Relay