Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships in Czech Republic 2021 will include two sprint competitions: individual Sprint with qualification and Sprint Relay in the program of WOC 2021.
As is already known, the first World Orienteering Championships with only sprint competitions on the program, which were to be held in Denmark in 2020, had to be cancelled due to the effects of the Corona virus (Covid-19) pandemic. The event in Denmark has been rescheduled for 2022. Since the last sprint World Champion was crowned in 2018, this would have meant that no Sprint World Title would have been awarded for 4 years. The IOF has therefore continued to work on finding a solution for being able to award the worlds best sprint orienteers as soon as possible.
It is therefore very pleasing to be able to announce an agreement with the organisers of the World Orienteering Championships 2021 in the Czech Republic to include two sprint competitions in the program of WOC 2021. The IOF Council approved the agreement at its digital meeting on the 12th of June.
– To include more competitions is a real challenge for us, but many competitors and teams wished to have sprints included. We just want to declare what we have been saying since the beginning of the preparations: the athlete always comes first. Our concept and vision have not changed. The emphasis on back to the roots, forest environment and ecology still remains, says Jan Picek, director of WOC 2021.
The World Orienteering Championships will begin three days earlier than previously planned and a Sprint competition, with qualification races and sprint final, as well as a Sprint Relay competition will be held prior to the three forest based races, Middle Distance, Long Distance and Relays.
– Considering the consultation we previously conducted with our member federations and in a cooperative dialogue with the IOF Athletes Commission, we feel that this is the best possible solution we could find for awarding Sprint World Championships medals in lieu of the cancelled 2020 event, says IOF President Leho Haldna.
– This solution also maintains the new World Championships model of alternating sprint and forest formats. We would like to thank the Czech organisers for their willingness to find solutions in this new situation and look forward to working together to make the event a success.
More details about the modified program, announcement of embargoed areas for the sprint competitions and the overall plans for the event will be communicated by the organisers in the next few days and weeks.