Almost 4,200 WMOC participants are registered for the World Masters Orienteering Championships 2018. That is comparable with the biggest WMOC so far; 2007 in Finland. We are looking forward to a big event, hopefully with the most competitors ever since the event started in 1983 as the Veteran World Cup.
Rune Haraldsson from Sweden, holder of many gold medals from previous WMOCs, reached the grand age of 100 in mid-June – and is entered as the first ever M100 – but unfortunately it turns out he is unable to compete. There is one M95 entered, Unto Nyystila from Finland. The oldest women’s competitive class is W90 where there are three: Lena Nordahl and Signe Nyman from Sweden and Sole Nieminen from Finland, all previous winners at WMOC. Quite a number of previous WOC medalists, of all ages, have entered, including the athlete who has won the most WOC golds of all, Simone Niggli from Switzerland.
Competitors are entered from 45 nations, the biggest numbers coming from Sweden (844), Finland (654), Norway (553), Denmark (345) and Great Britain (279). At the other end of the scale, there is one athlete each from Argentina and Kazakhstan. In the Sprint, W65 and M70 are the biggest classes with 234 and 385 entered respectively; for the forest races, W60 and W65 both have 245 entered, and M70 here totals 419.
Unique Sprint Final venue
Venue-wise, the Sprint Final is the highlight of the week. It is being held right in the centre of Copenhagen City on Sunday, with the arena sited just beside Christiansborg – the Danish Parliament buildings – and one of Copenhagen’s famous harbour basins. The courses there will be flat but with much intricate technical detail around interior yards of blocks of flats and office buildings, and many historical features.
Two of Denmark’s best forests for orienteering, Tisvilde Hegn and Gribskov, have been chosen for the forest races, which this year include a Middle Final for the first time. This is in place of a second qualification day, although results from the Middle Final will still be used to determine which level of Long Final competitors run in. Both forests are undulating with a lot of detail; they will provide a strong technical and physical challenge.
Another innovation, although not part of the official programme, is an Indoor Sprint which is being held on Friday, the same day as the Opening Ceremony.
Full details of WMOC can be found in Bulletin 2, which can be found on the WMOC website www.wmoc2018.dk. There will also be live coverage on this website during the finals.
Saturday 7th July Sprint Qualification
Sunday 8th July Sprint Final
Tuesday 10th July Forest Qualification
Wednesday 11th July Middle Distance Final
Friday 13th July Long Distance Final