Intense sprints will kick off the new World Cup season

Exactly 230 days after Tove Alexandersson (SWE) and Matthias Kyburz (SUI) crossed the finish line under Vicenza’s October sun to win both the KO Sprint titles at EOC and secure the overall 2023 Orienteering World Cup victories, it’s time to kick off the World Cup again.

The 2024 season begins with the youngest discipline, a Knock-Out Sprint in Olten, Switzerland on Saturday, May 25th. A race that, together with a sprint in Olten the following day, constitutes the first round.

The second round takes place just a week later, when a sprint relay and an individual sprint on the edge of the Mediterranean in Genoa, Italy await on June 1st and 2nd.

In August, the World Cup moves into the forest, when the European Orienteering Championships in Mór, Hungary serves as round 3 before the World Cup final is decided at the WOC 2025-hosts in Kuopio, Finland in September.

Get the full overview of the 2024 Orienteering World Cup here: 

10th consecutive title for Alexandersson?
Already during the upcoming races in Switzerland, we can begin to get answers to some of the season’s big questions:

Can Tove Alexandersson take her 10th consecutive World Cup title this year and hold the record alone? Who takes up the fight with Kasper Fosser (NOR), when Matthias Kyburz is preparing for the olympic marathon and not racing before autumn? Who looks to be in top form with just over a month to the World Orienteering Championships in Edinburgh, Scotland?

Tove Alexandersson showed no mercy in the World Cup in 2023 by winning five out of the seven races and finishing second in the last two.  And the supreme Swede doesn’t seem to have slowed down since then. Alexandersson showed great strength at the prestigious 10Mila relay in Sweden two weeks ago, where she picked up 6 places on the last leg and secured the win for her club Stora Tuna OK in the women’s relay.

Sara Hagström (SWE) was runner-up in last year’s World Cup after two race wins during the year, but will not be racing for now due to injury problems.

Simona Aebersold won the purely Swiss battle for third place in 2023 over Natalia Gemperle by just two points. They both seem to have gotten off to a good start to the season finishing first and third respectively in the Swiss Sprint Championships last weekend.

Number five last year was yet another Swiss, Elena Roos who retired from international racing in style with a silver medal at the KO Sprint in Vicenza.

Marie Olaussen (NOR) got her best World Cup place so far, finishing sixth in 2023. Her start to the 2024 season has offered an impressive 10Mila performance, where she picked up 39 places on her third leg run for Stora Tuna.

Find the 2023 Women’s World Cup results here

Who will challenge Fosser?
Men’s 2023 World Cup had a dramatic ending, as Matthias Kyburz (SUI) ended up taking his sixth overall title ahead of Kasper Fosser, who had to withdraw from the final race in Vicenza after a collision with another athlete during the KO Sprint quarter final.

However, Matthias Kyburz won’t be racing the first half of the season as he has qualified for the marathon race in this summer’s Olympics in Paris.

Kasper Fosser will be chasing his third overall World Cup title and seems fit after winning the Norwegian KO Sprint championship a week ago.

The Swedish duo, Gustav Bergman and Emil Svensk  was third and fourth respectively last year and among the athletes with good memories from the 10Mila relays in Nynäshamn. Bergman, who will be racing his 13th World Cup season, picked up eight places on his last leg run for OK Ravinen and Svensk extended Stora Tuna OK’s lead on the last leg and ensured the win. (Since this article was published, the Swedish Orienteering Federation made public that Gustav Bergman won’t be racing in Switzerland or Italy).

Behind them, Ralph Street (GBR) took fifth place last year well helped along the way by his first ever World Cup sprint win in Česká Lípa in August.

Martin Regborn (SWE) was the last man in the World Cup top 6 in 2023 – six points behind Street.

Men’s 2023 World Cup here

Don’t miss the World Cup action
You will be able to follow the races in Olten and the rest of the Orienteering World Cup season up close on IOF TV and IOF LIVE, just as the races are broadcasted on several national tv outlets.

Get your discount package for all Olten and Genoa races at IOF TV

Start lists, live results and more on IOF LIVE

All photos: Kristina Lindgren