WOC 2022 preview – the king of Knock-Out Sprint?

There is so much to look forward to when the World Championships in Denmark begin Sunday afternoon with the Sprint Relay in Kolding.

The worlds best orienteers have been training for years to perform their best at the first ever sprint only WOC.

And a new chapter in the orienteering history will be written on Tuesday, when the first world champions in Knock-Out Sprint is crowned in the streets of Fredericia. The rather new discipline was tested and later adopted to the WOC-program during the last half of the 2010’s. Initially it should have debuted in July 2020, but the postponement of WOC in Denmark means that we must wait until this Tuesday.

All three competitions can be followed via IOF LIVE – get your ticket for the TV-stream.

That brings us to a look at the favorites in the men’s class ahead of WOC in Denmark.

The reigning european champion Matthias Kyburz (SUI) must have lots of confidence going into the KO Sprint competition after winning the discipline at the World Cup Round 1 in Borås a month ago and holding the KO Sprint-title after last years EOC in Switzerland. Connoisseurs will even remember his clever win during the Euromeeting KO Sprint in 2018 on Danish soil.

World Cup-leader Tim Robertson (NZL) showed great form in Borås by finishing second in both the Sprint and the KO Sprint. Snatched the bronze medal in the WOC Sprint last year in Czech Republic and he’s “only” missing the gold medal to complete a full set of WOC Sprint medals.

Kasper Fosser (NOR) seemed to be well over his injury during the World Cup in Borås, where he won the Sprint and finished fourth in the KO Sprint. Played a key role in Norways silver medal in the Sprint Relay last year, where he picked up four places during his third leg. Chose not to start this Wednesday at the Norwegian Sprint Championships due to pains, but hopes to get ready for WOC, where he’s set to run all three competitions.

Yannick Michiels (BEL) finally got his first championship medal in EOC last year and must be eager to do the same during WOC. Was third at the World Cup Sprint in Borås and has been to Denmark numerous times in the recent years to prepare for the sprint competitions in Kolding, Fredericia and Vejle.

The Swedish men should not be forgotten, as they claim the fourth (August Mollén), fifth (Gustav Bergman) and sixth place (Martin Regborn) in the current World Cup standings after the races in May. Furthermore, Isac von Krusenstierna and Emil Svensk will have an extra starting place in both the Sprint and KO Sprint due to their championship Sprint titles from last years WOC and EOC respectively. August Mollén impressed by finishing third in the Borås KO Sprint, whereas Svensk and Regborn proved their strength during the Sprint Relay, which they won together with Lina Strand and Karolin Ohlsson as Sweden 2.

All photos: IOF / William Hollowell