The international ski orienteering season of 2024 will start with a bang, when the World Ski Orienteering Championships begin in Ramsau, Austria on Tuesday.
The event in the Austrian Alps also serves as Junior World Ski Orienteering Championships and European Youth Ski Orienteering Championships.
Four races await the athletes with the Cross Country Skiing Arena in Ramsau at 1.100 meters above sea level serving as arena and finish area for all four days.
It’s 26 years ago the World Ski Orienteering Championships were last held in the Alps, back then Windischgarsten – also in Austria – was the host.
Tuesday’s sprint is the first discipline of the championships followed by a pursuit race on Wednesday. After a day’s rest, WSOC continues Friday with a middle distance before the sprint relay concludes the championships.
Youth and Junior classes will have a mass start race Wednesday and relays on Saturday.
In total 255 athletes from 18 countries will race in the championships.
Title defenders on site
It’s been two years since the previous WSOC held in Keminmaa, Finland and almost all the reigning world champions have traveled to Austria to defend their titles.
Daisy Kudre-Schnyder (EST) won both the sprint and middle distance two years ago, where Linda Lindkvist (SWE) took the pursuit title.
Stanimir Belomashev (BUL) is the reigning middle distance champion and Jørgen Baklid (NOR) holds the pursuit title.
In 2022 the sprint relay gold ended on Norwegian hands as Baklid together with Anna Ulvensøen won ahead of Sweden and Estonia.
Finland’s Ville-Petteri Saarela, who won the sprint two years ago is the only reigning world champion not entering the races in Austria.
WSOC on screens in many countries
These SkiO championships will reach a larger TV audience than ever before as national TV stations in Sweden (SVT), Austria (ORF) and Estonia (ERR) as well as regional TV in France (TV8 Mont Blanc) will show the broadcast from the first two days. In Norway, Amedias streaming platform direktesport.no and ISTV in Finland will air the first two races as well.
Postimees in Estonia shows the Friday and Saturday races.
All four races are shown on IOF TV, where former Swedish national team athlete Linus Rapp guides the viewers through WSOC in English commentary. Tickets are 9/25 EUR for one/all races.
Ski Classics Play also airs WSOC.
TV times below – local time CET (UTC+1).
Find starting times, GPS and live results on IOF LIVE through all races.
The World Cup begins
The WSOC races also kick off the 2024 Ski Orienteering World Cup, which consists of WSOC and the World Cup Final in Estonia in late February.
In total, six races make up the World Cup this year, with the five best results counting in the overall standings.
Here, Daisy Kudre-Schnyder and Jørgen Baklid are title holders from 2023.
WSOC/JWSOC/EYSOC 2024 programme
January 23 – Sprint
January 24 – Pursuit/Mass Start
January 26 – Middle distance
January 27 – Sprint relay/Relay