This blog post is to introduce the Junior World Orienteering Championships, or JWOC. JWOC has been running annually since 1990, and is open to national teams aged 20 or under as of December 31 in the year of competition. Each country can send up to 6 male and 6 female runners. There are 4 events ~ sprint, middle, long, and relay. The middle distance is the only race to have a qualification and a final. The other races are only held once, so you only have 1 chance to get it right!
Unlike WOC, JWOC is more inclusive. Each athlete has the opportunity to run any and all of the races they choose! This can lead to very long starting blocks... For the middle distance, everyone runs the qualifier, then there are 3 ranked finals ~ an 'A', 'B', and 'C' final. Which final you are placed in depends on your time in the qualifications. 'A' final consists of the top 60 runners, the 'B' final has the next 60 runners, and the rest of the runners start in the 'C' final. The final courses are roughly the same length and will share controls. With the relay, if a country does not have enough athletes to make a team, mixed-country teams can be entered so everyone can run.
This year JWOC will be held in Kosice, Slovakia from July 8-13. Canada is sending 7 athletes this year ~ 2 guys and 5 girls. Brent Langbakk is accompanying the team as coach, with parent helper Stefan Bergstrom assisting with preparation and onsite logistics. There is a huge amount of preparation that goes in to sending these athletes to an international competition, with accommodation, onsite logistics, all of those forms... a huge thank you to Brent and Stefan for their hard work so far! In addition to Brent and Stefan, Eric Kemp is accompanying as an assistant and media representative.
Tune in to this blog, and we'll bring you updates before, during, and after the races; details on how you can tune in and watch live, and athlete interviews after the races. You can also follow us via Facebook or Twitter.
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