Sunday, July 6, 2014

WOC Update: Opening Ceremony and Sprint Relay Preview

Today was a rest and travel day for the WOC athletes, while the 5-days (public races) participants had their first official race, a middle distance. In the evening, the central square of Asiago was filled with orienteers, guests of honour, dancers, and a marching band for the opening ceremony.

Tomorrow is a big day for WOC: the first ever WOC Sprint Relay! It’s a 4-person relay (female, male, male, female) in the historical mountain village of Trento. It should be fast-paced and full of excitement with a mass start and three handoffs in the arena.

Team Canada’s lineup will be:
1. Louise Oram
2. Will Critchley
3. Damian Konotopetz
4. Tori Owen

Since this is a new event for the WOC programme, the start positions are based on alphabetical order of the country names rather than previous ranking. This means that Canada will be in the front row in the mass start, and some of the favourites like Sweden and Switzerland are in the back. There could be some scrambling for position coming out of the start… elbows out, Louise!

The entire team has expressed excitement about participating in the inaugural WOC sprint relay and is looking forward to the atmosphere. Compared with the sprint qualifiers and finals in Venice yesterday this terrain should be a little bit easier to navigate. Tori in particular is feeling more relaxed than she did a few days ago with a successful first WOC race under her belt.  Nonetheless, with other teams all around, the key will be to not get distracted and pulled off course. 

Check out the old roman streets of Trento on this Google map: Trento

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