Tuesday, 10 July 2012

July 2012/2

EYOC 2012 – Some reflections - Mike Long, IOA Juniors Officer.

Together with six of our juniors and Ruth Lynam, I had the pleasure of attending the recent European Youth Orienteering Championships competition which was held near Limoges in mid western France. It was my first time attending such a competition and some reflections on the Irish performance follow. We arrived on a Monday with the opening sprint due on the Friday. The three days we had for training were invaluable (maybe essential?) Using a combination of the organiser’s model events and exercises designed by Ruth we focused mostly on training for the long distance event which used a 1:15,000 map and on the 1:4000 sprint maps around classical French villages.

Long course map
The 1:15000 maps were on complex forest terrain with some rock features and were very different from the WOC 2011 maps. Good use was made of two nearby lakes for recuperation.

At Friday’s sprint, through the streets of Meymac, and cheered on by the local Irish, we had some very strong results:

M16 (2.0 km, 85 starters)
1st. Adrien Delenne, Fra, 11:36
15th Jonathan Quinn, Irl, 12:32

M16 sprint map
W16 (1.7 km, 85 starters)
1st. Angelika Maciejewska, Pol, 11:36
29th Roisin Long, Irl, 13:23
54th Aoife Mc Cavana, Irl, 14:41

W18 (1.8 km, 82 starters)
1st. Ekateria Savkina, Rus, 11:47
56th. Niamh Corbett,  Irl, 14:33

M18 (2.2 km, 96 starters)
1st. Tristan Blomen, Bel, 12:36
59th Jack Millar, Irl, 14:40
68th Eoin McCullough, Irl, 15:11

Jonathan on the Long course
These good results have to be taken in the perspective that we have very few (one?) ISSOM sprint standard maps for the whole country. This is something we need to address given that sprint is now a permanent fixture of JK, EYOC, JWOC, WOC etc. The coaches’ race followed and included a mass start to a control at 50 m. Suffice it to say I was a little way behind the British sprint champion Chris Smithers who won the race, but I was not last!

The long distance event featured tough courses both physically and technically and included some long legs across terrain with few path route options  (in other words the courses were well planned). Again I feel we had some very good results:

M16 (6.4 km, 85 starters)
1st. Mikkel Annen, Den, 45:04
39th Jonathan Quinn, Irl, 62:38

W16 (4.7 km, 85 starters)
1st. Angelika Maciejewska, Pol, 37:23
37th Roisin Long, Irl, 51:54
78th Aoife Mc Cavana, Irl, 76:00

W18 (5.3 km, 83 starters)
1st. Viktoria Sukharevska, Ukr, 45:59
74th. Niamh Corbett,  Irl, 77:52

M18 (7.6 km, 96 starters)
1st. Marek Minar, Cze,53:53
58th Jack Millar, Irl, 69:00
63rd Eoin McCullough, Irl, 71:53

Aoife takes her map at the Relay
I realise this involves lots of extrapolation but in JWOC terms this means we would be on the cusp of two JWOC A finals with several not too far behind. How can we improve? In my view we need to train more on forest terrain and we need to focus on long distance route choices. Have we the maps to do this? If not can we generate some? The senior squad long-O events next spring could be very valuable for this purpose.

The EYOC party followed. The coaches’ banquet ended at 22:00 at which point we were summarily dismissed with the party in full swing. For full details ask the  juniors ... I guess it was all summed up the next morning by a quote by a well known W16 who said while dragging herself from the car “How come we can’t be into something like bird watching?”

Jack at the Sprint
Sunday’s relay was on 1:10:000 maps, with the first half on runnable beech forest and the second shorter loop on low visibility light green terrain. This area posed lots of problems and positions changed dramatically in here, none more so than for the UK M16’s who had led all the way to the last spectator control but ended up 7th due to mistakes here. For the first time ever Ireland’s entry featured two full teams at M18 and W18 (including the three 16’s). Jack produced a storming finish to come in 10th place (of 29 teams) just ahead of the UK. Roisin was 16th (of 23). The girls continued to be solid and finished 18th but only 3 seconds off 16th. Unfortunately Eoin confused two adjacent controls labelled 60 and 80 in the dark green area and Ireland were one of 10 teams to record a disqualification.

Personally I feel that overall Ireland performed very well and it augurs well for the future. I was also proud and impressed at the overall attitude and conduct of the juniors to the tasks in hand. They also did not seem to have too much trouble enjoying themselves! 

(For results, Routegadget etc, see here: Sprint, Long, Relay.)

Some photos of the Irish team from the EYOC website: click on a photo to enlarge it:
Eoin - Relay

Eoin - Sprint

Jack - Relay

Jonathan - Long

Jonathan - Long

Jonathan - Relay

Jonathan - Relay

Niamh - Long

Niamh waits to start the Aprint

Róisín - Sprint

Róisín - Relay

1 comment:

Andrew Cox said...

Sprint has become a big part of WMOC (World Masters) too. I managed to qualify for the M55 A final in Bad Harzburg last week out of 287 finishers in my category. When I first entered WMOC, far fewer of the top runners ran sprint. Now they all run as part of their warmup!
In the final, I ran past a control and lost a minute which put me down in 65th out of 80.