After Friday’s sprint there was a Q&A on the World Games O Chat when Annika Billstam, Andrey Khramov and Alison Crocker answered a few of my (and other people’s!) questions…

The weather…

AK: It was cloudy today, and hot, but not extremely hot, so it was OK. I think everyone suffers in hot weather, but I maybe a bit less than many.

AC: For me, the weather was not so much of a problem today. We have similar temperatures and humidity in the US, so I’m pretty used to it, maybe it even helped compared to others!

AB: The weather was hot today, around 30 degrees. I never thought about the heat during my race and it was not a problem for me. I think it was harder for the men who got more sunshine. Heat can be a problem for some athletes.

The course…

AK: The course was extremely easy. I made zero mistakes! But towards the end I became tired.

AC: The course was technically easy, but hard physically. You could run very hard in the urban sections, but then had to think a bit more back in the park, I think it was possible to make mistakes there. I had a technically solid run, if a few hesitations, especially in the first three controls. But I had the strength to run fast today, and that was important! One thing you had to be sure about in the urban section was to find all the ways to cut through the open yellow areas to save distance. So initially two routes might look similar, but if one allows you to cut more, that will be the faster way. I do look at old maps, especially sprint maps before sprint maps a lot, but not specifically evaluating route length, that might be a good idea to do more of!

AK: Today it was important to find the right trees. When you run fast you see a lot of trees, and you need to know which ones are “distinct”, and on the map. Also it was important to not make small mistakes of 3-5 seconds. Today I tried to look for the open areas next to the blocks of buildings – there you can take shortcuts. Other than that the route was as fast regardless which way you took round the rectangular blocks of buildings.

AB: The course was easy but I think the coursesetter did the best he could with the area. The challenging parts were to get the controls in the park in a good flow and be in advance in your orienteering the whole way.

On the development of O…

AB: Well, I think things will happen for sure. I hope that the long distance will stay intact, but I guess we will try some more different ways to find the perfect format for sprint. Maybe some new distances will show up as well. I think that we will have one Sprint-WOC and one “Forest”-WOC in the future.

AC: I think it’s important to keep orienteering orienteering, but so far things that the IOF are doing to make it more TV friendly haven’t taken it too far. Sprinting is fun, and having more of it at WOC will change things, but the middle and long races are still there. And the GPS is great just all around, it makes it much more fun both for TV and computer spectators. Training camps in Europe for young orienteers from other countries is a great idea, but probably cost will get in the way. If more can be organized locally, it might even be more helpful!

And does Annika get to take the Pink Cat back to Sweden?

AB: I would love to!!!! But I don’t think so. I got the pretty mascot of the games though : )

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