This year the elite world orienteering championships were held in Latvia, and there were 3 athletes of our team representing Italy: the siblings Carlotta and Riccardo for the sprint, sprint relay, middle and relay, together with Sebastian, running the middle, relay and long distance. WOC started with the sprint race in Riga. In the morning there were the qualifications in a mixture of park and urban terrain, where fast legs and cool head were required. Both Riccardo and Carlotta did a good race, achieving a place for the final race in the historical centre of Riga, where in the afternoon the strongest men and women competed for the gold medal. The challenging courses provided some problems for our runners, which ended their race with an anyways valuable result, Carlotta 34th and Riccardo 42nd. The recovery time was then very short before the next day’s sprint relay, held in the downtown of Riga. Carlotta got the delicate task of the masstart. She felt heavy legs from the previous day but could anyways perform well changing over to her brother in 21st position. Riccardo seemed well recovered and with great speed was able to pass one athlete after the other, finishing 16th without losing time compared to the leading teams! Andrea Seppi and Anna Caglio completed the relay, and unfortunately some bigger mistakes on the last leg didn’t make it possible to reach the great result that was achieved at EOC earlier this year. It was then time to move to Sigulda, where the forest races were held. At the middle distance our athletes were missing the necessary experience to navigate in that kind of terrain, and some mistakes resulted in a worse position than they were aiming for. We still must remind that it was a final of the world championships, where the level was really high! After a rest day it was time for the relay, held in the forest around the castle of Turaida. Verena Troi run the 1st women leg, and Carlotta on the 2nd leg did a great performance bringing the team from the 19th to the 13th place. Unfortunately, the last leg again caused some problems, and Francesa Taufer ended the race on the 20th place. In the men’s race Sebastian was on the Masstart, starting well but then suffering a lot the hot weather, so that he could barely finish the race. Riccardo then did a stable race, but even he was struggling with the heat. Mattia Debertolis on the last leg was able to perform pretty well and ended on the 22nd place. The last race was the long distance. After a cautious start Sebastian was able to find the technical flow interpreting the terrain well. He concluded on the 36th spot, almost the same result as last year, but with considerably less delay from the leader.
It was a great experience for our runners, and they will surely be very motivated to improve further and reach even higher goals!