WTOC – World Trail Orienteering Championships

In the year of 2016, the World Trail Orienteering Championships took place in Sweden. As many would have expected, the hosting nation won the Paralympic class after a strong performance from competitors Inga Gunnarsson, Ola Jansson and Michael Johansson. In the open class, however, Sweden ended up in fourth place behind Slovakia, Portugal and Finland (in aforementioned order). The Slovakian team came in at a strong first at the time of 102 seconds, well before Portugal at 193 seconds.

Official competition formats used

In the WTOC, there are three formats used. These are known as PreO, TempO and Relay.

  • PreO is short for precision orienteering and is known as the traditional format. At the start of the competition, the participators are given a map on which the locations of controls are marked, as well as start and finish. At each location there are several control flags marked with a letter. Only one of these letters correctly represents the site marked on the map.
  • TempO. As you may understand by simply knowing the name of this format, TempO is about moving fast. These courses have timed controls only, but since there are control flags, which need to be chosen correctly (as in PreO), it is not all about being quick. For every incorrect answer, the competitors receive a 30 seconds penalty.
  • Relay. In this format, there are teams with three competitors in each group. They all start at the same time, with a time limit set on the precision orienteering course. Each member has to complete 1/3 of the course, and the order in which these are done does not matter. No communication is allowed between the team members – except for when teammates may pass a sheet. The sheet does not give away the answers, although they may reveal which controls are already answered.