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Discussion: World Cup Sprint Relay

in: Orienteering; General

Jun 3, 2024 7:54 AM # 
Yesterday’s world cup sprint relay was one of the most exciting relays I think I’ve ever seen. Lots of lead changes and really good coverage with a mix of GPS, drone and cameramen.

Lots of route choice broke teams up and the viewer got a real sense of the high speed decision making

If you haven’t watched it yet it really is worth seeing.
Jun 3, 2024 10:53 AM # 
Interesting that they gaffled men against women to have four first controls. I've always been told (and never believed) that this is totally unfair yada yada yada. Now its been done and as far as I can see, not a squeak!
Plus, junior woman running the fastest time!
Jun 3, 2024 12:03 PM # 
It was such a good race!
Jun 3, 2024 7:56 PM # 
Agree a great watch. Always fun to see Tove The Great (or one of her ilk) make a beginner's mistake!
Jun 3, 2024 8:10 PM # 
Anyone have details on the pre-race map leak?
Jun 3, 2024 9:05 PM # 
Yeah it might have looked good but wasn’t so fun for the runners. Map leaked by a wrong url being posted so we were all sure course would be voided before we even started as they were downloaded 25+ times. (And it was, no WC points awarded).
Then the warm up area was a slight joke. To have it topped with controls on the ground after the first few punched them and then only stakes it sounds like for leg two runners with no control on them.
Jun 3, 2024 9:51 PM # 
Interesting to hear the runner’s view, thanks!

Actually you reminded me that the one thing even on TV which looked a total joke was the changeover layout - downhill(ish) around a random extra corner on slippy ground with no room behind, did not look sensible and I’m pleased no one got actually trampled.

The rest looked cool though
Jun 4, 2024 12:25 AM # 
I'd always thought changeover areas on sprint relays were a farce, having runners coming to a dead stop to hand over to teammates when they are going at full pelt was always dangerous. Haven't seen this one but sounds like they haven't improved.
Jun 4, 2024 1:30 AM # 
Does anyone know if we can watch these races still? Or can you only purchase and then watch live?
Jun 4, 2024 1:49 AM # 
You have to remember that these days the object for many sports is not fair competition but spectacle. That's the ticket to media income.
Jun 4, 2024 7:40 AM # 
Oh yes I forgot about the handover. I almost trampled the Estonia runner just ahead of me as she did go down. It was really bad! And we got one short downpour just before we all started warming up so the grass was wet as well as downhill.
Jun 4, 2024 7:54 AM # 
@wjohn - They usually end up on Youtube shortly after.
Jun 4, 2024 8:33 AM # 
@Acampbell. If you have the energy, it would be nice to know some details of what went wrong from the runner perspective (email if its a bit confidential). For obvious reasons, TV and organisers like to accentuate the positive and ignore minor problems - which then get repeated forever.
Jun 4, 2024 3:02 PM # 
Isn't that what people go to car races for though, because there's likely to be a crash at some point? Who wants to watch a bunch of people running around not falling over each other?
Jun 4, 2024 4:18 PM # 
Jun 4, 2024 4:41 PM # 
You can watch the sprint relay - with French commentators - already now (for free):
Jun 4, 2024 5:28 PM # 
@graeme hoping you can find a sensible handover solution! I know there are always constraints, but the obvious solution seems to have a straight line (paralllel to run) handover barrier with plenty of room to slow down after. As opposed to a corner and no room (Sunday) or a perpendicular barrier (which I remember Ralph vaulted over!)

On Sunday it seemed like a few teams didn’t actually make physical hand contact at the changeover due to all the slipping, but it looks like that was deemed acceptable - or was that why the Poles were DQd.
Jun 4, 2024 5:29 PM # 
No - see comment about leaked maps above...
Jun 5, 2024 2:32 AM # 
@tRicky....that's why people tuned in to watch the Men's Alpine Downhill....The Australians gave everyone pure joy. In that yellow spider lycra.
Jun 5, 2024 11:03 AM # 
@Arnold you say vaulted, I say fell head first over
Jun 5, 2024 12:22 PM # 
Figured the Polish team were DQed because of the maps as I didn't see them do anything untoward on course. If they were DQed because of that, why were the results voided? I presume it's because it was not possible to identify which other teams (if any) had seen the map beforehand.
Jun 5, 2024 1:47 PM # 

…… Regrettably, the Men’s Sprint Relay courses were leaked on the internet for a maximum of 15 minutes around 11:30 on Sunday.

IOF and the organisers proceed from the assumption that the teams have complied with the IOF Fair Play Principles and refrained from looking at the maps and courses.

The organisers rushed to inform the participating nations about the matter and held a meeting with team officials in the quarantine zone to hear the teams’ position on the topic.

Here the prevailing opinion was that the race should go on as planned.

After the consultation, the organisers and IOF decided to go ahead with the race, but not award points to the Team World Cup standings for today’s race.…..
Jun 5, 2024 4:21 PM # 
According to the Orienteering Podcast one coach admitted that they had seen the maps.

Possible that this was the polish coach. And yes, it‘s not possible to be certain that they were the only ones.

However, From the mistakes you can see which runners certainly haven‘t seen the map…
Jun 5, 2024 6:03 PM # 
Stunning coverage, and what an amazing location!

The late-game route evaluation and confidence that Grace Molloy (GBR MIX-1) had to break from the pack, go left, and stomp on the gas for that downhill from 15 > 16 to and move from 5th to 2nd! *chef's kiss*
Jun 5, 2024 6:46 PM # 
Agreed. That was one of the coolest moments of the relay for me!
Jun 5, 2024 6:47 PM # 
It sounds like the IOF and event organizers took a reasonable balanced approach - the athletes/teams had a chance to weigh in and athletes still got to race but without the points counting.

But this isn't the first time courses have been accidentally made public online before a major international race. Maybe it's time for processes around online map publishing to be tightened up.
Jun 5, 2024 9:38 PM # 
Only thing the athletes are still bitter about though is that the Italy WC was VERY expensive to enter and now no points awarded etc. but they did still award prize money. Would have been nice to have had some of the costs gone back to teams for a race that basically doesn’t matter (which for some of us got paid or for personally) the prize money to have instead gone towards development programs for athletes.
Jun 5, 2024 11:18 PM # 
From the mistakes you can see which runners certainly haven‘t seen the map…

Was going to comment about my home nation...

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