Jenni Adams in the Piopio forest, Waitango 2007. Credit: Jamie Stewart
Race Start NZ Champs 2015 Middle – The Rockery Onewhero. Credit: Karen Woods
Auckland Orienteering Series 2015 – Woodhill. Credit: Karen Woods
  
Selfs Farm Summer Orienteering
ONZ High Performance News – August 2015
By Malcolm Ingham - Mon 31 Aug 2015 7:45pm
Orienteering NZ logo

So WOC has come and gone once again, a draining, but overall highly positive, experience for all concerned, and one to which a large number of people contributed. As a lot has already been written I include only the salient summary below. Now we look forward to the Australian Champs week including the Oz Schools Champs, which have become a focal point for our school orienteers. There are also still a few international events to come, including the final round of the 2015 World Cup, but that is for next month. However, here, right at the outset, I would like to express my thanks to Jean and Al Cory-Wright, Gillian Ingham, John and Anna Robertson, Rob Garden and Marquita Gelderman, whose presence at WOC made my job as manager a whole lot easier. Thanks guys!

Malcolm Ingham (mandg.ingham@xtra.co.nz)

 WOC

From the point of results this was, overall, the most successful WOC for New Zealand for a number of years.

  • For the first time NZL had all three women (Lizzie Ingham, Laura Robertson, Imogene Scott) qualify for the sprint final, and Tim Robertson was our first male qualifier since at least 2012. The women’s results in the final were a little disappointing (32nd, 40th, dsq respectively), but this was offset by Tim’s excellent 20th placing in the men.
  • For the first time NZL had all three women (Lizzie Ingham, Laura Robertson, Imogene Scott) qualify for the sprint final, and Tim Robertson was our first male qualifier since at least 2012. The women’s results in the final were a little disappointing (32nd, 40th, dsq respectively), but this was offset by Tim’s excellent 20th placing in the men.
  • The sprint relay placing of 12th was a significant improvement over 2014 (16th) in an event that it is becoming clear needs a specialist approach to it.
  • Matt Ogden and Lizzie’s performances in the middle distance (26th and 19th respectively) in a highly technical area were outstanding. Laura (40th) and Renee Beveridge (55th), both at their first WOC, had solid runs and will have benefited enormously from their experience in this race. It would have been interesting to see where Tim would have finished had he not been forced to retire through injury.
  • The relay results for both men (16th) and women (14th) were outstanding and significant improvements on 2014. This is especially so as both relay teams had 2 newcomers to WOC in them (Laura, Renee, Gene Beveridge and Shamus Morrison) who all ran very good legs. Special credit is due to Gene for an excellent first leg after having to replace Tim at short notice.
  • Lizzie (28th) and Laura’s (42nd) performances in the long distance were also commendable, particularly as this was the sixth race that both had run in the space of 8 days. Matt (46th) also found this tough after his previous runs in the middle and relay but produced an important result in the context of the men’s teams’ overall performance.

The achievement of the men in securing promotion to Group 2 was a collective effort. Matt’s runs in the middle and long were obviously important but the real game-breaker was the relay result. The women’s results were also such that they are now comfortably placed in the upper-middle half of Group 2. The table below shows the positions and points that teams in Group 2 will start with at WOC in Sweden in 2016.

 

Men   Total Women   Total
9 EST 197 9 LAT 201
10 AUT 174 10 UKR 173
11 LTU 160 11 FRA 172
12 LAT 156 12 LTU 156
13 BUL 156 13 EST 148
14 DEN 142 14= NZL 143
15 RUS 132 14= AUS 143
16 HUN 118 16 HUN 130
17= POL 110 17 GER 119
17= NZL 110 18 CAN 114
19 GER 80 19 ESP 111
20 ESP 78 20 POL 107
21 BLR 71 21 AUT 105
22 ITA 70 22 USA 66

 

WMOC2015

The week before WOC saw the World Master’s Championships in Gothenburg. As highlighted on the ONZ website, Ross Brighouse won his 3rd WMOC title when he took out the M70 long distance title. Ross is surely our most successful ever masters orienteer. Who would bet against him making it 4 in Auckland in 2017?

IOF Extraordinary General meeting – the split WOC

At Inverness during WOC week IOF held its EGM to discuss and vote on the proposal to split WOC into “forest” and “urban” events in alternate years. Without going into the pros and cons again, these have been widely discussed in a variety of forums, the result was that the meeting voted 26-8 for a split WOC. This will come into effect in 2019 when WOC will be a “forest” WOC with purely a middle distance, a long distance and a relay. From then on “forest” WOC’s will be held in odd years and “urban” WOC’s in even years.

Unfortunately, there is still no, or very little, detail on this and consultation with Federations will continue over the next year to firm things up. It does look, however, as if qualification will be reinstated for the “forest” middle distance with each country allowed 3 entrants. On the flip side though, it seems equally likely that there will be a quota system for the long distance.

The “urban” WOC will keep the individual sprint and the sprint relay in their present forms. The difference will be the introduction of a new race format. At this stage the leading candidates for this appear to be a knockout sprint or a “middle” distance race of the type that has often been seen at the World Games through parkland and urban terrain.

International Coaching Conference

Over the last week there has been an international orienteering coaching conference taking place in Austria at which the pros and cons of the national coaching structures in Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Austria have been discussed. Much of this has been reported on World of O. As ONZ grapples with establishing a squad system it is interesting to see that nearly all of the above countries have very similar structures of a national elite squad and a junior or under 21/23/25 squad, while up to 17 years of age training and coaching is at regional level. The style and aims of coaching develop with age, and, for example, the Swiss follow a system based on the Canadian Sport for Life strategy such that training at different ages is defined as

  • <12 years of age: fundamentals
  • 12-15 years: learning to train
  • 15-17 years: training to train
  • 17-21 years: training to compete
  • 21-25 years: training to win
  • >25 years: be World Class

In my view, in the New Zealand context this can be interpreted as meaning that up to age 17 coaching/training is very much technique focussed, and only then does focus switch to putting all the techniques together into the complete orienteering package. Interestingly, the Swiss clearly believe that it takes up to the age of about 25+ to really be at a stage to compete internationally. In other words the process is more than a wee bit longer than we perhaps commonly regard it in New Zealand.

Of course the crucial aspect of this is that successful junior (i.e. <17) coaching and training requires buy-in from the regions in the form of organized regional squads, and the willingness of the more experienced orienteers to act as coaches and mentors. This has to be a main focus for us if are to further improve on the world stage.

Training Camps

Somewhat related to the previous item, the junior camp for 2015 will take place in Auckland just before Christmas and has been advertised on the ONZ website. Just prior to that there will be a “D-squad” camp (hopefully soon the U23 Squad) the make-up of which is still under discussion.

However, further down the line it can be confirmed that there will be a full Elite and U23 Squad camp in Hawkes Bay in the week leading up to the 3-day event being hosted by Red Kiwis at Anzac Weekend. Further details will follow, but put it in your diaries now.

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