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Birmingham - USA time
Background Information
Foot Orienteering

Orienteering is an endurance sport which involves a huge mental element. Competitors will, by following a detailed topographical map, visit a series of control points in sequence and in the shortest time possible.

The orienteer must independently navigate with the use of only the detailed topographical map and compass while running as fast as possible. The map provides detailed information on the terrain such as elevation, ground surface, vegetation, and obstacles as well as the control points that must be visited in the specified order.

The route between controls is not specified or marked and is entirely up to the orienteer to choose and navigate.


Standings are determined by the time used to complete the full course, with the shortest time first.


- No qualifying rounds. All events will have straight finals.

- The best three athletes or teams of each competition will receive Gold, Silver and Bronze.


Before the start of the competitions, athletes stay in an (indoor) quarantine area.

When the competition starts, athletes receive the map, with the course to be completed, printed on it. The athlete uses the map to determine the fastest route and to navigate the chosen route.


The Middle Distance, often referred to as “middle,” is a format normally held in forested terrain. With a winning time in of approximately 30 minutes, it places an emphasis on detailed map reading and navigation skills. Competitors start individually with a 2-minute interval between athletes. 


The Sprint is a shorter competition, with winning times typically between 12–15 minutes. It is held in an urban environment, with an emphasis on quick decision-making to find optimal route choices in urban streets and parks. Competitors start individually with a 90-second interval.


The Sprint Relay is contested in an urban environment with teams consisting of 2 women and 2 men. It is a relay format where each team-member in sequence runs a sprint course, of 12-15 minutes each, until all 4 athletes have completed their courses. All teams start at the same time, and the team that first completes all 4 legs of the relay is the winner. Even though the teams start at the same time, they still need to navigate individually since the courses do not have the exact same controls on each relay leg. However, after all 4 legs of the relay are completed, the teams will have run the exact same course.


In individual events (Middle and Sprint) athletes run alone in a time trial format. Tactics in such events amount to choosing the right routes for their own strengths. For some athletes it may make sense to take a navigationally riskier route that covers less distance. Others may consider themselves faster over specific terrain (road or path vs. rough forest). In the Sprint Relay, where runners start together, there is the additional consideration of where others are going. Since the courses are "forked" (not every team runs the same combination of legs at the same time) it is not possible to know if your competitors are all going to the same point you are. Following is risky, but often running with others for a longer route leg could save time.


Runners must visit all the controls in the order specified on the map. There is no judging in orienteering, the clock and punching record determine whether an athlete has successfully completed a course and what their placement is. 

Usually, athletes/teams have 15 minutes to file a written protest after the competition.


Fastest time wins. 


Competitors must make sure to visit the correct controls and in the correct order as shown on their map. They must not cross forbidden areas or features which are marked on their maps, or they get disqualified from the competition.

Athletes and Teams to watch out for

Tove Alexandersson (SWE) - Reigning World Champion in Sprint, Middle, and Long, and as a team member for Relay and Sprint Relay
Kasper Fosser (NOR) - Reigning World Champion in Long
Matthias Kyburz (SUI) - Reigning World Champion in Middle 
Isac von Krusenstierna (SWE) - Reigning World Champion in Sprint
Natalia Gemperle - Silver medalist in Long and Sprint
Simono Aebersold (SUI) - Bronze medalist in Long and Sprint

Appearances in TWG 2017 Yes
Appearances in TWG 2013 Yes
Appearances in TWG 2009 Yes
Appearances in TWG 2005 Yes
Appearances in TWG 2001 Yes
Title holders in TWG 2017

Middle-Distance Men

  1. Matthias KYBURZ (SUI)
  2. Florian HOWALD (SUI)
  3. Vojtech KRAL (CZE)

Middle-Distance Women

  1. Helena JANSSON (SWE)
  2. Natalia GEMPERLE (RUS)
  3. Sabine HAUSWIRTH (SUI)

Sprint Men

  1. Jerker LYSELL (SWE)
  2. Yannick MICHIELS (BEL)
  3. Matthias KYBURZ (SUI)

Sprint Women

  1. Maja ALM (DEN)
  2. Elena ROOS (SUI)
  3. Lina STRAND (SWE)

Sprint Relay Mixed

  1. Team DEN
  2. Team SUI
  3. Team RUS
Title holders in TWG 2013

Middle-Distance Men

  1. Matthias KYBURZ (SUI)
  2. Daniel HUBMANN (SUI)
  3. Vilius ALELIUNAS (LTU)

Middle-Distance Women

  1. Minna KAUPPI (FIN)
  3. Nadiya VOLYNSKA (UKR)

Sprint Men

  1. Matthias KYBURZ (SUI)
  2. Andrey KHRAMOV (RUS)
  3. Jerker LYSELL (SWE)

Sprint Women

  1. Annika BILLSTAM (SWE)
  2. Anne Margrethe HAUSKEN NORDBERG (NOR)
  3. Maja ALM (DEN)

Sprint Relay Mixed

  1. Team SUI
  2. Team DEN
  3. Team AUT
Title holders in TWG 2009

Middle-Distance Men

  1. Daniel HUBMANN (SUI)
  2. Dmitrii TCVETKOV (RUS)
  3. Andrey KHRAMOV (RUS)

Middle-Distance Women

  1. Johanna ALLSTON (AUS)
  2. Minna KAUPPI (FIN)
  3. Linnea GUSTAFSSON (SWE)

Sprint Men

  1. Andrey KHRAMOV (RUS)
  2. Daniel HUBMANN (SUI)
  3. Tero FOHR (FIN)

Sprint Women

  1. Minna KAUPPI (FIN)
  2. Johanna ALLSTON (AUS)
  3. Elise EGSETH (NOR)

Sprint Relay Mixed

  1. Team RUS
  2. Team FIN
  3. Team NOR
Title holders in TWG 2005

Individual Men

  1. Thierry GUEORGIOU (FRA)
  2. Daniel HUBMANN (SUI)
  3. Oystein-Kvaal OSTERBO (NOR)

Individual Women

  1. Simone NIGGLI-LUDER (SUI)
  3. Heather MONRO (GBR)

Sprint Relay Mixed

  1. Team SUI
  2. Team RUS
  3. Team CZE
Title holders in TWG 2001

Individual Men

  1. Grant BLUETT (AUS)
  2. Tore SANDVIK (NOR)
  3. Jamie STEVENSON (GBR)

Individual Women

  1. Hanne STAFF (NOR)
  2. Anette GRANSTEDT (SWE)
  3. Birgitte HUSEBYE (NOR)

Sprint Relay Mixed

  1. Team NOR
  2. Team LTU
  3. Team SWE
Qualified athletes with results in past TWG
  • Matthias KYBURZ(SUI): 1. in TWG2017, 2. in TWG2017, 3. in TWG2017, 1. in TWG2013, 1. in TWG2013, 1. in TWG2013
  • Tove ALEXANDERSSON(SWE): 2. in TWG2013
  • Yannick MICHIELS(BEL): 2. in TWG2017, 22. in TWG2017
  • Evely KAASIKU(EST): 14. in TWG2017, 22. in TWG2017, 27. in TWG2017
  • Tim ROBERTSON(NZL): 12. in TWG2017, 15. in TWG2017, 30. in TWG2017
  • Carlotta SCALET-MERL(ITA): 21. in TWG2017, 23. in TWG2017
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