England team at the World Schools Champs 2019
The 2019 World Schools Orienteering Championships took place in Otepää, Estonia, from the 29th April to 5th May. England took a full delegation, with generous support from the Orienteering Foundation.
Long distance race
Wednesday’s World Schools Championships Long Distance Race near Otepää in Estonia presented the athletes with some very challenging terrain, with a lot of saplings giving low visibility and disguising the contours. Some of the longer legs through the area provided all the team with a technical challenge similar to that experienced by the World Championships competitors in 2017. There were two medal winning runs from members of the England
- Euan Tryner come in first in the younger boys (M2) Schools race, 45 seconds clear of the second placed Finnish competitor.
- Flurry Grierson finished third on the older boys (M1) Select race just 38 seconds behind the winner.
Thursday saw all the World Schools Orienteering delegations travel to Tartu for the Cultural Festival. The morning was spent in the AAHH Science museum where there were a lot of very interesting interactive exhibitions. Then in teams of 10 the children collected
an iPad and navigated to their way to a number of checkpoints where they had to answer questions about Estonia, ending up at the Estonian University of Life Sciences.
Each delegation then set up a table with a selection of maps, food and other souvenirs from their country. Hobnobs & McVities Chocolate Digestives proving very popular. This was followed by each country introducing their country through dance, song or a presentation with a group of 30 team members performing the Morris dance 'Lads a Bunchum'.
Middle distance race
Friday saw the Middle Race take place at this year's World Schools Orienteering Championships. There were snow flurries both early morning and late afternoon, but on the whole it was just chilly. The athletes all ran well with some outstanding performances including two more medals:
- Euan Tryner retained his form from the Long distance winning the M2 Schools category.
- Max Möbus had an excellent run finishing 6th in the M2 Select category.
- In the M1 Select team we had two in the top six. Flurry Grierson flew around the course finishing in silver medal position while Jim Bailey finished in 5th place.
Saturday 4th May saw the Friendship Relay take place. Everyone is put into mixed teams of three, all are given a map and then between them decide who is going to visit which controls. As a team they have to have punched them all and have met at three specified controls during the race. Once they have them all they meet up and run into the finish together. This year Sophie Kirk, one of our coaches, took second place in the coaches’ competition.
After a visit to the lake and sauna the teams headed to the team prize giving and Closing Ceremony. The England Delegation then headed back to Kaariku for a dip in the lake and football. The Older Boys England Team of Jim Bailey, Dom Dakin, Flurry Grierson, Finlay Johnson and Oliver Tonge took Gold ahead of Sweden and Latvia. Thanks to coach Ben Chesters.
The closing ceremony then took place and ISF flag was then handed over to Serbia for the ISF World Schools Championships in Orienteering 2021. It was then time to party!
A huge thank you to everyone that helped the England Delegation in various ways to attend this event. BSOA, The Orienteering Foundation, British Orienteering, the Orienteering Associations, Orienteering Clubs and last but not least the parents.