Freddie Carcas European Champs review
As reported previously we gave a grant to Freddie Carcas towards personal costs for attending the European Championships to compete in the Knock Out Sprint. Here is Freddie's report from the competition.
Following the completion of my Master’s Degree in the US, I was excited to return to the British Orienteering scene and attempt to be selected for the European Championships. The season started with Race the Abbeys which were selection races for World Cup 2 in Czechia and would allow me to gain valuable experience at my first senior international competition. I had a great experience and, despite some issues in my build-up, some world-class performances from my teammates got me excited for future races and the prospect of a spot on the team to Europeans.
With the GB team currently having some of the strongest sprint depth in the world, selection for the European Championships was no easy feat. A tough weekend of racing at Sprint Scotland got me selected for the knock-out sprint race in Italy. The week was an amazing experience to gauge how far I was from the best orienteers in the world and a challenge I was looking forward to. The format for the knock-out sprint involved an initial qualification round where the top 12 from each heat would then move forward to the next round. The team had spent a week in Italy prior to my race adapting to the challenges of the Italian street network and getting a good understanding of what lay ahead. I ran an aggressive race, only making a few minor mistakes. I crossed the line in 12th, meaning I was about to scrape through to the next round. However, I soon realised I was actually joint 12th, which then goes to a tie-breaker between the two athletes. The tiebreaker is decided on World Ranking Points and unfortunately, due to my lack of international orienteering in the previous 2 years, I just missed out. I still scored my first World Cup points (top 40 finish) and was only 16s off the winner in my heat - showing the margins at this level.
The week was an amazing experience and has increased my motivation and belief that I can compete at this level in the future. The support from the Orienteering Foundation is greatly appreciated to allow me to continue competing at this level, especially as I try and sort out the next stage in my career following my graduation in the summer. Thank you very much for the support!