The International Orienteering Federation (IOF) has awarded hosting rights for three of its major events to Edinburgh, Scotland; the Kansai region of Japan and Aguiar da Beira, Portugal.
The Scottish capital has seen off competition from Paris, France to land the 2022 Sprint World Orienteering Championships, with the IOF expecting the event to set a new standard for the competition.
“The IOF vision for the Sprint World Orienteering Championships, of bringing it to exciting international venues, is coming true,” Tom Hollowell, IOF chief executive, said. “The support being provided by the City of Edinburgh Council and EventScotland was a key factor in awarding Sprint WOC 2022. We look forward to showing orienteering and Edinburgh to the world.”
The proposed venue for the Event Centre is the University of Edinburgh’s Pollock Halls of Residence campus. Preferred dates are in the middle of July. The proposed plan is to have the three televised finals in Edinburgh’s iconic locations.
Hollowell added: “Through their bid, we expect that Edinburgh will first and foremost provide exciting competitions where the world’s best sprint orienteers will be awarded their medals. But we also expect to increase the visibility of orienteering both locally and globally against the palette of the iconic landmarks of Edinburgh.”
Meanwhile, the IOF will stage its first World Masters Championships (WMOC) in Asia, with hosting rights assigned to Japan over rival bids from Bulgaria and Italy. The Championships will be held in conjunction with the 2021 World Masters Games in Kansai.
The decision comes despite the IOF general assembly in 2016 deciding not to automatically organise the WMOC together with the Masters Games every fourth year. However, for 2021, the IOF said the Japan Orienteering Association teamed up with the World Masters Games Kansai organising committee to put together a competitive bid.
“This is the way our cooperation with the World Masters Games should work,” IOF president Leho Haldna added. “In this case the cooperation between the JOA and WMG Kansai is very positive and allows us to work towards one of our strategic goals, placing major IOF events outside Europe.”
Finally, the 2021 Junior World Orienteering Championships will be held in the city of Aguiar da Beira, Portugal. Romania and Sweden had also bid for the event.