Lundanes: “Separate O-Ringen from the World Championships – and you will have five real stages.”
Clear leader after the first two stages, the Swedish-speaking world champion Olav Lundanes will travel home before the world championships – which illustrates why O-Ringen wants a quick resolution on an agreement with the IOF to separate O-Ringen from the World Championships.
While there has been agreement on the Swedish side for a couple of decades, the final decision will be made the day after tomorrow.
In any case, it is the goal of O-Ringen’s CEO Henrik Boström, who, after running a course on the second stage, said to Oringen.se:
“I am defninitely hoping for a solution. We have three new members on the board who need to get into the details, but we will solve this. Everybody wants, as I can see, peace for O-Ringen. The time is now.”
Henrik Boström recalls that the IOF board has already supported the idea that is should be “cleared” from 2020 (in 2019, O-Ringen is already well separated from the World Championships).
“We know that the World Elite Group (where Janne Salmi is one of the representatives) is positive.”
High time it may be. O-Ringen on the High Coast has a good starting list in the elite classes, but it is worth noting that only four out of ten in Sweden’s squad for the World Championships in Latvia are competing in Örnsköldsvik.
For most World Championship runners, it’s simply impossible to have also have completed a full O-Ringen week just before; it is too challenging both mentally and physically, and the World Champsionships are of course very important to Sweden. However, a large part of the world’s elite usually appreciates O-Ringen as a comptetition, and the attention the week usually brings (including prize money!).
Olav Lundanes, 30, is therefore a good example of this dilemma. The Norwegian will run the three hardest distances during the World Championships in Latvia, but did not want to miss a chance to start O-Ringen. So to Örnsköldsvik he came, and on Monday went home the leader, three and a half minutes ahead of countryman Magne Daehli, from Halden SK.
“I’ve made only some small five-second mistakes today. It was really tough but nice in the woods.” Lundanes said after the Middle Distance race and before discussing O-Ringen’s future.
“I think it’s best if it’s like last year, with the World Championships in early July and then quite a rest before O-Ringen begins. The race next year (Kolmården) should suit many of us quite well.”
Lundanes says he understands that it is a complex schedule to take into account for the International Orienteering Federation, like the World Cup in football and athletics.
“But O-Ringen has a high statues, not least in Norway, and many want to come here.”
Lundanes knows what he wants:
“I want O-Ringen for the elite to be a tough five days, without a mass start or similar. Five real stages”.
And no sprint?
“A sprint might be fine…but it’s important not to change the character of the competition.”
When talking about the World Cup being a part of O-Ringen, Lundanes believes that the order is important: the World Cup should be part of O-Ringen, rather than O-Ringen being part of the World Cup.
“The total result during the O-Ringen week could be considered a World Cup, but a single race could also be considered. The most important thing is that O-Ringen is determined over five real days.”
In this last point, he and CEO Henrik Boström agree.
“What we want to agree with the IOF is that O-Ringen for the elites is five days, or it will not get the thumbs up from us.”