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Discussion: WOC Sprint Relay

in: Orienteering; News

Aug 1, 2015 5:19 AM # 
Starting a new post so that all the commentary goes in one place.

USA: Tori Borish, Greg Alswende, Giacomo Barbone, Samantha Saeger

CAN: Louise Oram (1), Tori Owen (4)

Canada isn't fielding a full team?

I hope the video works tomorrow. Nairn is a pretty little town.

Edit: I got the teams from IOF Eventor. Canada's blog says that Will Critchley and Damian Konotopetz will be running tomorrow.
Aug 1, 2015 5:00 PM # 
Here we go!! Good luck everyone!
Aug 1, 2015 5:03 PM # 
SVT Play live
Aug 1, 2015 5:06 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Turkey didn't show up, I guess? All of their sprint qual starts were DNS.
Aug 1, 2015 5:06 PM # 
I'm watching BBC Alba's broadcast on iPlayer. The presenter is speaking in Gaelic with no subtitles, then turns to a woman who I think is one of the organizers and interviews her in English (with no Gaelic subtitles.)
Aug 1, 2015 5:11 PM # 
Fantastic TV coverage!!
Aug 1, 2015 5:41 PM # 
Looks like Russia, Australia, and Taipei have mispunched. Ouch.

Several others have, too, including Will. Is there a technical problem?
Aug 1, 2015 5:42 PM # 
Simon wouldnt mp, he has never mp'd in his life...
Aug 1, 2015 5:44 PM # 
Hope its a technical thing...looks like a whole bunch of them that were together. Ireland was MP but is no longer I think
Aug 1, 2015 5:45 PM # 
Will is back in!! *phew*
Aug 1, 2015 5:45 PM # 
Ok, they've restored Will and Simon and some others.
Aug 1, 2015 5:48 PM # 
Aug 1, 2015 6:03 PM # 
Your Scottish Word of the Day is fankle. As in, "Switzerland was in a bit of a fankle on that map exchange."
Aug 1, 2015 6:14 PM # 
Wow Galina.
Aug 1, 2015 6:17 PM # 
Fooey, got the time zone math wrong, missed everything except the last 2 minutes.
Aug 1, 2015 6:18 PM # 
Awesome run Canada!!

Too bad the TV cut away from the finish line - Tori ended up 1 second ahead of the Germans. That was very exciting to watch - even if just on the splits.

Impressive runs all around as far as I could see. Some great battles - really exciting.

I've got to say, this TV / tracking is going in the right direction. The commentators missed a few things that could have made it more exciting, and the choice of picture was poor at some decisive moments (like when the Russians passed the Swiss). But the potential is obviously being developed.
Aug 1, 2015 7:07 PM # 
Yeah, the coverage was really exciting, but the commentators were terrible. Surely they could at least find someone who could tell apart Klingenberg and Alm on the first leg?
Aug 1, 2015 7:28 PM # 
Per F?

A course planning thing that could be improved (ie looked pretty awful on TV) was the King's Road control. First, being 'hidden' by the car was a little lame I thought and so it looked strange to see some people miss it because of the parked car. But much worse was the start of the relay when the women couldn't get to it and were bumping into each other going in and out of it (later it was better because of lower density of the leg 2,3,4 runners) - but I thought it made for really bad TV (since it made orienteering look a bit silly)
Aug 1, 2015 7:41 PM # 
What place for Canada?? (Sorry, limited coverage while on a bike in wine country)
Aug 1, 2015 7:51 PM # 
Per would have been great, not sure if the commentators had much O experience, and obviously did not know any of the competitors by sight.
Aug 1, 2015 8:05 PM # 
Canada was 22nd.
Aug 1, 2015 8:06 PM # 
Late to the party, but fortunately the video is available for replay. Exciting to watch, video quality excellent. Looking forward to the next event.
Aug 1, 2015 8:27 PM # 

I listened Finnish commentators, Janne Salmi & co, no problem there. biggest problem was picture, for example they missed some decisive moments and they did not use gps that well to predict where and when runner will show up like waited wyder to come out of alley when she went around and appeared from behind the camera. Possibly some sort of Communication issue from gps team to cameramen. It felt slighty worse production than regular huippuliiga production. First day, they will improve for sure.
Aug 1, 2015 9:03 PM # 
One idea to improve TV coverage is to change the bibs! At most major running races the bibs have long ago given up with numbers and replaced them with the athlete's name. This would have fixed the 'wrong name by commentator' problem. Plus I think it would also help solve a problem that the "wnbc" is a symptom of - that our top athletes don't have great recognition. We don't need the country name on the bib (the uniform gives us that information) and we don't need any strange number (eg: 1/1 for 'maja alm' ;-) Heck, we even use names at the Canadian Champs for the last few years and it is fantastic
Aug 1, 2015 10:03 PM # 
(the uniform gives us that information)

or it will when the current fashion for mostly white singlets passes! Was not easy to readily distinguish France, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, GBR... etc etc
Aug 1, 2015 10:18 PM # 
True - and I thought it was the French team steaming up the finish line to pass the Swiss - so add the Russians to the list.

The uniform designers will need to take into account room for the bibs. Easy - right Pink Socks?
Aug 2, 2015 12:35 AM # 
Another thing that would help the TV announcers is having detailed information about the different forks. They seemed to get confused a few times by the forking, but in any case I think it would help if they were able to explain some of the closing & opening of time gaps with reference to who was on a longer fork (perhaps that would take some off-camera analysts feeding them info).

One big miss IMHO by the commentators was that close to the end the Swedish runner made a "big" mistake and missed a turn (as far as I could tell on the gps track). That no doubt was quite important to the medals at that stage and perhaps some off camera spotter could have been feeding that info too.

I guess, in defense of the commentators, there is a ton of stuff happening very quickly in a sprint relay and it is probably the most difficult of all races to follow? At the same time, one of the most exciting to watch.
Aug 2, 2015 12:46 AM # 
Pink Socks:
The uniform designers will need to take into account room for the bibs. Easy - right Pink Socks?

As the resident "athletic aesthetics" expert here, whenever I've designed or consulted on a uniform design, I've always looked at what I call the "bib factor", which is to design with a bib in mind (eg: CascadeOC's jerseys are a solid color on the stomach, so it passes the test).

But, at WOC, this has gotten out of hand, and the problem is really beyond what a uniform designer can do. I think the driving force behind a lot of this is advertising and sponsors. I mean, look at Martin Hubmann. If you didn't know he's Swiss, it's impossible to tell from the front because of how many "bumper stickers" he's got on. He's got even more on his headband and shorts!

And it's beyond the jersey sponsors, too. The bibs don't need to be the size of cafeteria trays, either. But, after you've included the event logo, the IOF logo, and 6 other logos on there, it's BIG. The relays are probably the races where having a bib actually has some logistical merit. It's easier for the organizers to keep track of what runners are which. But for the non-relays, bibs aren't really that necessary.

And the outfits for the sprint (singlets and short shorts) don't leave much real estate, either. The forest uniforms are usually better.

If I were in charge, I'd have a bib size maximum that's significantly smaller than what they are now.

I'd also allow uniform sponsors only on the sleeves/shoulders (think raglan-style) and shorts. I want everything from the neck to the waist (both front and back) free of miscellaneous junk. If you want to wear a singlet, then that's less real estate for your precious sponsors. If sponsors are that important to you, wear some sleeves.

Anyone that knows me knows that I dislike advertising on national sports jerseys. But I get the economics of orienteering, too. Which is why I'll allow sponsorship patches, but only in a secondary space. I find that it's pretty ridiculous that you've got Hubmann running in a team race, and it's not obvious what team he's running for.

Does the IOF have any uniform requirements and restrictions? I know a lot of other governing bodies do.
Aug 2, 2015 1:05 AM # 
What is the story behind triathlon family name and country code being required on uniforms? Page 2 here:
Aug 2, 2015 5:41 AM # 
I've created a new post for the Sprint Final. I decided it should be attached to the event, so it's in the event column.

Webcast starts 16:45 CET, one hour ahead of GMT. Eight hours ahead of Pacific Daylight Time, where I am.
Aug 2, 2015 7:57 AM # 
@cedarcreek - I have the impression that ITU runs much more to a business model than many other sports bodies, which maybe enables them to be more proscriptive about such things. Whatever the reason, whenever I find myself watching an international triathlon, there's a part of me that can't help thinking young British orienteer Lucy Butt has chosen the wrong sport...
Aug 2, 2015 10:19 AM # 
In defence of BBC Alba TV, they are a very tiny broadcaster, just a few hours a day of Gaelic original and dubbed programs available on air in Scotland. The cut to Gaelic football four minutes after the winning team, due the average leg time being 45 seconds longer than planned, must have been worrying for some!
Aug 2, 2015 11:45 AM # 
Another factor for the coverage was that Team Denmark submitted a form to change the running order mere minutes before the deadline for such changes.

It was a very exciting relay to be a part of, and Per Forsberg was an excellent and vocal presence in the arena itself, so those of us lucky enough to be at the race could hear great commentary.
Aug 2, 2015 7:47 PM # 
I just want to add that it was a fantastic arena and very exciting to watch, if nerve racking! And the rain held off which was an added bonus. The quality of the sound wasn't great (very dependent on where you were sitting), and I totally agree with AZ that first names on bibs would be MUCH better. I'm sure form the organisers' point of view, numbers are easier, but names would be much better for the announcers and the audience/TV- and isn't that why team sprints were developed??
Aug 2, 2015 9:55 PM # 
Names of course are better but allowing a team to change running order before the start of the race is vital, with injury and sickness always a factor. So, if the organizers want to have special bibs printed including last name, they would need to be produced with almost zero turn-around. Certainly worth the effort if there is a way to do it.

You could maybe add a last name as a overlay on the video production... which wouldn't help the spectators in the field.
Aug 3, 2015 1:37 AM # 
Pre printed stickers placed on the bibs the morning of the race would be an easy solution or a bib for each runner
Aug 3, 2015 1:56 AM # 
When we did the 6 Day in 2007, we had signed up late, like the week before. Our bibs were printed out when we arrived and picked up our packets. The printing was done on a laser printer on the water proof tyvek type material with our class and start times included. Can't remember if our names were on as well. But the message - the computer can spit out whatever needs to be done on the spot.
Aug 3, 2015 3:31 AM # 
@Rosstopher - are you overlooking the brilliance of Lars L in keeping his team's running order secret from the other teams? I suspect the last minute changes were strategic. Just want to give Lars some credit for the impressive Danish Sprint Relay win ;-) (whether he deserves it or not)

As for the bibs, now that I mention it, I'm staggered that someone like me who lives and eats orienteering every day wouldn't be able to identify even five or six of the runners in the Sprint final. This is pretty strong evidence that we seriously need to work on increasing athlete recognition.
Aug 3, 2015 8:37 AM # 
Not sure how international this is, but here the bcc TV coverage.
Aug 3, 2015 9:40 AM # 
^^ I get a note that says only available in the UK :(
Aug 3, 2015 9:59 AM # 
Allegedly there are ways around that!
Aug 3, 2015 2:06 PM # 
I might be tempted if I cared enough to try to watch it live in the middle of the night.
Aug 3, 2015 4:26 PM # 
I watched some of BBC Alba's coverage. I used a proxy server from The video of the race is the same as you see on Livecenter. The presenter speaks in Gaelic and there are no English subtitles. He switch to English to speak to his orienteering expert, one of the organizers and a former British champion. Interviews with athletes are also in English, of course.

I'm not sure it's worth watching if you have access to the video on Livecenter, unless you understand Gaelic. I can count to five and say "Thank you" and that's about it.
Aug 3, 2015 11:18 PM # 
Re: Printing bibs
I got my personalized bib in 30 seconds when I entered an open course at O-ringen. Theoretically there should be no problem to update names if teams make last minute changes.
Aug 4, 2015 7:16 AM # 
The swedish broadcast is available around the globe, but commentary in Swedish (with Mats Troeng Quickroute/Winsplits/WOC2001 4th as expert).



And today's middle:

This discussion thread is closed.