This month sees the launch of annual IOF World Ranking Awards, a scheme to recognise the highest ranked athletes in all four disciplines per region. The World Ranking leaders on the 1st of December each year in each of IOF’s six Regions – Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, N. America and S. America – will receive special mementos to mark their success.
There are 9 categories: men and women in the Orienteering World Rankings (Middle & Long races), Sprint Orienteering, Mountainbike Orienteering, Ski Orienteering, and for gender-neutral Trail Orienteering. The first winners of these awards have now been identified, and are listed below. They will receive their awards early in the new year.
The World Ranking system provides a method for comparing skill levels across national boundaries through participation in a number of World Ranking Events (WREs) each year. During the Covid-19 pandemic the number of WREs has been reduced, especially during 2020, but the measurements have been adjusted to include a longer time span and keep relevance. Hopefully, 2022 will see enough control of the pandemic to enable orienteers from all parts of the world to compete openly in the huge range of World Ranking competitions now on offer.
2021 World Ranking Awards
In 3 regions, Africa, Oceania and South America only the Foot Orienteering discipline has ranked athletes. Most successful of these are Lizzie Ingham and Tim Robertson, both from New Zealand, 2 of only 4 athletes to lead both the Middle/Long and Sprint listings. The four South American athletes are Brazilians, and in the Africa Region all four are from South Africa. The leaders in these three Regions are:
Orienteering, men: Bradley Lund, S. Africa; Orienteering, women: Jessica Lund, S. Africa
Sprint, men: Timothy Chambers, S. Africa; Sprint, women: Sarah Wimberley, S. Africa
Timothy Chambers RSA: 3rd in Sprint, just 1.37 down behind Florian Howald SUI and Øystein Kvaal Østerbø NOR at the South African Big 5 O-week, January 2020
Orienteering and Sprint, men: Tim Robertson, New Zealand; Orienteering and Sprint, women: Lizzie Ingham, New Zealand
Tim Robertson NZL: best format is Sprint; he won the Sprint bronze medal at WOC 2021
Orienteering, men: Joacy Dantas De Araujo, Brazil; Orienteering, women: Edineia Roniak Dos Santos, Brazil
Sprint, men: Gelson Andrey Zago Togni, Brazil; Sprint, women: Elaine Lenz, Brazil
Elaine Lenz BRA: 3rd in Sprint in Brazil Championships in November – 38 seconds down on winner
Best placings amongst the athletes from these three Regions are Tim Robertson NZL, 7th in the men’s Sprint list, and Lizzie Ingham NZL, 93rd in the women’s Orienteering (Middle & Long) list.
There are Asian orienteers in all disciplines, mainly from Japan but with leaders also from China and Kazakhstan.
Award winners from Asia
Orienteering, men: Sebastian Ken Baumann, Japan; Orienteering, women: Hinako Inage, Japan
Sprint, men: Hirokazu Osaki, Japan; Sprint, women: Jiayi Zheng, China
Hinako Inage JPN: Japanese Champion in Middle and Long, October 2021
MTBO, women: Naoko Kano, Japan
SkiO, men: Yuki Ishihara, Japan; SkiO, women: Assem Nazyrova, Kazakhstan
TrailO: Koji Chino, Japan
Assem Nazyrova KAZ: 16th in Sprint at 2020 European SkiO Championships, Russia
In Europe seven different nations are represented – only Russia has two leading athletes, and Tove Alexandersson SWE wins two awards.
Orienteering, men: Kasper Harlem Fosser, Norway; Orienteering, women: Tove Alexandersson, Sweden
Sprint, men: Yannich Michiels, Belgium; Sprint, women: Tove Alexandersson, Sweden
MTBO, men: Simon Braendli, Switzerland; MTBO, women: Svetlana Foliforova, Russia
Simon Braendli SUI: reached his best so far this year – European Champion in Middle distance in Portugal in October, plus three medals at the World MTBO Championships in Finland
SkiO, men: Vladislav Kiselev, Russia; SkiO, women: Daisy Kudre, Estonia
TrailO: Antti Rusanen, Finland
Vladislav Kiselev RUS: World Sprint Champion, third in Pursuit, WSOC 2021
All leading athletes currently listed for the North America awards are from USA. Anton Salmenkyla leads both FootO ranking lists.
North America awards
Orienteering, men: Anton Salmenkyla, USA; Orienteering, women: Asne Skram Troemborg, USA
Sprint, men: Anton Salmenkyla, USA; Sprint, women: Alison Campbell, USA
SkiO, men: Chris Burnham, USA
TrailO: Clare Durand, USA
Clare Durand USA: has been a member of USA teams at World TrailO Championships in 2016, 2017 and 2019, and is also very active in virtual TrailO
Four athletes have scores of 7000 points or more: Tove Alexandersson SWE in both Orienteering and Sprint (7100 and 7025); Kasper Harlem Fosser NOR, who has had an equally fantastic season in Orienteering (7038); Vladislav Kiselev RUS (7084) and Daisy Kudre EST (7060) in SkiO.
Antti Rusanen FIN (0.92 – by a long way the best in a different scoring system) has had outstanding results in TrailO for a considerable period of time.
IOF World Ranking Lists (as on 6 December 2021)