World Cup Final preview – a new age coming?

Tomorrow September 30th, the Orienteering World Cup Final kicks off with the Long Distance competition in Cansiglio, Italy. It is certain that there will be a new World Cup winner among the men since the reigning Cup winner from the 2019 season, Gustav Bergman (SWE), has decided not to compete in Italy for family reasons. There is an interesting battle shaping up between the experienced duo of Daniel Hubmann and Matthias Kyburz (both SUI) and a new generation represented by Kasper Harlem Fosser (NOR) and Joey Hadorn (SUI).

After the first 2 World Cup rounds in Neuchatel, Switzerland in May and Idre Fjäll, Sweden in August, the younger generation has a slight advantage, but it is still very close and a lot can happen in the final 2 individual competitions of the international season. And watch out for some strong competitors further down in the current standings, hungry to move up.

Current Orienteering World Cup Standings – Men

1 Kasper Harlem Fosser 260
2 Joey Hadorn 220
3 Daniel Hubmann 209
4 Matthias Kyburz 203
5 Emil Svensk 153
6 Gustav Bergman 133
7 Yannick Michiels 100
8 Audun Heimdal 97
9 Lukas Liland 95
9 Isac von Krusenstierna 95

38 year-old Daniel Hubmann has 28 World Orienteering Championships (WOC) medals, 13 European Orienteering Championships (EOC) medals and has won the overall World Cup 6 times, latest in 2015. Matthias Kyburz, at age 31, has won the overall World Cup title 5 times, latest in 2018, to add to his 11 WOC and 11 EOC medals including the gold medal at Middle Distance at the Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships 2021 in the Czech Republic in July.

Matthias started off the World Cup season by winning the first-ever championships Knock-Out Sprint at the combined EOC and World Cup competition in Neuchatel, helping him stay high up in the overall standings. Daniel has not won a World Cup race this year but finished 3rd at Long Distance and 2nd at Middle Distance at Idre Fjäll and consistency has led him to his current 3rd place in the standings.

Matthias Kyburz winning EOC Knock-Out Sprint gold ahead of Joey Hadorn

Daniel Hubmann in action at the Idre Fjäll Middle Distance

They are being challenged by a couple of very talented athletes who were quite dominant in their Junior World Orienteering Championships careers and are now translating that to success at the senior level. Kasper Harlem Fosser, 22 years-old, is turning into the new dominating athlete at Long Distance, winning both the World Orienteering Championships gold in July and the Long Distance at World Cup round 2 at Idre Fjäll. 2 bronze medals at the European Orienteering Championships and World Cup in Knock-Out Sprint and Sprint have led him to the very top of the current standings.

24 year-old Joey Hadorn came back from a poor performance at the Idre Fjäll Long competition to win an exciting Middle Distance 2 days later, just 3 seconds ahead of Daniel Hubmann. Add to that a silver medal at Knock-Out Sprint in Neuchatel and he has maintained his 2nd position in the overall standings.

Joey Hadorn competing at the Sprint in Neuchatel

Thumbs up from Kasper Harlem Fosser after winning the Long Distance at Idre Fjäll

The challenges will not only come from these 4 athletes however as the top 6 winning prize money and World Cup honours are decided in Italy. Emil Svensk (SWE), winner of the EOC Sprint competition in Neuchatel and currently 5th in the standings, is certainly within striking distance. With Gustav Bergman (SWE) and sprint specialist Yannick Michiels (BEL) not participating at the World Cup final there are another 10-15 athletes who can all move into the top 6 with good performances, among them more of that new generation with Audun Heimdal (24, NOR), Lukas Liland (22, NOR) and Isac von Krusenstierna (23, SWE and WOC gold medallist at Sprint) rounding out the current top 10 list.

Riccardo Scalet and Sebastian Inderst will be among the athletes looking to improve their World Cup standings on home ground in Italy.

The World Cup Final will be contested with 2 individual competitions in the forests of Cansiglio in the Veneto region of northern Italy. The area is located at an elevation of 1000 to 1400 m above sea level and the terrain features typical Karst topography with valleys and sink holes with many point details, moderate to steep slopes, open beech forest and with runnability somewhat reduced by rock underfoot. 122 men and 105 women from 25 nations will be competing for World Cup points.

At the Long Distance competition on Thursday September 30, the Men will complete a course of 19.1 km with 850 m climb, with a winning time estimated at 1 hour and 40 minutes. The Middle Distance course on Saturday October 2 is 5.1 km long with 250 m of climb and an estimated winning time of 35 minutes.

The final round and the 2021 Team World Cup concludes with a Sprint Relay which will be held in the town of Cortina d’Ampezzo, co-host of the Winter Olympic Games 2026, on Sunday October 3.

The Final World Cup round can be followed on the event Live page. There will be full TV and webstreaming productions from the Middle Distance and Sprint Relay.

World Cup standings Women | Men | Team

Link to the overall World Cup page