Just 2 years after the original planned date, the European TrailO Orienteering Championships (ETOC) finally get under way on Thursday in the area around Espoo, west of Helsinki in Finland. Athletes from 18 nations will be taking part, all keen to be back in action at full international level again after the long pandemic break.
What is now ETOC 2022 has attracted 132 athletes: 37 in the P (Physically Challenged) class and 95 in the O (Open) class. 11 of the entries are from Ukraine. Finland, Norway and Sweden are traditionally the strongest nations and have the current world and European champions, but several other nations will believe they have athletes capable of winning a medal.
Four successive days of competition
There are 4 competition days. The 2-day PreO competition is followed by the TempO day (Qualification & Final) and then the Relay, for teams of 3. For the 2 PreO days and the Relay, typical Finnish forest of pine and spruce is on offer with its intricate contour detail, along with bare rock faces and cliffs. PreO-2 in the famous Noux National Park is in terrain with big hillsides with lots of rock faces. Some very challenging map-reading tasks can be expected! The Relay is in a large recreational area, a change from the original plan as the first-choice area is no longer available.
Typical Finnish forest terrain for ETOC Photo: ETOC
By contrast, the TempO events will be held in a suburban area with some park-like terrain and ‘forest islands’ amongst official buildings and living quarters. Masses of small detail to interpret – ideal for TempO!
All event facilities and accommodation are at the same venue, the Kisakallio Sports Institute, a very large training centre situated deep in the countryside, around 65 km west of Helsinki.
The event website is www.etoc2022.com, and Bulletin 4 carries all the essential competition detail. Reports, results and pictures will come on this website late on each day of competition.
Thursday 26 May PreO Day 1
Friday 27 May PreO Day 2
Saturday 28 May TempO: Qualification (a.m.), Final (p.m.)
Sunday 29 May Relay