This year, the World Champs were in my home country and I had a bronze medal from last year to defend, so I was very motivated to run this competition. The WOC 2011 was held in the Savoie District and I was running the shortest distance: the Sprint. Contrary to the other orienteering distances in forest, the particularity of the sprint is to get closer to the public so the courses are in urban area. The WOC sprint qualification was in the city of Aix-Les-Bains while the final was at Chambery. The particularity of the qualification terrain was a mix of wooded, parks and urban area; that why the X-talon were a perfect choice with a good grip everywhere. The main difficulties were to find the good rout choices and stay careful to avoid impassable fences and forbidden areas… Even with some mistakes and hesitations, it was no problem to get the final.
The arena close to the qualification finish was already crowded of spectators but it was nothing to compare to the final: There, the spectacle was splendid for an impressive public! People could see us several times in the arena (already from the start) and there were also many cameras along the course and they could see us on the big screen. The course was spectacular but also interesting with passages in narrow streets and tunnels. My shape was not as good as expected maybe due to the warm sun of this day, but I’ve still done an OK race without big faults (just some small mistakes as for the 3rd and 12th and bad route choices for the 14th and 16th). That why I got the 10th place just 10 seconds to 5th place but quite far to the podium and more than 1 minute behind the impressive winner: D. Hubmann.
(Map1, Map2, Results and live video)
The other races of the World Champs were clearly dominated by the French guys with middle and long victory for T. Guergiou and a beautiful relay victory!
Finally, it was a really great and unique experience for us to run the World Champs ‘at home’ with many supporters (as friends and family) who cheered us very well; so we should remember this competition for a long time!