International orienteering again in the Gargano
The Scandinavian national teams ready to fight for the Mediterranean Championship
From 3 to 8 April everyone on Lake Garda for the MOC Camp
The time has come to return to Puglia, on the Gargano, to crown the king and queen of the 2023 Mediterranean Championship. The 18th edition of the MOC-Mediterranean Open Championship, organized by PWT Italia in collaboration with the IOF-International Orienteering Federation, and FISO-Italian Federation of Orientation Sports, with the patronage of the Councilor for Sport of the Puglia Region. The support of ARIF-Regional Agency for Irrigation and Forestry Activities of the Puglia Region, the Provincial Forestry Corps, the Municipalities of Vieste, Vico del Gargano, and the 2022 WMOC Organizing Committee is essential.
The scheduled races will be valid both for the World Ranking and as the first stages of the FISO Italian Cup circuit. On Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd April international orienteering will again be in the spur of Italy with 500 athletes competing for each stage representing 10 nations, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, France, Switzerland, Estonia, Czech Republic, Austria, and Italy. Among the top runners also the Norwegian Andrine Benjaminsen, winner in Alberobello and Monopoli of the 2022 edition of the event, and the Belgian Yannick Michiels.
The Sprint competition on Saturday will take place in the historic center of Vieste, with the first departure set at 2.30 pm, while the Long distance on Sunday in the Umbra Forest, from 9.30 am. With its characteristic network of narrow streets, the historic center of Vieste has already demonstrated its remarkable technicality to athletes, which requires constant reading of the map and targeted athletic training. These aspects will also be severely tested in Foresta Umbra, among the 10 forests of UNESCO heritage in the world. The green lung of the Gargano National Park is a real naturalistic treasure for every orienteer, thanks to the beech woods on karst terrain interspersed with sinkholes and depressions.
“We are thrilled to return to this wonderful land for a new weekend of orienteering – declares Gabriele Viale, PWT Italia General Manager – This a further step in an international sports and promotional project of the Gargano, especially in the Scandinavian countries. We are working in continuity with the World Masters Championships that took place last summer in the same locations, whose extraordinary organization allowed the 360° management of over 3 thousand athletes from 40 nations”.
Once the MOC Championships are over, from 3 to 8 April we will fly directly to Veneto, between Verona and Lake Garda, for the MOC Sprint Camp, the official training camp of the European Orienteering Championships. The Swedish national team, led by coach Kalle Dalin, Thomas Landqvist, and Karolina Östlund will also participate, together with the national teams of Norway and Denmark. The days will be dedicated to the distances Sprint (April 4), Sprint Relay (April 5), and KO Sprint (April 7). During the evenings at the event center in Castelnuovo sul Garda, in-depth training seminars with the testimonies of coaches and pro athletes.