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Anastasia Denisova about Course of the Year 2016


The big surprise on international orienteering scene in 2016, Anastasia Denisova, shares her favourite orienteering courses of 2016 with the readers in this interview. Her best race of the season was the medal giving World Championships Sprint – but it was another race in the World Championships which impressed the Belarus runner most this year; the World Championships middle distance.

– I think the course was very diverse and had a lot of dynamics, in other word the competitors were forced to apply different orienteering techniques and to switch the speed all the way to the finish, Anastasia Denisova explains. – For me WOC 2016 Middle distance was the most impressive course I’ve run this year.

Denisova gives some extra credit to the course setters for not just setting the most tricky course possible – but instead setting a course which reduces the homeground advantage.

– Some might argue that the terrain allowed for much more difficult course, on which I agree, but in my opinion it is more important to create a course which shows the best allround middle distance runner and not the best Scandinavian terrain runner. This eliminates homeground advantage to the minimum and that is why this course is the most successful in my opinion.

[Editors comment: See the complete course below.]
WOC 2016 - Middle women

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com

Interview as part of “Course of the Year 2016″

Read on for a long interview with Anastasia Denisova. This interview is part of the “Course of the Year 2016″ contest organized by World of O. In the introduction article you can suggest YOUR favourite course for “Course of the Year 2016″ – there are prizes to be won worth more than 5500 Euro.

Q: What is the best orienteering sprint course you saw or run in 2016?

As a sprint course I can highlight the World Cup in Poland. I think they’ve managed to create a high-quality course on a really small map. It was a shame I could not be in shape as I was struggling with a knee injury.



Q: What was the most interesting orienteering terrain you run in in 2016 – and why?

I would say WOC 2016 Long. Maybe because of the fact I live in Gothenburg now, I’ve started to enjoy the Nordic terrain typical to that region. It combined tough and rough orienteering with some fast parts. Once you have mastered the terrain it is pure enjoyment to run. Therefore the WOC terrain was the one I was really enjoying during the preparations and the championships itself.

Q: Usually the courses in interesting terrains are the ones you remember. But can you remember a very good course you ran in “boring” terrain this year?

I think quite many would agree on this one, WC Switzerland Long. Pretty boring terrain in my opinion, but the course setter did an amazing job.

WC-Final 2016, Aarau - Long Distance Women

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com

Q: What is the worst course you ran in 2016?

Due to injury I haven’t been running that many competitions this year and, probably, that’s why I’ve enjoyed every opportunity to run in the forest. Maybe I can say that Venla relay leg 3 wasn’t really forked as it usually is (but the course itself wasn’t really bad).

Venlojen Viesti 3. osuus

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com

Q: What is the most interesting course you ran (or saw) in your own home country in 2016?

That’s actually a really difficult question as it often the case that the good terrain is extremely important therefore it is combination of the terrain and the course setting. Considering this I would choose the Belarusian Long distance Championship. I was quite surprised by the terrain which was very technical and quite demanding and the course setting pulled the best out of it.

Belarus Orienteering Championships Long 2016

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com

Q: Did you set any courses in 2016? If so, is it possible to share the best (in your opinion) with World of O’s readers?

No, this year I was mostly a consumer. :)

Q: What is the most interesting routechoice leg you remember from 2016? Did you take the right choice?

WOC 2016 Long, second control, as it caught almost everyone of guard

Gemperle runs fast all the way around, wins leg clearly! #woc2016 #decisiontime #5500m

A video posted by World of O (@worldof_o) on

WC Poland, Sprint, to the 4th control. I’ve chosen the wrong ones in the both cases :)


Q: You had an incredible success in 2016 – has that lead to any changes for you? A door-opener for new opportunities?

I would say nothing big has changed. I did not got a car or I was not invited to the TV shows and I have not got a chance to drive the Ferrari :). It did however open some door for me as I’ve sign a contract with Riksidrottsuniversitet, which gave me an opportunity to do some biomechanical and physiological tests. That helped me to make some adjustments in my training schedule. It might raise orienteering on the agenda in the Ministry of sports in Belarus as I got a chance to run World Games in Poland next year. What is more, I am still hoping to get some minor sponsorship through the SAIK club people who might have contacts with orienteering gear suppliers, but it is extremely hard to find the right persons to talk to.

Q: What is the race you look most forward to in 2017?

I dont look so far ahead, I need to have a good winter first, but I can say that the training schedule is optimized for the WOC performance. Than there is 10mila on the “home ground” in Gothenburg. We have a really good team and we just need to find out our strategy for this competition and work on it during the coming training period.

Q: Thanks a lot for a very interesting interview, Anastasia!

Prizes from our Sponsors

Prizes from our Sponsors always makes it more fun! There will be a prize for the first one suggesting the course which ends up becoming “The course of the Year 2016″, and prizes drawn among the ones suggesting and voting. All prizes are transferable to other persons (you don’t have to travel yourself).

Event sponsor: MOC Training Camp. March 4th – 12th 2017

  • Prize offered: Package for 2 people consisting of accommodation in half board and entry fee for MOC Training Camp and MOC Championship 4th-12th March 2017. Value 1440 Euro. Transferrable to other persons.
  • More information: 5  days of training camp with head coaches Janne Salmi and and Jaroslav Kacmarcik – IOF will test new formulas of sprint! MOC Championship will be organized in two UNESCO sites, Archeological Park of Paestum and Royal Residence of Caserta Park! See Bulletin MOC camp and Bulletin MOC Championship.


Event sponsor: Fin5 2017. July 10th – 15th 2017

  • Prize offered: The traditional Fin5 Orienteering week offers one free Family package; participation for the whole Fin5 orienteering week includes max five starts for 2 adults and 1-3 children (age 16 or under) in competition series or in open courses. Transferable to other persons. Total value up to 645 euros.
  • More information: Welcome to Tampere, Finland to enjoy the Fin5 Orienteering Week arranged at the same time with the Junior World Orienteering Championships 2017! Competition areas and arenas for Fin5 will be the same as for the JWOC-races. Fin5 offers you orienteering along high class tracks at three different terrains. Two forest orienteering terrains are located within 30 minutes driving distance from Tampere center. Sprint arena is in the city center.  The largest inland city in Nordic countries offers versatile accommodation options and lots of activities during your visit. More information: 2017.fin5.fi.


Event sponsor: Estonian Orienteering Week 2017. July 1st – July 8th 2017

  • Prize offered: Estonian Orienteering Week package for 2 persons consisting of entries to all 6 races (with the maximum value of 240 Euro) and hostel accommodation in Tartu for July 1st – 8th (value of 350 Euro). The package will be completed with WOC 2017 souvenirs. Total value about 600 Euros.Transferable to other persons.
  • More information: Estonian Orienteering Week is the spectator race for the Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships 2017 taking place in beautiful Tartu and Southern Estonia. Estonian Orienteering Week allows you to enjoy your own races and be a spectator in the World Championships. Tartu, the WOC 2017 host town is the home of culture and good flavours with many historical landmarks and outdoor cafés. Southern Estonia is characterized by rolling hills, deep forests, blue lakes and quiant towns with old churches, manors and castle ruins. Welcome to Estonia! Read more at woc2017.ee/eow.


 Software sponsor: OCAD Orienteering 12

  • Prize offered: One licence for the software “OCAD Orienteering 12″.  Value about 590 Euro. Transferable to other person (before activation).
  • More information: OCAD 12 Orienteering – Perfect to Produce Orienteering Maps. This edition is dedicated for orienteering map making with a step-by-step wizard for analyzing of LiDAR data, mobile geodata capturing, smart editing and drawing tools, generalization tools, desktop publishing, course setting and much more. Read more at ocad.com.


Event sponsor: Antalya Orienteering Festival 2017. October 29th October – November 5th 2017

  • Prize offered: One big Antalya Orienteering Festival package for one person: Accommodation + Entry for all 5 races + All Transfers. Value about 500 Euro. Transferable to other person.
  • Antalya Orienteering Festival will be held for the 3rd time in Antalya, Turkey. We provide 5 different terrains and challenging courses, good maps and good weather for orienteering holiday.  See more at www.antalyaofest.com


Event sponsor: Bergen Sprint Camp 2017. February 10th – 12th 2017

  • Prize offered: Package for 2 people consisting of free start for all 4 high quality sprint competitions and accommodation for 2 persons for 2 nights February 10th – 12th 2017.  Value about 450 Euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • More information: For the 7th time, BSC is held in the city center of Bergen, Norway – established as one of the best sprint weekends organized, with several top WOC runners using it as part of their preparations. We provide all participants with challenging courses, good maps and interesting analysis of the sessions – hoping to improve the sprint orienteering technique for everyone. See more at Sprint-Camp.blogspot.no – including all courses and analysis from previous editions of BSC.


Software sponsor: Virtual-O

  • Prize offered: 10 licenses of Virtual-O Founder’s Edition with exclusive content. Transferable to other persons until you activate the license key on Steam. Value about 400 Euro in total.
  • More information: Try the new generation of orienteering simulator, and spend your next training in the virtual forest. Coming soon to Steam Early Access. More information at virtualo.org.


Event sponsor: Portugal “O” Meeting 2017. February 25th – 28th 2017

  • Prize offered: 3 packages – each for 2 persons – transferable to other person. Consisting of entry to complete 4 day Portugal “O” Meeting 2017 – 2 model event + 4 official races + 1 Urban Night (Middle, Urban Nigth, Long, Middle-WRE, Long). Value about 330 EUR.
  • More information: The Portugal “O” Meeting is a foot orienteering event, integrated in IOF’s World Ranking (IOF WRE) and in the Portuguese Orienteering Federation’s Cup. As in 2011 the POM 2017 is back to Alentejo where it merges with our event, North Alentejano “O” Meeting. Three neighbor Counties with excellent conditions for Tourism and Sports of Nature (Portalegre, Alter do Chão and Crato) join hands and work together to create an unforgettable event. Read more at pom.pt.


Event sponsor: Easter4 2017. April 14th – 17th 2017

  • Prize offered: 2 packages – for 2 people – consisting of: Entry for the Easter4 competition in Slovenia + 3 training maps each + 4 nights accommodation in hostel. Value about 250 Euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • Slovenia will be the place to be in Easter 2017. The new Easter4 race was a success in 2016 – and is again organized with the same high quality maps and courses as you are used to from OOCup, Lipica Open and Bubo Cup. Late easter in 2017 means even better conditions. More at easter4.com.


Event sponsor: Kainuu Orienteering Week. July 25th – 30th 2017

  • Prize offered: 2 packages, each consisting of 2 free participations for the whole week in any class at Kainuu Orienteering week 2017 (competition or open). Total value up to 250 Euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • More information: Kainuu Orienteering Week is one of the Finlands’s biggest orienteering week and the worlds’ second oldest orienteering week, as it has been held annually since the year 1966. Kainuu O-Week is held in the Kainuu region of Finland and traditionally the event is held in the beginning of July. In 2017 Kainuu Orienteering Week will celebrate the 50th anniversary week and it will be held exceptionally in the end of July. Come to enjoy the orienteering and holiday week for the whole family in the great sceneries and terrains and pure and beautiful nature of Kainuu region in Finland. First entry period will be closed on 30th of november 2016. For more information see www.rastiviikko.fi.


Event sponsor: Bubo Cup. August 1st – August 4th 2017

  • Prize offered: 2 packages, each for 2 people consisting of entries for all 4 days of Bubo Cup 2017, Bubo Cup event T-shirt and training map for each. Value about 250 Euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • More information: If you want to combine beach holidays under the Croatian sun on the island Cres with technical orienteering, Bubo cup is the perfect choice for you. Surprisingly enough you find very interesting orienteering here – partly Karst and partly the famous olive groves. Events are organized with early starts from 8 AM due to the heat – thus if not all of your family are orienteering enthusiasts, you can still have most of the day together at the beach. Read more at bubocup.com.


About Jan Kocbach

Jan Kocbach is the founder of WorldofO.com - taking care of everything from site development to writing articles, photography and analysis.

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