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World Cup China Middle 2019: Maps and Results


Tove Alexandersson (SWE) and Gustav Bergman (SWE) won the Middle distance race at the orienteering World Cup final in China today. With this win Bergman secured the overall World Cup win in the men’s class while Alexandersson – who was already overall World Cup winner ahead of these races – secured her 8th win of 8 possible in the 2019 World Cup.

This was very unusual terrain for most of the runners – even the top runners struggled a lot with the orienteering and reported of many smaller mistakes when coming back to the finish. Still, the fact that the overall World Cup winners won this race as well shows that the best athletes win even when the conditions are unusual.

The best athletes win even when the conditions are unusual

In the women’s class Tove Alexandersson had a gap of only 30 seconds down to Natalia Gemperle (RUS) in second – with Julia Jakob (RUS) in third. Alexandersson’s win was a tight one – at the prewarning her gap to Gemperle was down to 5 seconds, but Alexandersson was again saved by a very strong finish!

In the men’s class Gustav Bergman had a very good last half of the race, running steadily increasing the gap to the competition by steady orienteering. Joey Hadorn in second place had a gap of 1:13 up to Bergman, while Lucas Bassed (FRA) in third had 1:41 up to the Swedish winner.

Update about the men’s competition from the International Orienteering Federation, October 27th: Results are now updated and are official. An issue involving several runners for crossing a narrow strip of land marked on the map as out-of-bounds has been resolved by the jury. A full decision is being written by the jury and will be published.

Comment:  This means that none of the runners who crossed olive green area were disqualified. A highly interesting decision by the jury; the International Orienteering Federation has promised to put up a report on their webpage describing the background for this decision.

Maps and GPS-tracking

The course looks easy on the map, but the terrain is much more tricky than you can see from the map. Even the white on the map may be quite dense forest, and the maps are partly quite generalized with a lot more happening in the forest than you can read from the map.

Even the white on the map may be quite dense forest

Here you find maps and GPS-tracking:

  • Map menmap women
  • GPS-tracking (Links to 2DRerun are not working at the moment due to a problem on TracTrac’s side; sorry about that, I have reached out to TracTrac)



See also standing in the overall World Cup.

Results Women

1 Tove Alexandersson Sweden 41:33 8:17
2 Natalia Gemperle Russian Federation 42:03 +0:30 8:23
3 Julia Jakob Switzerland 42:28 +0:55 8:28
4 Simona Aebersold Switzerland 44:36 +3:03 8:54
5 Sarina Jenzer Switzerland 44:55 +3:22 8:57
6 Elena Roos Switzerland 44:59 +3:26 8:58
7 Sabine Hauswirth Switzerland 45:20 +3:47 9:02
8 Maija Sianoja Finland 46:23 +4:50 9:15
9 Alva Olsson Sweden 46:26 +4:53 9:16
10 Ursula Kadan Austria 46:57 +5:24 9:22
11 Shuangyan Hao China 47:17 +5:44 9:26
12 Veera Klemettinen Finland 47:38 +6:05 9:30
13 Lilian Forsgren Sweden 47:44 +6:11 9:31
14 Ingeborg Eide Norway 47:48 +6:15 9:32
15 Denisa Kosova Czech Republic 48:05 +6:32 9:35

Results Men

Plac Name Organisation Time Diff Km time
1 Gustav Bergman Sweden 40:12 6:51
2 Joey Hadorn Switzerland 41:25 +1:13 7:04
3 Lucas Basset France 41:53 +1:41 7:08
4 Andreas Kyburz Switzerland 42:10 +1:58 7:11
5 Daniel Hubmann Switzerland 42:17 +2:05 7:12
6 Kasper Fosser Norway 42:26 +2:14 7:14
7 Martin Regborn Sweden 42:28 +2:16 7:14
8 Max Peter Bejmer Sweden 42:33 +2:21 7:15
9 Gernot Ymsen Austria 43:11 +2:59 7:22
10 Matthias Kyburz Switzerland 43:22 +3:10 7:24
11 Milos Nykodym Czech Republic 43:31 +3:19 7:25
12 Gaute Hallan Steiwer Norway 43:32 +3:20 7:25
13 Jonas Egger Switzerland 44:05 +3:53 7:31
14 Vojtech Kral Czech Republic 44:20 +4:08 7:33
15 Christoph Meier Switzerland 44:22 +4:10 7:34

Men’s result were still not official at 15:30 CET, pending a jury decision due to possible diqualification of runners running through an olive green area (e.g. Daniel Hubmann in 5th and Kasper Fosser in 6th – see live results here for unofficial results)

1. Gustav Bergman (SWE)

2. Joey Hadorn (SUI)

3. Lucas Basset (FRA)

4. Andreas Kyburz (SUI)

Full results here



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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  1. On the Norwegian Federation web site it is written:
    “Both Kasper Fosser and Gaute Hallan Steiwer were disqualified for having crossed so-called olive green area on their way through the course”.

    This was posted several hours ago. I am surprised that we still are waiting for a Jury decision.

    If we look at the GPS tracking, we can see that several runners do a similar route choice as Fosser (and others), but then realize that they cannot pass through and run around – losing time.

    • Extract from ISOM2017:
      the so called “olive”:
      “520 Area that shall not be entered …

      The area shall be discontinued where a path or track goes through.
      Out-of-bounds areas should be bounded by the black boundary line or another black
      line symbol (e.g. fence).”

      I cant see that on this map on many places. My guess is that it takes that long because it was not mapped according to ISOM rules.

      • No, and certainly not in the area passed in the controversial route choices taken to the 5th control.

        • It is tragic that IOF has no better control of such an important event. Both with regard to map and course setting.

      • Color:

        You have sort of misquoted 520 it says: ” Out-of-bound areas with a clear border shall be bounded by a black boundary
        line or another black line, if the border is unclear no black line shall occur” So it is permissible according to ISOM not have a black line.

        Maybe it would have been a good idea to help highlight the olive green in this case but nonetheless not having a black line was not against the rules

        • I know its “should be”. But there are few reasons to not have one. Like where it just shows a path would continue. Dont think there should be many reasons else to not have it. At least thats how I got teached/told

          • Seems like there was an older version of ISOM2017 where it was more or less written you should use it. Now they did define that you can leave the black line away. So you are right. But I dont like it…

    • On the IOF page (https://orienteering.sport/event/orienteering-world-cup-final/middle/) and in Eventor men’s results are still not up as official results, so I guess there might have been a protest on the DSQ (due to strange mapping of the olive green), although as there is no information coming out it is difficult to assess the situation.

  2. Well, that was quite another dimension of orienteering in the proportions of ”now I know we are not in Kansas anymore”. World elite runners scratching their heads on live TV, not really knowing what to look out for in the terrain. Second TV control was a bizarre experience – round object on the map, round object structure in the forest, and then the actual control 20 meters away from that. Big humor…

  3. … and by the way – TracTrac is terrible. I really don’t understand why IOF continues to use them…

    • This time TracTrac had very difficult working conditions with bad phone coverage and tricky terrain. So I think anybody would have struggled, although it is difficult to know if other providers might have managed better…

  4. I’ve seen it in so many media today and even what the commentators said in the live coverage but it’s not 7 out of 7 possible for Tove. It’s 8 out of 8 but only 7 that counts.

    • Thanks Erik, fixed it now!

    • Knut Wiig Mathisen

      Yes indeed. Moreover, Tove decided the overall after victory already after six races, that is before the last race in the previous world cup round 3. She then had 600 certain points and maximum score before the final round, and more points than Gemperle/Aebersold could achieve with three straight victories in the three last events. But since the official combined score showed her to have only 500 points, all media missed this fact.

  5. Now the results are official, with the disqualified runners reinstated: https://eventor.orienteering.org/Events/ResultList?eventId=6358&groupBy=EventClass
    A statement from the jury will be published here: https://orienteering.sport/world-cup-in-china-favourites-win-middle-distance/

  6. So the official results has been published. And nobody has been disqualified !!

  7. I guess Hubmann and the others who were disqualified are now happy – but what about the runners who didn’t run through the olive green but saw it on the map and choose a different (slower) route. And especially those that nearly ran through the olive then noticed and turned back and lost significant time because of it.

    I am not being critical of Hubmann et al (it is entirely understandable some people failed to notice the olive) but now the result is unfair to those who did.

    • Hubmann and Fosser are on the podium thanks to the time gained on that leg. That can’t be right! Voiding the leg 4-5 would produce the right outcome in this case – top-4 unaffected, nobody getting an advantage from the bad mapping.

      • That’s far too sensible a solution!

        • Knut Wiig Mathisen

          I am astonished that we in the orienteering community seem to be void of sense in these situations. And they will continue to come. The only sensible thing in a case like this is to remove the leg from the competition. Now you either have to void the entire competition, or to disqualify the eight runners who ran through. The current “diplomatic” solution of approving those who ran through olive area is mocking our sport.
          What if all of Hubmann, Fosser and Steiwer had beaten Bergman through the time gained on this leg, with overall result that Hubmann beats Bergman (assuming Hubmann wins Tuesday and Bergman is not getting a lot of points) also in the overall world cup? Would the jury then have arrived at the same conclusion?
          This reminds me of JEC last year, where the jury came to an equally unfair decision.

          • The rule that made it possible to void only a part of the race (e.g. one leg) was removed approx 10 years ago. I agree that the use of such a rule could have been a good solution, also yesterday.
            Unfortunatly, weak and “diplomatic” solutions are chosen by organisers/jury too often.

          • Lars Lindstrøm

            The case might look simple on the surface, but it is not.

            The reality is the athletes did not know the effect of the changes in the ISOM2017 map specification. For legibility reasons Olive-green (symbol 520) is now forbidden to pass on a road, track or path unless a white screen is applied beneath the symbol. This means a large number of athletes (many more than the eight most are focusing one) should have been disqualified on control 5. And in effect, all but one athlete passed olive-green in the men’s competition between control 16 and 17.

            Can we cancel a race because athletes doesn’t know the rules? No
            Can we treat infringements of rule §17.2 (Specifically symbol 520) differently when the cases are this many? No.
            So what is the “better” option? Having a result with only one athlete on the resultlist, or declared the legibility of the map poor and reinstate all who broke rule §17.2? I choose the latter.

            There were more issues to the matter than control 5, but I’ll leave this out here.
            How to avoid this in the future is not up to the jury, but I would be happy to give my views on this in a future perspective.

          • “(symbol 520) is now forbidden to pass on a road, track or path unless a white screen is applied beneath the symbol.”
            That’s not quite right. Yes, if it is allowed to pass, there should be a white screen. BUT, if it is not allowed to pass, it should not be shown at all. The given combination isn’t allowed. (though apparently at the pre-race briefing athletes were told it was OK run the tracks, as it was in ISOM2000).

          • ISOM2020 symbol 520 does not explicitly mention which features shall be shown inside an OOB. But it specifies prominent features shall be show, and mentions features such as buildings, railways. But that doesn’t mean it could not be a road, track, path, power line, wall or what ever as long as it is prominent

      • “I would be happy to give my views on this in a future perspective.”
        Go on then :)

        Given that the rules don’t allow you to void the leg, I think your jury did the best you could. But hopefully in future the jury will be able to remove unfair legs from the course.

    • Bejmer was going to 5th control same route as Fosser but realized that it is forbidden and made ~50 second longer route in the end of the leg. With that 50 seconds faster “shortcut” he would have been 3rd in final results, now 8th.

      But no problem, latest IOF Council meeting miinutes says:
      “17.3 Preparation for future rules changes

      LH had been informed by RC/FOC that they were preparing a rule change regarding the opportunity for removing the split time for a leg, or part of the course, to allow juries more flexibility in dealing with extraordinary situations at some events. LH asked Council members to consult about this issue and consider consequences prior to a Council decision. LH also introduced the idea of whether it may be appropriate to introduce alternatives to disqualifications, e.g. time penalties, in the future rules. ”

      So lot of work for juries in future when teams are trying to get legs removed from results for any mistake thay can find on the map :)

  8. Reading different posts in forums, facebook and twitter – everybody is blaming the Chinese organizers. But the IOF Event Adviser is from AUS, the Organizer Event Advisor is from CZE, the Course Planning Supervisor is from CZE and the mappers are from CZE …
    .. and I don’t think there are many Chinese in the Jury either …

    • Libor Pecháček

      Interesting. I’ve searched for the names of the mappers but no luck so far. NOF, where did you learn that the map was made by Czechs, please?

    • Wow, the plot thickens, and the mess gets even messier with the wrapping up of the mens middle distance. Even the winner Gustav Bergman was dragged in on a protest for a route choice to the last control. And the majority of the field eventually broke the rules on the way to control 17 as it seems. Well, all in all it’s obvious that the preparations for this event weren’t good enough considering the local character of the terrain and how to map it in conjunction with the course setting. A trap set up to close on itself, with an outcome nobody seems to be happy about. Bad PR in the will to spread the sport to new territories…

  9. This decision is a clear message that rules can and should be violated (or that Norwegian and Swiss runners have different rules). I don’t see what control 17 has to do with the decision. Nobody gained any time there, right? But on control 5, it was more than 30s gain. If you compare with those who went around the olive green all the way (e.g. Kyburz I think).

    And why weren’t the teams on sprint relay that climbed over the forbidden fence/wall on mens 6-7 disqualified? For example, Hallan Steiwer Norway 1? You can see that incidence clearly on the video. HS stops to look if it is ok to pass the wall and wins 10s by doing that compared to Kyburz/Swiss team that went around obeying by the rules.

    • “I don’t see what control 17 has to do with the decision. Nobody gained any time there, right?”

      So if you don’t gain time you are allowed to cross forbidden things? Interesting..
      Where do you set the border, is one second time lost already enough, or how many seconds do they need to loose?
      Usually there is a pretty good reason you mark something “forbidden to cross” on a map. And if somebody does so, and its obvious from the map, they shall get DSQ no matter if they gain time or lose!

      • I understood the rules so that it is forbidden to cross olive green, but you are allowed to take road or path through olive green. I don’t see any problem with control 23. There is a path through olive green and you are allowed to take it. If the problem is some white missing from the background of the path, that is a minor detail that does not really matter here. Should that allow you to break the main rule that is crossing olive green? No.

        With 4-5, there is no path that takes you across the olive green and those that crossed that olive green, should be disqualified.

  10. I thank the jury for reaching a reasonable decision in an unfortunate situation, and note their desire not to set a precedent. Thanks too to the many athletes showing once again their strength of character.

  11. Thank you, Jan Kocbach, for a very interesting article. I have also read the jury decision. It is no doubt that the jury really have tried their best to investigate the case and make a fair decision. However, the jury is in an impossible situation and the problem is that a fair result list from this competition does not exist. In their discussion of the case, and whether the map errors were significantly influencing the results, the jury is missing out one important element. And that is the runners who lost a significant amount of time because they were reading the map carefully to avoid the forbidden areas, or checking the map an extra time when seeing the flower beds. It is easy to understand that for instance Miloš Nykodým is really pissed. From the gps I have measured he lost 1:25 to Kasper Fosser in the place where he chose to run around the olive green flower beds. If he hadn’t read the map as carefully as he did, and instead had ran through the flower beds to the 5th control, he had been number 4 (and 3rd if Gustav Bergman had been disqualified for running faster than he could navigate and ending up in the forbidden area to the last control – he was not disqualified because he, according to the jury, didn’t gain any time on it). The losers in these situations are those who are navigating accurately to avoid the forbidden areas. The case at the WOC-sprint in Estonia two years ago was similar when Hubman, and I belive Kyburz, ran into a forbidden street where the artificial roadblock wasn’t as explained in the team leader meeting. It was clearly shown on the map tough that the street was a forbidden area, but they didn’t get disqualified because they turned back and “didn’t gain any time on it”. Those who were running at a speed within their map reading capabilities and navigating accurately were the losers here as well. So the learning from these jury decisions must be: “Full speed ahead! If you are in doubt whether something in front of you is legal or nonlegal to cross or enter, just run. If you find yourselves in the middle of an forbidden area, just make sure you don’t gain any time on it – and then continue with full speed ahead 🤪 “

  12. My concern is that the jury make no reference to the crossing of the olive from the track between the two ponds and before the olive that Hubmann crossed. The runners were allowed to run the track within the olive (ok) but not cross the olive – as mentioned in the team meeting. Just a few runners crossed this area (Fosser being one). Visually it is a clear flower garden that anywhere in the world no one would cross. Nearly all runners who went this way saw this and altered there routes and mostly lost time. Just around three runners crossed and then also crossed the thin strip Hubmann crossed. The first olive is very clear on the map, the second not so clear as the jury mentions. They don’t even mention the first olive. The map here may not be technically perfect but it is clear, backed up by the visual reinforcement of a flower garden barrier right in front of the runners. 97% got it right, 3% got it wrong.
    Also note this is the first area on the map with this olive so arguments that the runners are seeing bad mapping to here are just a red herring. Jury should dq the runners crossing the first olive.

  13. I don’t think it’s fair to reinstate the disqualified runners, compared to those who did see it was forbidden and ran around, unless they were reinstated with a time penalty (which would be a sensible decision considering what was at stake with the overall world cup scoring).

  14. To summarize the mens middle distance – Fifty Shades of Olive Green.