World Orienteering Championships
Sprint event at WOC 2013 in Vuokatti, Finland
Statusactive
Genresporting event
Date(s)July–August
Frequencyannual
Location(s)various
Inaugurated1966
Previous event2023
Next event2024
Organised byIOF

The World Orienteering Championships (or WOC for short) is an annual orienteering event organized by the International Orienteering Federation. The first World Championships was held in Fiskars, Finland in 1966. They were held biennially up to 2003 (with the exception of 1978 and 1979). Since 2003, competitions have been held annually. Participating nations have to be members of the International Orienteering Federation (IOF).

Originally, there were only two competitions: an individual race and a relay. In 1991, a short distance race (roughly 20–25 minutes) was added and a sprint race was added in 2001. The middle distance (roughly 30–35 minutes) replaced the short distance in 2003. In 2014, a sprint relay was added with two men and two women participating and with starting order woman-man-man-woman.

History

The IOF was founded on 21 May 1961 at a Congress held in Copenhagen, Denmark by the orienteering national federations of Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic, Finland, Hungary, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.[1] Their main goal was to standardize the sport and streamline international competition rules. A group of people work with these tasks, and at the 1963 IOF Congress, the work was approved and a technical committee was created. This led to the first international orienteering competition; the 1962 European Championships in Løten, Norway. The first European Orienteering Championships (EOC) consisted of only one competition; individual. In the following EOC, in Le Brassus, Switzerland, the relay event was added to the competition program. These two EOCs are considered forerunners to the first World Orienteering Championships in 1966.

In 2019, the World Orienteering Championships was split into two events: Sprint WOC (even-numbered years) consisting of sprint events only, and Forest WOC (odd-numbered years) consisting of forest events only.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the first sprint only WOC 2020 was cancelled. Instead Sprint and Sprint Relay was added to the WOC program for 2021 following the old championship program, otherwise there would not have been sprint comptitions in the world championships for four years (2019-2022). In 2022 the first sprint only WOC was organized in Denmark, and the new competition format Knockout Sprint made its debut.

Format

The competition format has changed several times. From the beginning in 1966, the World Championships consisted of only two competitions: an individual race and a relay. In 1991, a short distance race (roughly 20–25 minutes) was added and a sprint race was added in 2001. The middle distance (roughly 30–35 minutes) replaced the short distance in 2003. On IOF's 23rd congress in Lausanne in 2012, it was decided that a sprint relay event would be added in the 2014 World Championships in Italy.[2] The sprint relay is competed in urban areas and consists of four-orienteer mixed-gender teams with starting order woman-man-man-woman.

Current competition format

The current championship events are:

Forest WOC (odd years)
Distance Target Time Notes
Long distance 90 min Previously called classic distance
Middle distance 30–35 min Replaced short distance (20–25 min) in 2003
Relay 3 × 40 min Three-person teams
Sprint WOC (even years)
Distance Target Time Notes
Sprint 12–15 min
Knock-out sprint 5–8 min First held in 2022
Sprint relay 4 × 12–15 min Four-person teams, two men and two women.

Event timeline

Venues

Year Dates Location[3]
1966 1–2 October Finland Fiskars, Finland[4]
1968 28–29 September Sweden Linköping, Sweden[5]
1970 27–29 September East Germany Friedrichroda, East Germany[6]
1972 14–16 September Czechoslovakia Staré Splavy, Czechoslovakia[7]
1974 20–22 September Denmark Viborg, Denmark[8]
1976 24–26 September United Kingdom Aviemore, United Kingdom[9]
1978 15–17 September Norway Kongsberg, Norway[10]
1979 2–4 September Finland Tampere, Finland[11]
1981 4–6 September Switzerland Thun, Switzerland[12]
1983 1–4 September Hungary Zalaegerszeg, Hungary[13]
1985 4–6 September Australia Bendigo, Australia[14]
1987 3–5 September France Gérardmer, France[15]
1989 17–20 August Sweden Skövde, Sweden[16]
1991 21–25 August Czechoslovakia Mariánské Lázně, Czechoslovakia[17]
1993 9–14 October United States West Point, United States[18]
1995 15–20 August Germany Detmold, Germany[19]
1997 11–16 August Norway Grimstad, Norway[20]
1999 1–8 August United Kingdom Inverness, United Kingdom[21]
2001 29 July – 4 August Finland Tampere, Finland[22]
2003 3–9 August Switzerland Rapperswil/Jona, Switzerland[23]
2004 11–19 September Sweden Västerås, Sweden[24]
2005 9–15 August Japan Aichi, Japan[25]
2006 1–5 August Denmark Århus, Denmark[26]
2007 18–26 August Ukraine Kyiv, Ukraine[27]
2008 10–20 July Czech Republic Olomouc, Czech Republic[28]
2009 16–23 August Hungary Miskolc, Hungary[29]
2010 8–15 August Norway Trondheim, Norway[30]
2011 13–20 August France Savoie, France[31]
2012 14–22 July Switzerland Lausanne, Switzerland[32]
2013 6–14 July Finland Vuokatti, Finland[33]
2014 5–13 July Italy Trentino-Veneto, Italy[34]
2015 1–7 August United Kingdom Inverness, United Kingdom[35]
2016 20–28 August Sweden Strömstad-Tanum, Sweden[36]
2017 1–7 July Estonia Tartu, Estonia[37]
2018 4–11 August Latvia Riga, Latvia[38]
2019 13–17 August Norway Østfold, Norway[39]
2020 Cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic Denmark Triangle Region, Denmark
2021 4–9 July Czech Republic Doksy, Czech Republic [40]
2022 26—30 June Denmark Triangle Region, Denmark
2023 11—16 July Switzerland Graubünden, Switzerland[41]
2024 12–16 July United Kingdom Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2025 23–29 July Finland Kuopio, Finland[41]
2026 6—11 July Italy Genova, Italy[42]
2027 14—18 July Hungary Veszprém, Hungary

Multiple winners

Men

Main article: List of World Orienteering Championships medalists (men)

Boldface denotes active athletes and highest medal count among all athletes (including these who not included in these tables) per type. Updated to May 2024.

Rank Athlete From To Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 France Thierry Gueorgiou 2003 2017 14 5 4 23
2 Norway Olav Lundanes 2010 2019 10 4 3 17
3 Switzerland Daniel Hubmann 2005 2023 9 11 9 29
4 Switzerland Matthias Kyburz 2012 2023 8 6 1 15
5 Norway Øyvin Thon 1979 1989 7 1 0 8
6 Russia Andrey Khramov 2005 2015 6 4 3 13
7 Sweden Gustav Bergman 2012 2023 5 4 5 14
8 Norway Petter Thoresen 1989 1997 5 1 2 8
9 Russia Valentin Novikov 2004 2013 4 5 2 11
10 Norway Bjørnar Valstad 1991 2004 4 3 3 10
11 Norway Tore Sagvolden 1979 1987 4 3 1 8
12 Sweden Rolf Pettersson 1972 1979 4 2 0 6
13 Sweden Jonas Leandersson 2012 2018 4 0 3 7
14 Norway Morten Berglia 1981 1987 4 0 1 5
Norway Jørgen Rostrup 1999 2005 4 0 1 5
16 Switzerland Thomas Bührer 1991 2003 4 0 0 4
17 Norway Kasper Harlem Fosser 2019 2023 3 4 1 7
18 Norway Magne Dæhli 2012 2019 3 2 2 7
19 Norway Egil Johansen 1976 1979 3 2 0 5
20 Sweden Emil Wingstedt 2003 2007 3 1 3 7
21 Sweden Bernt Frilén 1970 1974 3 1 1 5
22 Denmark Søren Bobach 2014 2016 3 1 0 4
23 Norway Eskil Kinneberg 2017 2021 3 1 0 4
24 Norway Åge Hadler 1966 1972 3 0 3 6
25 Sweden Emil Svensk 2018 2019 3 0 1 4
26 Switzerland Christian Aebersold 1991 1995 3 0 0 3
Sweden Arne Johansson 1972 1976 3 0 0 3
Sweden Karl Johansson 1966 1970 3 0 0 3
29 Sweden Jörgen Mårtensson 1981 1997 2 6 2 10
30 Finland Jani Lakanen 1999 2013 2 5 1 8
31 Finland Janne Salmi 1995 2001 2 4 1 7
32 Norway Carl Godager Kaas 2010 2016 2 4 0 6

Women

Main article: List of World Orienteering Championships medalists (women)

Boldface denotes active athletes and highest medal count among all athletes (including these who not included in these tables) per type. Updated to May 2024.

Rank Athlete From To Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Switzerland Simone Niggli-Luder 2001 2013 23 2 6 31
2 Sweden Tove Alexandersson 2011 2023 19 9 3 31
3 Finland Minna Kauppi 2004 2013 9 5 3 17
4 Denmark Maja Alm 2012 2021 7 7 3 17
5 Sweden Marita Skogum 1983 1993 6 3 1 10
6 Sweden Annichen Kringstad 1981 1985 6 0 0 6
7 Switzerland Judith Wyder 2011 2018 5 3 4 12
8 Sweden Helena Bergman 2012 2018 4 6 8 18
9 Norway Hanne Staff 1997 2004 4 4 4 12
10 Finland Liisa Veijalainen 1972 1981 4 4 0 8
11 Sweden Karin Rabe 1978 1989 4 3 2 9
12 Sweden Arja Hannus 1981 1991 4 1 0 5
13 Norway Anne Margrethe Hausken 2005 2016 3 5 3 11
14 Sweden Annika Billstam 2007 2015 3 3 8 14
15 Finland Heli Jukkola 2003 2007 3 3 2 8
16 Sweden Ulla Lindkvist 1966 1972 3 3 0 6
17 Finland Merja Rantanen 2008 2017 3 1 4 8
18 Switzerland Vroni König-Salmi 1997 2008 3 1 3 7
19 Sweden Marlena Jansson 1991 1999 3 1 2 6
20 Sweden Anna Bogren 1993 1997 3 1 1 5
Sweden Lina Strand 2016 2022 3 1 1 5
22 RussiaSwitzerland Natalia Gemperle 2016 2023 2 7 5 12
23 Sweden Karolina A. Højsgaard 2003 2009 2 5 1 8
24 Denmark Ida Bobach 2011 2016 2 4 0 6
25 Sweden Kristin Cullman 1974 1978 2 3 0 5
26 Sweden Gunilla Svärd 1997 2004 2 2 2 6
27 Finland Outi Borgenström 1974 1981 2 2 1 5
Czech Republic Dana Brožková 2006 2011 2 2 1 5
Norway Ingrid Hadler 1966 1974 2 2 1 5
29 Finland Kirsi Boström (Tiira) 1993 1999 2 2 0 4
Denmark Emma Klingenberg 2014 2015 2 2 0 4
32 Sweden Karolin Ohlsson 2018 2021 2 1 0 3

Mixed

Main article: List of World Orienteering Championships medalists (mixed events)

Sprint Relay
Year Gold Silver Bronze
2014  Switzerland  Denmark  Russia
2015  Denmark  Norway  Russia
2016  Denmark  Switzerland  Sweden
2017  Sweden  Denmark  Switzerland
2018  Sweden  Switzerland  Denmark
2021  Sweden  Norway  Switzerland
2022  Sweden  United Kingdom  Norway

All-time medal table

(Updated after WOC 2023)

RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 Sweden706059189
2 Norway535148152
3 Switzerland504243135
4 Finland244433101
5 France1471132
6 Denmark1210729
7 Russia11141540
8 Great Britain46515
9 Czech Republic34512
10 Hungary3126
11 Czechoslovakia25815
12 Ukraine1359
13 Austria1113
14 Latvia1023
15 Australia1001
Independent Athletes[43]0202
16 New Zealand0112
17 Soviet Union0022
18 Belarus0011
 Belgium0011
 Germany0011
 Italy0011
 Netherlands0011
Totals (22 entries)250251252753

See also

References

  1. ^ "History". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  2. ^ "Sprint Relay in the World Orienteering Championships from 2014". International Orienteering Federation. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  3. ^ "World Orienteering Championships". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  4. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 1966". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  5. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 1968". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  6. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 1970". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  7. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 1972". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  8. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 1974". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  9. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 1976". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  10. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 1978". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  11. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 1979". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  12. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 1981". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  13. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 1983". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  14. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 1985". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  15. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 1987". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  16. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 1989". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  17. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 1991". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  18. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 1993". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  19. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 1995". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  20. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 1997". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  21. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 1999". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  22. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 2001". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  23. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 2003". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  24. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 2004". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  25. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 2005". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  26. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 2006". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  27. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 2007". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  28. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 2008". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  29. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 2009". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  30. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 2010". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  31. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 2011". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  32. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 2012". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  33. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 2013". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  34. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 2014". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  35. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 2015". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  36. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 2016". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  37. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 2017". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  38. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 2018". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  39. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 2019". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2021-11-09.
  40. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 2021". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2021-11-09.
  41. ^ a b "World Orienteering Championships 2023 awarded to Switzerland and WOC 2025 to Finland". International Orienteering Federation. 2019-08-08.
  42. ^ A historic Council meeting, IOF
  43. ^ Due to the Russian doping scandal, russian athlethes competed under neutral flag in 2021.
WOC