Hong Kong Trail Orienteering Championships 2021

After two years of break due to social unrest and COVID-19 pandemic, Hong Kong Trail Orienteering Championships were held again in 2021, which gained World Ranking Event (WRE) status for the first time and became the final 2 World Ranking races in the year. However, as the pandemic was still widespread in the world and border quarantine still in place, it was effectively a closed-door competition to local participants only.

The PreO race was held on 18 December in Saiyuen Cheung Chau. 14 elite (WRE) competitors, 14 competitors in advanced class, and 1 competitor in beginner class started the race. Elite and advanced classes shared the same course with 23 controls, and beginner course had 10 controls.

The official team were Timothy Kwong (event advisor), Paul Ng (organiser) and John Yuen (planner). Chi Kin Man won the champion title having 21 correct and 18 seconds in the time controls, with Huan Kun Sy and Ronald Yeung coming a close second and third only differed by the time controls, gaining 13.46, 13.51 and 13.56 World Ranking points on a 0 (best) – 15 (beginner) scale respectively.

The TempO race was held on 19 December in Po Leung Kuk Jockey Club Tai Tong Holiday Camp. 11 elite (WRE) competitors, 6 competitors in advanced class, and 8 competitors in beginner class started the race (excluding unranked competitors due to late into quarantine). There were 6 stations, each with 4 controls in the elite class, which 5 were shared with the advanced class, and 4 stations, each with 3 controls in the beginner class. However, a station in the elite and advance classes was voided.

The official team were Vivian Chung (advisor), Kwok Wai Cheung (organiser) and Tsz Ho Chui (planner). Tak Kun Li won the champion title with 264 seconds including penalty accumulated over 20 controls, getting 12.90 World Ranking points on the 0-15 scale, while Chi Hin Luk and Huan Kun Sy got the 2nd place and the 3rd place at 356 and 358 seconds (13.79 and 13.86 World Ranking points).

As of 31 December 2021, there are 13 Hong Kong athletes ranked in the TrailO World Ranking List with a score under 90.00, with the top 3 being Chi Hang Liang (52.67 / 90, 153rd globally), Chun Ho Ho (61.91 / 90, 183rd globally) and Michael Chun Chi Tsang (62.11 / 90, 184th globally)

Resumption of orienteering races after the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused orienteering races to be suspended for more than a year in Hong Kong, and significant travel restrictions have made travelling abroad to world ranking races impractical that the world ranking period was frozen from April 2020 to June 2021. World Trail Orienteering Championships (WTOC) 2020 in Hong Kong was cancelled, and WTOC 2021 in Poland has been postponed to 2022.

As restrictions are gradually lifted, races are starting to run again. In Hong Kong, races are planning to resume from October, and internationally, world ranking races are returning in normal numbers in the second half of 2021.

In Hong Kong, a PreO qualification is planned on 24 October upon approval of gathering restriction exemption, with a TempO qualification planned in November, and the annual championships, which are world ranking races, planned in December.

Outside of Hong Kong, the first appearance of Hong Kong athletes in world ranking events after the pandemic is in Nordic Match held in Norway, postponed from 2020 to September 2021, by Michael Tsang living in the UK participating in two PreO races there.

Online TrailO under the COVID-19 pandemic

The disease COVID-19, which originated in Wuhan last December, has become a global pandemic since March, which has shut down the whole world. Millions of people have been infected and thousands are killed. Borders are closed, mass gatherings are prohibited, and in some regions, the whole society is under lock down which forces everyone to stay home and stops everything.

As a result, no orienteering races can take place now. On IOF Eventor, the final world ranking race before the world shut was held on 14th March in Brazil, with the last TrailO race held on 8th March in Japan. Races up till the end of July have been cancelled.

Starting from April, orienteering clubs around the world have started organising online photo-Os, most are done using Google Forms. Some are held in a format resembling real-world races, i.e. PreO and TempO with start list, mass-start and ranking list. For PreO, the ranking is determined by the number of correct controls (as in real world), then by the form submission time. For TempO, the ranking is determined by the form submission time plus penalty for each control.

HKOC has organised a photo PreO game every year for a few years already to support the World Orienteering Day. Due to the pandemic the World Orienteering Day this year was officially cancelled, but this didn’t affect HKOC to continue making the photo PreO game which was available on the original scheduled week, 13th May to 19th May. It became one of the online TrailO events available around the world under the global pandemic. It has 25 questions and attracted 369 participants around the world, with 1 from Poland getting full score. It is now holding another online PreO which is done using Google Street View so you can actually “walk” along the trails to observe, like a real-world PreO.

Let’s pray for the world and hope that the pandemic can be over soon such that we can travel and do orienteering around the world again.

TrailO competition summary and team selection criteria

OAHK announced on 22nd January the Hong Kong team selection criteria this year and the guideline for local competitions, which are summarised below:

Local competitions

There will be qualification competition and annual championship each year. There will be advanced and beginner classes, and in the annual championship, elite class as well. In particular, the elite race will be held according to WRE (world ranking event) standard, and in beginner class, there cannot be Z answer and all control descriptions must have text description available.

The qualification criteria for elite class in the annual championship is also listed in the documentation as well, which include:

  • top 10 elites in the last year’s annual championship
  • top 5 in the advanced class in the last year’s annual championship
  • the key officials (event organiser, controller, at most 2 course setters) of last year’s championship
  • top 5 in the year’s qualification competition in the same year (excluding those already qualified)
  • the key officials (event organiser, controller, course setter) of the qualification competition
  • those with outstanding results in overseas race approved by TrailO committee

The full documentation is available on OAHK’s website (in Chinese only).

Team selection criteria

The selection criteria for Hong Kong team for the world championship this year, to be held in Hong Kong, will be from WRE results and also from a selection race this year, which is a two-step process:

  1. 2 representatives are chosen according to the best 1 valid WRE result on 31th August 2020.
  2. The representatives chosen above will organise a selection race, which the remaining 1 representative for PreO and 2 representatives for TempO are chosen.

The full documentation is available on OAHK’s website (in Chinese only).

Fin5 2019

Fin5 this year was held in Tahko, Nilsiä and in Rautavaara Airfield, which included TrailO competitions for the first time. The whole event was 6 days in total, from 14/7 to 19/7, including 5 FootO competitions and 5 TrailO competitions, among them 2 TrailO competitions were world ranking events.

There were 3 Hong Kong athletes entered the TrailO competitions, including Michael Chun Chi Tsang from Scout Orienteering Club (elite class), Kwok Wah Kwong from Hong Kong Orienteering Club (public class), and Louise Mang Wah Li from Hong Kong Orienteering Club (public class).

The TrailO competitions, except the competitions on 16/7 when no FootO took place, were held after the FootO competition at the same or nearly place so it was possible to participate in both. The competitions on 16/7 were world ranking events.

Race 1 was held in Huuhkaja, Lapinlahti on 15/7, which was a PreO with 20 controls and 3 time controls in elite class, and 15 controls and 1 time control in public class. In the elite class, 71 competitors started the race. There were 3 controls voided, leaving 17 valid controls. Geir Myhr Øien from Norway won the race with 16 points and 35 seconds, and Rudi Olvenmyr got the first runner-up with 16 points and 229 seconds. Michael Chun Chi Tsang got 12 points and placed 39th out of 71. In the public class, Kwok Wah Kwong and Louise Mang Wah Li got the 5th and the 9th out of 9 started competitors respectively.

Races 2 and 3 were held in Halssi, Nilsiä on 16/7, which were world ranking events. TempO was done first and PreO afterwards. There were 7 stations with 5 time controls each, i.e. 35 controls in total. 65 competitors participated in the elite class and 4 competitors participated in the public class. Pinja Mäkinen from Finland won the elite race with 253 seconds in total, Lauri Mäkinen and Antti Rusanen, both from Finland, got the first runner-up with 257 seconds in total with a tie. Michael Chun Chi Tsang got 482 seconds and placed 22nd out of 65, with 4.01 world ranking points. In the public class, Kwok Wah Kwong and Louise Mang Wah Li got the 2nd and the 4th out of 4 started competitors respectively.

There were 20 controls and 4 time controls in the elite PreO race, and 20 controls and 1 time control in the public PreO race. 1 control was voided in both classes, leaving 19 valid controls. There were 73 started competitors in the elite race. Lars Jakob Waaler from Poland won the race and John Kewley from Great Britain got the first runner-up, with 18 points by both competitors distinguished by time controls. Michael Chun Chi Tsang got 13 points and ranked the 54th out of 73, with 7.62 world ranking points. In the public class, Kwok Wah Kwong and Louise Mang Wah Li got the 1st and the 6th out of 6 started competitors respectively.

Race 4 was held in Tahko Village on 17/7, which was a TempO with 5 stations, 5 time controls each. 61 competitors started the elite race. Antti Rusanen from Finland won the race with only 97 seconds total in 25 controls, and Ján Furucz from Slovakia got a close first runner-up with 103 seconds. Michael Chun Chi Tsang got 277 seconds and placed the 18th out of 61. In the public class, Kwok Wah Kwong and Louise Mang Wah Li got the 9th and 10th out of 10 started competitors respectively.

Race 5 was held in Tahkovuori on 18/7, which was a PreO race. There were 22 controls and 3 time controls in the elite race, and 22 controls and 1 time control in the public race. There were 63 competitors in the elite race. Antti Rusanen and Lauri Mäkinen, both from Finland, got full marks in the race, in which Antti Rusanen won it by faster time controls. Michael Chun Chi Tsang got 15 points and ranked the 44th out of 63. In the public class, Kwok Wah Kwong and Louise Mang Wah Li got the 9th and 12th places out of 20 started competitors respectively.

The overall ranking throughout the week was calculated by converting the PreO result into seconds using relay rules (60 seconds per mistake) first, taking the difference with the winner, and summing the best 4 out of 5 races. Antti Rusanen was the overall winner, Lars Jakob Waaler was the first runner-up, Geir Myhr Øien was the second up.

World championship 2019

The world championship this year was held in Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal from 23 June to 29 June. The programme included 2 days of PreO, a relay, TempO qualification with 2 parallel classes and final.

PreO 1 and PreO 2 were held in Quinta do Valongo and Quinta dos Ciprestes respectively with 65 participants.

There were 28 controls and 6 time controls in PreO 1. The winner in open class was Pinja Makinen from Finland who got perfect score, while Hong Kong athletes Chun Ho Ho, Chi Hang Liang and Yau Chiu Hui got 24, 23 and 22 points and ranked 45, 54 and 58 out of 65 participants respectively. The winner in para class was Pavel Dudik from Czechia with 27 points.

There were 30 controls and 6 time controls in PreO 2. The winner in open class was Robertas Stankevic from Lithuania who got 29 points. Yau Chiu Hui did better in PreO 2 and got 25 marks, ranked 38, Chun Ho Ho and Chi Hang Liang got 24 and 23 points and ranked 49 and 56 respectively. The winner in para class was Michael Johansson from Sweden with 27 points.

Pinja Makinen became the final winner in PreO in open class with 56 marks. The results of Hong Kong athletes in order were Chun Ho Ho, 48 points, ranked 49; Yau Chiu Hui, 47 points, ranked 52; Chi Hang Liang, 46 points, ranked 58. Ola Jansson became the final winner in para class with 53 marks.

The relay was held in Cidral with 3 x 10 controls for PreO, and 5 time controls for each competitor. There were 21 countries participating. Finland won the race in open class with 116 seconds, with no mistakes in the whole race. Hong Kong ranked 19 out of 21 with 658 seconds. Czechia won the race in para class with 9 countries with 710 seconds.

The TempO qualifications were held in Cidral with 6 time stations, with 5 controls each. There were 2 heats, red and green, and the top 18 competitors in each heat qualified for the final. Wing Kei Ng and Yau Chiu Hui belonged to red heat, Chun Ho Ho and Chi Hang Liang belonged to green heat.

The red heat was won by Antti Rusanen from Finland with 208 seconds. Wing Kei Ng and Yau Chiu Hui scored 593 and 621 and ranked 34 and 35 out of 38 respectively.

The green heat was won by Pavel Kurfurst from Czechia with 256 seconds. Chun Ho Ho and Chi Hang Liang scored 430 and 478.5 and ranked 23 and 28 out of 37 respectively.

The TempO final was held in São Pedro Vir-a-Corça with 8 time stations, with 5 controls each. Marit Wiksell from Sweden won the race with 294 seconds. No Hong Kong athletes were qualified to the final.

2019 HKOC “World Orienteering Day” Online Photo PreO Game

HKOC continued to support World Orienteering Day this year, produced an online photo PreO game, which took place on 15th May to 21st May.

The organiser has announced the answers and full results. The activity was popular this year, 344 participants completed 25 questions, among them 10 got full marks, but regrettably there were no Hong Kong participants among them.

Although the activity has ended, the training questions are still open, interested participants can go for practice.

Thank for Mr Akune Li and Hong Kong Orienteering Club for designing “Photo PreO” game.

Hong Kong Trail Orienteering Championships (PreO)

Hong Kong Trail Orienteering Championships (PreO) was completed on 23rd February in Tung Chung North Park. There were 3 courses in the competition: E (elite), A (advanced) and B (beginner), with A divided into open and youth classes, and B divided into open, youth and family classes.

The E and A courses were divided into two parts – the first part consisted of only A controls, concentrated in a small viewing area, and the second part was a traditional multiple-choice course, with the time station between two parts. There were 16 A-controls in the first part for E course, 9 for A course, and 6 controls in the second part. However, 3 controls in E course were voided, leaving 19 controls in total for E course.

The B course was a traditional multiple-choice course with 13 controls, without the possibility of Z.

There were 32 competitors started the race in the elite class. Wang Ki Yuen won the race with perfect score, Yau Chiu Hui and Koji Chino got the first runner-up and second runner-up respectively with 1 mistake by both.

In advanced open and youth classes combined, there were 20 started competitors. The best score was 13 out of 15 by winner Man Fai Fu and first runner-up Lap On Leung.