On October 25, a grand ceremony was held at the Tingyin Lake Square in Nanhai Guangdong to celebrate the opening of the Orienteering World Cup Final 2019 and the Guangdong Historical Road Orienteering Championship ’Surfing 4K IPTV’ Cup #5. It was hosted by International Orienteering Federation (IOF) and the organizers included Aero Sports, Radio Sports & Marine Models Administrative Center of General Administration of Sport of China, China Radio Sports and Orienteering Association, Guangdong Provincial Sports Administration, and the People’s Government of Foshan Municipality.
The leaders and guests attending the ceremony included Leho Haldna, President of the IOF, Astrid Waller Kaas, Senior Vice President of the IOF, Thomas Hollowell, Secretary General of the IOF, Jia Bing, Director General of Aero Sports, Radio Sports & Marine Models Administrative Center of General Administration of Sport of China, Qin Weizhong, Vice Governor of Guangdong Province, Wang Yuping, Director General of Guangdong Provincial Sports Administration, Zeng Xianchuan, Director of Guangdong Commission of Professional Volunteers of Planners, Architects & Engineers, and Tian Xinde, Chairman of Guangdong Outdoor Sports Association.
It was a solemn ceremony and a great celebration. Athletes from 37 countries and regions marched in. Then the hall was heated up after all standing up to sing the national anthem of China. Speeches were delivered successively by Qiao Yu, Vice Mayor of Foshan, Leho Haldna, President of the IOF, and Jia Bing, Director General of Aero Sports, Radio Sports & Marine Models Administrative Center of General Administration of Sport of China. They were followed by oath taking of the athletes and referees. Qin Weizhong, Vice Governor of Guangdong, announced the opening of the event.
Then came an art show highlighting distinguished local cultural characteristics. Athletes and guests from foreign countries were amazed by the beautiful stage and lighting, marvelous performance of traditional dancing and lion dancing, and the profound culture the performances conveying. More importantly, the stunning debut of the event’s theme song was released at the ceremony. It was sung by Song Xuelai and Xiong Sijia, two famous local singers. The song was so vibrant and passionate that it reminded people of the courage and spirit involved in the sport of orienteering.
Elites From 37 countries and regions to present the most stunning competitions
The Orienteering World Cup Final 2019 will be held from October 25 to 29 in Nanhai District, Foshan, Guangdong. The venues include the famous scenic attraction of Xiqiao Mountain, the historical Songtang Village and CCTV Movie and TV Town in Nanhai District. There are altogether 260 athletes from 37 countries and regions including China, Hong Kong China, Macau China, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, USA, Estonia, Latvia, Spain, Argentina, Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia. Many of them are of master level, for example Gustav Bergma and Tove Alexandersson from Sweden who are respectively the top 3 of the Men’s and Woman’s world ranking. Members of the Chinese team include Zheng Jiayi and Liang Xiyuan.
The open class race called the Guangdong Historical Road Orienteering Championship ’Surfing 4K IPTV’ Cup #5 will be held at the same time. It is cohosted by Aero Sports, Radio Sports & Marine Models Administrative Center of General Administration of Sport of China, China Radio Sports and Orienteering Association, Guangdong Provincial Sports Administration and Guangdong Provincial Department of Natural Resources.
It was learnt that 840 athlete will take part in the open class, among them 103 in the Elite Group and 737 in the Professional Group. It should also be noticed that 760 of them are from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, including 24 athletes from Hong Kong, Chin and 15 from Macau, China. There are 33 organizations and institutions from outside the province, including Tsinghua University, Beijing Orienteering Association, Central University for Nationalities, China University of Geosciences, Sichuan Normal University, Tongji University, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai Zhumei Culture Communication Co., Ltd., Orienteering Association of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Sweet Potato Orienteering Group, Vision Dynamic Youth Association.
7 competitions in 3 venues in 5 days
Covering both World Cup Final and Open Class Event
Orienteering is an outdoor activity originated in Europe. The athletes use maps and compasses to get to various points indicated on the map, and the winners will be the ones who reach all the punching spots in the shortest time. The compass (pointing north) is similar to the traditional compass (pointing south) which was one of the “four major inventions in China”. Based on the similarities between these two devices, we can conclude that the sport of orienteering itself has an intrinsic connection with China.
According to the organizers, there are three typical competitions in an orienteering game, namely the sprint, the sprint relay and the middle distance. As to the sprint, it is relatively easy and highlights speed. The races can be held in even populous area. The sprint relay is the most exciting and the competitions are among teams of four. The middle distance often involves technical courses which require lasting strength and correct orienteering. A small mistake may sometimes be “fatal”.
The open class is also constituted of amateur games friendly to the beginners, for example the experience game, the game exclusively for the villagers.
The competitions, including the middle distance and the sprint, will be held on October 26, 27 and 29. To be more specific, the middle distance both of the Orienteering World Cup Final and of the open class will be held on October 26 on Xiqiao Mountain. The sprint relay and of the Orienteering World Cup Final and the sprint of the Guangdong Historical Road Championship will be held on October 27 in CCTV Movie and TV Town in Nanhai. On the last day of the competition, there will be the sprint of the World Cup Final and the sprint of the open class in Songtang Village. Xiqiao Mountain is one of the four famous mountains in Guangdong Province. A few days ago, the historical quarry site on the mountain was just included as one of the National Key Cultural Relics Protection Units. It served as a strong evidence that during the Neolithic age, people in Nanhai created their culture with their diligence and wisdom.
In addition, the model events of the middle distance and sprint will be held in the scenic attraction of Baiyun Cave on Xiqiao Mountain on October 25. On that night, a concert of traditional Chinese Music will also be held at the main hall of National Arts Resort Hotel. During the event, a series of cultural activities and show will be held at night on the Tingyin Lake Square. By presenting the local intangible cultural heritages including lion costumes making, paper cutting, the making of Xiangyun silk and sugar painting, the event is highlighted with the grace, uniqueness and vigor of traditional culture.
From 0 to 1
China to first host the Orienteering World Cup
It is known that it is the first time for the Orienteering World Cup Final to be hosted in China and even in Asia. And the Guangdong Historical Road and Nanhai District in Foshan, Guangdong is the ideal and well-grounded destination for the event.
According to the statistics, there were about 30,000 runners of orienteering in Guangdong and most of them were students in the colleges and universities. It has been four years since the first Guangdong Historical Road Orienteering Championship, and now the number has grown to over 150,000. It attracts runners not only from the universities but also from primary and middle schools. More and more young people from various walks of life including the enthusiasts of outdoor activities take part in orienteering.
Before the Championship first held four years ago, there were only about 100 orienteering activities and competitions throughout the year. After an effective promotion of the event, increases have been seen both in the number and the quality of the orienteering activities in Guangdong. There is over 1000 events in one year, involving over 500,000 runners and participants. The events are of various levels, from the grand international and national games, to the provincial and municipal competitions, and the activities at district or county level and those held by schools, companies and organizations.
In view of the rapid development in the last four years, Guangdong has been given the opportunity of hosting the qualifying session of World Ranking Event and the Asian Cup for two consecutive years. Both of the events attracted athletes from over 20 countries and regions. The successful experience of hosting large-scale events and the sustained efforts have gained praises and trust from the OAC and the IOF. By repeatedly investigating the Championship, they finally made the decision of settling the Orienteering World Cup Final 2019 on the Guangdong Historical Road.
It will be a global focus of the athletes from 37 countries and regions running in Guangdong Province. The competitions of the Orienteering World Cup Final will be covered broadcast live or re-live through TV or web in 13 countries including Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic and Switzerland. What’s more, all of the competitions will be covered live on the Web-TV page of the IOF. It is estimated that over 200 million person times will be watching or affected by the event, which will help build up the reputation of Guangdong Historical Road Orienteering Championship globally and thus facilitate the application of UNESCO World Heritage as a case of revitalization.
Guangdong Historical Road to serve as a window to showcase China
The Guangdong Historical Road Orienteering Championship is one of the key events of Guangdong Province implementing the national fitness program. It is a typical example of the integrated development of National Fitness Plan, Rural Revitalization Strategy, Ecological Protection Campaign and Red Culture Promotion.
Actually, the Guangdong Historical Road will serve as a window to showcase China. Traveling on the Roads, athletes, journalists and tourists from all over the world experience with their own eyes and steps the unique culture of China. To conclude, the event will greatly promote the communications and exchanges between China and the outside world.
The Guangdong Historical Road Orienteering Championship has been a constant success thanks to the efforts and supports from its organizers and participants. It has been guided by the government, hosted by relevant sports associations and supported by many sponsors. As one of the organizers of the event, Guangdong Outdoor Sports Association has formulated rules and regulations, compiled guidances and documents, optimized its structure, improved its organization and promoted its influence in the society. Thus it makes breakthrough in outdoor sports development, promotes outdoor sports in Guangdong and nationwide, and enhances the effectiveness of the Championship.
Guangdong Telecom and Guangdong Sports Lottery Center to support the Guangdong Historical Road Orienteering Championship
After the successful cooperation in both 2017 and 2018, Guangdong Telecom joined hands again with the Guangdong Historical Road Orienteering Championship as a title sponsor and named the event “Surfing 4K IPTV” Cup. Besides its generous support to the event, it also devotes efforts to the undertakings of poverty alleviation, providing full access to people in all poverty-stricken area and involving their contribution to establishing the moderately prosperous society and achieving the Chinese Dream. In addition, Guangdong Sports Lottery Center is another great supporter of the event.