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Great Britain Orienteering team places up-for-grabs at Culbin Forest as athletes chase World Cup place

By Craig Christie

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Elite athletes in the sport of orienteering will head to Moray this weekend to chase a slot in the British international team.

The Scottish six-day orienteering championships is coming to Moray.
The Scottish six-day orienteering championships is coming to Moray.

Culbin Forest will host selection trials on Saturday with athletes chasing down a place in the GB Orienteering Team ahead of two top-flight events.

Around 30 athletes are vying for selection to represent the UK in this year’s World Cup rounds being staged in Estonia and Switzerland. The Estonia races, originally planned for 2020, also hold European Championship status.

The selection trials had been scheduled to take place elsewhere in Scotland but last minute access and storm damage issues meant that organisers had to find another location that matched Estonian terrain.

Scottish Orienteering Association's Fiona Keir said: “British Orienteering is in a really good position right now and is looking to field a strong group of competitors at this year’s remaining World Cup races.

“Finding the right conditions for the team selection event gives each of the contenders the chance to really show what they can do and how they are likely to cope with the Estonian event.

“Culbin Forest is an ideal venue for this selection race, and we really appreciate FLS (Forestry and Land Scotland) being able to help the GB Team in this way.”

The British athletes taking part are those with strong recent domestic and international form, who have demonstrated that they are at a level to contend for a place in the GB team.

They will set off on a timed course that has been carefully mapped so as to avoid environmentally sensitive areas.

Neil Theodoreson, FLS Visitor Service Ranger added: "We’ve had some experience of hosting orienteering events, which are really popular and are a great, low-impact way of experiencing our forests.

“It’s great to know that we are helping to boost the chances of such elite athletes

“It will also help us to get limbered up for next year, too, when some of our forests in Moray and the Highlands will host the six-day National Orienteering competition, where over 3000 competitors from all over Europe are expected to take part.”

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