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donderdag, maart 13, 2014

Preview: Belgian night champs 2014

On saturday 15/03 the first national championship of 2014 in Belgium will take place. This first fight for a national gold medal will take place at night in the south of Belgium, Weris. We can expect a tough and hilly terrain, where you'll need your best orienteering skills to avoid mistakes in the tricky rocky areas. This map was also used for the Belgian 3-days in 2012 (results).

The favourits among the men:
Last year Yannick Michiels won the race at the Belgian night champs. Afterwards he asked for a disqualification and finally Thomas van der Kleij became the Belgian night champion 2013. Michiels won't show up at the startline in 2014, instead he will be training and competing at MOC this weekend. Thomas van der Kleij will be there to defend his title and we again can count him among the favourits. Two weeks ago he completed a last long (9h) training at Vasalopet in Sweden (results) to get totally ready for this.

Benjamin Anciaux @POM2014 WRE middle distance

Another favourit for the Belgian night champs is the Estonian Olle Karner. He's recovering after an injury, but last weekend he showed that he's on the right way. He performed strong at the French long distance race in Fontainebleau (results). Both Olle Karner and Thomas van der Kleij have rather late starttimes.

The 3rd favourit for the champs is Benjamin Anciaux. He participated in a lot of orienteering competitions recently and showed both at POM and Lipica Open (results) that he's ready for his first title. In the Belgian night champs he'll have to chase (3min) Francois van der Ouderaa. Both militar national team members had exactly the same preparation (Portugal - Slovenia).

Also Joost Talloen and Desmond Franssen decided to prepare for the night champs in Portugal. But afterwards they went up more north to train in Göteborg with IFK and GMOK. Maybe this was the right road towards the BK night? Eventhough entering the forest as first runner isn't an advantage for Franssen.

Outsiders for the Belgian night champs are: Jeremy Genar (became Flemish night champion last week), Jean-Francois Krier and Christophe Bernard.

Who will challenge Miek Fabré?
In womens class we have only one big favourit, Miek Fabre from omega. She trained with the national team in Croatia 2 weeks ago and performed strong in the races overthere. In Weris it will be difficult to beat her, but maybe Liesbeth van de Velde or Fanny Tilkin can challenge her. We are also curious if the 2 Spanish national team runners Ona Rafols or Anna Serrallonga can match Fabré's time on saturday.

Ona Rafols training uphill for the Belgian night champs

Startlist Belgian night champs

Overview Belgian night champions 2010-2013:
2013: van der Kleij T. - Oeyen G. (results)
2012: Pasquasy F. - Mulpas V. (results)
2011: Franssen D - Fabré M. (results)
2010: Pasquasy F. - Oeyen G. (results)


Some other Belgian orienteering facts: 
*EOC2014: All Belgian national team members have run the physical testrun in Brussels (results). This testrun in combination with WRE points decide about the Belgian team for EOC. Finally Desmond Franssen, Jeremy Genar, Pieter Hendrickx, Tomas Hendrickx, Yannick Michiels and Francois van der Ouderaa will represent Belgium at EOC in Portugal.

*JWOC2014: The selection races took place in the technical forests around Fontainebleau. The Belgian selection commission had a difficult job after the testraces. For example Tristan Bloemen was disqualified in the middle distance race, because he took the wrong map. Claudia Rooman won the middle distance, but didn't finish the (very) long distance. Many athletes ran together in the forest because of very small startintervals. During the long distance also French athletes influenced the selection races. Finally abso-bvos decided to selected: men: Evert Leeuws, Thomas Gillet, Tristan Bloemen and Clement Demeuse. Women: Elke Verdeyen (results).

Evert Leeuws won both long and middle jwoc selection races

* EYOC2014: Similar nice terrains and similar problems with the selections as in junior class. For example Sverre Buytaert (H16) won the long distance selection race, but he didn't make it to the team. Same case for Martijn Hus who won the middle distance in H18. The commission selected for Macedonia: D16: Hannah Thiels, Magalie Gillet. D18: Elke Verdeyen. H16: Wout Keuppens, Klaas Mellebeek, Miel Deferme, Ruben Jasmin. H18: Tom Drygalski (results).

Hopefully the abso-bvos selection commission will act like a motivator when they have to decide about JEC 2014 (which will take place in Belgium) by selecting a large team. It's a good opportunity for the Belgian youth and junior athletes to experience an important competition, to gain extra motivation by it and to perform strong. Since it takes place in Flanders, the costs for sending a large team aren't that high also.

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