2008 MEDITERRANEAN OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
TOMORROW THE START FROM ORIA OF THE MOC CHAMPIONSHIP
After great success in Greece and Albania, the 2008 Mediterranean Open Championship of Orienteering, an international event which will present over 500 athletes from 23 nations, is ready to celebrate the the highest level of antagonist appointments, with the dispute of the MOC Championship, organized in collaboration with the Circolo Velico Lucano and Councillor responsible for Sports, Tourism and Protected Areas of the Province of Taranto with logistic support by the Italian Armed Forces.
To be disputed tomorrow, Thursday, February 28th in the historical City Centre of Oria in Brindisi, the first stage, with the special presence of Giacomo Leone, winner of the 1996 of New York Marathon and Italian Gold medal marathoner. The MOC Championship will also touch Taranto and Matera during the following two stages: Friday, February 29th, the race at Palagiano, in the Woods of Lenne-Chiatona; Saturday, March 1st, the race in the Pantano Woods of Policoro.
Amongst the international entries, the athlete Thierry Gueorgiou stands out, a 29 year old undisputed French leader of World rankings. For this multi-champion, winner of the World Orienteering Championships, winner of the Middle Distance, for three editions (2003, 2005 and 2007, the year in which he also imposed in the Sprint race), this is his debut of the season and his first time in Puglia.
The opponents to beat, for the French champion, will be the Russian Alexey Bortnik, winner of MOC 2007, the national Norwegian Øystein Kvaal Østerbø, already the opponent of Georgiou in the Sprint race for the World Cup and the announcement of the Italian-Russian Mikhail Mamleev after the great performance at the trials in the Europeans of Ski-orienteering. In race also the Italians Giancarlo Simion, national champion in Long Distance, and Emiliano Crown, representing the Armed Forces Sports Centre.
On the female side we find the name of the Finnish athlete Paola Hapaakoski, Relay World Champion 2006 and 2007. Her first place contenders will be co-national Saila Kinni Bronze medal at the Junior World Championship 2007 and Ulrika Uotila, Silver medal at the Junior World Championships in 2006, both of the nationals Under 25 and Elise Egseth a Norwegian national.
The organizers of MOC 2008 are hoping to maintain the same consents obtained for the race in Tirana (108 athletes and 7 nations) of Monday, February 25th, disputed in the Hills of Artificial Lake that concise with the second stage of the 2008 MOC Tour, for the first time organized in Albania, thanks to the commitment of the Albanese Olympic Committee headed by dr. Bello and of the Councillors of the Mediterranean Region of Puglia, headed by dr. Pinca.
Great satisfaction was expressed by the president of Park World Tour Italy, Gabriele Viale, in the launch of a new seed in the development of orienteering to continue to feed the Olympic Dream
Filippo Luigi Fasano