WOC 2008 – Israeli summary   Leave a comment

From the Israeli point of view, WOC 2008 is over, after Pavel finished 42nd in a disappointing long distance final (and we have no relay team). Now is the time for a short summary, from my viewpoint as the national coach over the past 13 years.
In order to summarise, we really have to divide our team into two:
Pavel Gvozdev
Pavel is on a level of his own, and is not a product of Israeli orienteering – a self-made athlete, with the potential to improve even further and start aiming for top ten places in WOC. He is still young (24) and needs some expert coaching, which is not available in Israel.
We should invest in Pavel by supporting him financially, making sure he stays connected to Israel even though he lives in Russia, and trying to find a top-level European coach (and maybe also a Scandinavian club) for him.
All the others
The best Israeli-grown orienteers are still not good enough to qualify for a WOC final, but are slowly improving. The best way to analyse our progress over the past years is with a chart of the World Ranking points gained in WOC qualification (men only, Pavel excluded), as I think this is the most objective measure of an orienteering result:

The chart shows no real progress since 2003 with the top results (just under 1000 points), but I am confident that our orienteers today are better, physically and technically. Our main problem is getting them to use their ability to it's maximum when it matters. Here is a table analysing the performance level in WOC since 2003, in my (subjective) opinion:
Good = ran at maximum ability (not necessarily perfect)
Medium = an "OK" race
Bad = a catastrophe

We need to get our percentage of "good" results over 50%, while continuing to improve physically and technically. For that, the top Israeli orienteers need more experience in high level competition, both locally and abroad, in all orienteering disciplines. To put things in perspective: I've been orienteering regularly abroad (every summer, plus a few other trips) for 15 years, and only in the past 2-3 years have I become confident of running at above 90% of my ability in nearly every race. So how do we do it for the team? I don't know, but I'm thinking. And of course I don't make the decisions any more.
The combination of improved ability and a very good race will enable another Israeli orienteer to qualify for a WOC final within the next few years, and that should be our goal. And maybe, one day, a medal for Pavel?

Posted 19/07/2008 by dchissick in Uncategorized

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