The European Sprint Orienteering Championships will be held in Neuchâtel from May 13 to 16, 2021. This has been decided by the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) together with the responsible organisers of the Swiss Cup Association and with the support of Swiss Orienteering Federation, «Swiss Orientering».
The rescheduling of the championships became necessary when Russia had to withdraw as the organisers of the European Orienteering Championships in 2021, due to follow-on economic effects of the Corona virus (Covid-19) pandemic. The IOF approached the organisers in Switzerland with the request to modify the program of the planned Orienteering World Cup round to also include the European Orienteering Championships. After extensive clarifications, the organising committee answered positively to that request.
At the European Orienteering Championships in Switzerland the world’s best athletes will compete in a sprint, a sprint relay, and a knock-out sprint. The competitions will all be held in the city of Neuchâtel and also count as the first round of competitions for the overall Orienteering World Cup title in 2021. The long-distance competition initially planned for this World Cup round is cancelled.
Parallel to the EOC over the extended Ascension weekend, the multi-day orienteering event «EGK Swiss 5 Days Orienteering 2021» will take place in Neuchâtel. ANCO (Association Neuchâteloise de Course d’Orientation) is the leading organiser of the event and supports Verein Swiss Cup in organising the EOC. However, there is still a reservation about holding the international orienteering event around Neuchâtel in as the situation around the corona virus must further improve and major events have to be allowed and viable to be organised. The European Championships in the next year will kick-off a series of substantial major orienteering events in this country. In the fall of 2022, Switzerland will organise a World Cup round again as in previous years already. The highlight takes places another year later: The World Orienteering Championships will take place in Flims Laax Falera from July 10 to 16, 2023 as so-called forest world championships. The athletes will compete in the following three disciplines: middle-distance, long- distance, and relay. The Association Swiss Cup acts as organiser for all these events and has been responsible for holding these yearly orienteering World Cup races in Switzerland for over a decade.