Edinburgh to host World Orienteering Championships with Scottish athletes competing

Edinburgh is set to play host to the Sprint World Orienteering Championships (WOC) this weekend where Edinburgh locals and tourists will witness the world's best orienteers tackle the narrow vennels and technical terrain of the city centre.

Great Britain's team of athletes include 25-year old Freddie Carcas from Edinburgh and brother and sister, Peter, 22, and Grace Molloy, 24 from Linlithgow. The Scottish athletes will take centre stage with the Great Britain squad and run over the five days of events.

From Friday, July 12 - Tuesday 16 July, Edinburgh will welcome over 300 elite athletes from around the world to take part in the championships.

Spectators can see the action on live screens throughout the city, and take part in orienteering mazes, including family fun races.

Princes Street Gardens will feature the Opening Ceremony and sprint finals from 2 pm on Friday, July 12.

The first elite races will be the Individual Sprint taking place in Leith on the morning of Friday, July 12, with finals in the afternoon finishing in Princes Street Gardens. The action continues on Sunday 14th July at Heriot-Watt University with the Team Sprint Relay.

READ MORE: Raging Edinburgh inferno rips through building in dead of night

READ MORE: Edinburgh sick kids perform life changing surgery on young boy facing paralysis

On Tuesday 16 th July the Knockout Sprint qualifications take place at Wester Hailes with the finals finishing on St John Street in Central Edinburgh.

Grace Molloy from Linlithgow who is in contention for one of the top places explained how she is feeling about competing in front of her home crowd. She said: “I’m excited to race in a city as iconic as Edinburgh, especially as it is 30 minutes from my home, and I’m looking forward to truly challenging the best athletes in the world.

"This is the first WOC where I’ve had the speed to match the top women and I’m hoping to achieve the top 10 positions in the individual races and a medal in the relay."

Often thought of as a countryside sport, WOC 2024 will be staged in the intricate urban terrain Edinburgh has to offer, with the capital’s iconic landmarks providing the perfect backdrop for the elite courses.

The public will have the opportunity to watch the sport in the capital for free. The orienteering maze and big screen will be in Princes Street Gardens. Spectators can take part in fun races for kids and adults alike at The Meadows, as well as another orienteering maze, from Saturday, July 13 until Monday, July 15.

With Great Britain finishing second in the medal table at the last Sprint World Orienteering Championships in Denmark 2022, the host nation will be looking to go one better and top the table.

The five-day orienteering festival also features amateur races for all ages and levels with some competitors as young as 10 and some in their 80's.

The WOC will allow competitors from those relatively new to the sport up to experienced athletes to experience the best of urban orienteering.

Sign up for Edinburgh Live newsletters for more headlines straight to your inbox