FORRES LAID OUT the red carpet last night for thousands of visitors competing, supporting and spectating at the World Orienteering Championships.
The long awaited spectacular hit the streets of Moray on Friday evening with the heats of the Sprint event in the championships – through a town whose shops were bedecked with welcomes for the visitors.
Moray Council convener Allan Wright welcomed the competitors from around the globe who will, alongside over 5000 club athletes competing in the Scottish 6 Days event, bring colour and vitality to Moray and the Highlands over the next week.
He said: “I am delighted that the World Orienteering Championships have come to Moray and the Highlands. We will do all we can to welcome the competitors and organisers – and I’m looking forward to attending some of the events myself.”
The main focus is on Forres this weekend with the sprint heats last night being followed on Sunday evening by the first final of the championships – an event that is being televised live through the UK on BBC Alba as well as being beamed to millions via several international television stations and online.
UK medal hope in the championships Cat Taylor – who was recently seen on the streets of Elgin in a final trial event for WOC2015 – said: “This is what we aim for and we have no Olympics so this is the top really, and everyone has been training hard for these championships.”
Event director Paul McGreal said: “These competitions are an international festival of world-class orienteering, they are aimed at everyone from elite and club athletes to enthusiastic spectators and visitors.
“Moray and the Highlands provide the finest competition areas that can be found anywhere in the world – they will provide a challenging test for our best athletes.”