Kvaal Østerbø: - World Games are important

The Norwegian sprint-star is travelling to Taiwan with big hopes, straight from a training camp in Hungary.

Øystein Kvaal Østerbø is probably the best sprinter in the Norwegian team. He was born in Trondheim, where he also lives.

We are having a short conversation with Øystein during the final training in Hungary. He has just come to the end of a good training camp there, just a month before WOC takes place in the country.

“My work here is done. All that's left is to get a new haircut, and travel to Taiwan tomorrow” – says Kvaal for Orienteering.is

Øystein Kvaal Østerbø - concentrated and hungry for medals. Photo: Jan Kocbach /

World Games are as important as WOC
”My goals for this season are World Games and WOC, and I hope I will perform well enough for a medal.” – says Østerbø. “The World Games are as important as the World Champs, and the distances suit me well”.

The Norwegian explains that the World Games will have the sprint-spirit in all the distances: “With a lot of park-running, and big scale – 1:5000 on middle and relay”.

“I don’t know what the forest will look like, but they are recommending long trousers and arm-protective clothes…” – he continues. “Taiwan is an island near China, and they make lots of cheap stuff out there. The weather should be warm, with high humidity” – explains Øystein

The new big event
Kvaal Østerbø thinks that most of the big stars who are taking part are taking the World Games seriously. “Khramov said that World Games is the most important race for him” – he says.

The championship in Taiwan is taking place one month before the World Champs in Hungary. “It won't be a problem to prepare myself well for the WOC, we have plenty of time.”

WOC-focus in Hungary
We are interviewing Øystein while he sits alone in his hotel room in Hungary. The others are out for training, and he is relaxing before the big trip to Asia.

“The training camp is going well” – says Østerbø. “We are training very differently now – everyone is concentrating on their own discipline, and I’ve been practising only sprints down here.” – he continues.

The Trondheim runner explains that the Norwegian women are among the best in the world. But what about the guys?

“We are better than we performed in the Nordics.” – explains Østerbø. “But it will be quite open in the World Champs; most of the nations can handle this type of terrain.”

Kvaal Østerbø is an experienced fighter. Photo: NOC 2009 / noc2009.fi

WOC 2010 – the big goal
Øystein is looking forward to running in the World Championships next year. The 2010 WOC will be taking place in his hometown – Trondheim.

“I think it will be a great WOC. The sprint is in the city, the other distances just outside it” – says Østerbø.

There are many places in and around the city which are embargoed for potential WOC runners. “They closed two parks in the city, and some of the good cross-country tracks nearby.” – says Kvaal.

“But it’s alright for me – I can train on the other 75% of the maps around Trondheim” – he explains for Orienteering.is

Kvaal Østerbø is aiming for the sprint, but also wants to run the long distance and the relay next year. “I think the sprint will suit everybody, but I can do a good run on the long – I know the type of terrain very well” – he concludes.


The World Games, kind of Olympic games for not-Olympic sports, starts on Friday. 36 men and 36 women, specially selected by IOF criteria, are going to participate there. They will represent both their countries, and the whole orienteering-sport in a sprint race, middle distance and mixed relay.


Øystein Kvaal Østerbø - official website
Østerbø's runner's profile at WorldOfO

World Games 2009