Many things have already been said about the individual sprint in Venice and about how the Danish success was possible due to massive preparations. Some people have questionned if these kind of preparations are taking away the essentials of orienteering: "navigating in unknown terrain", and it is a good question.
But as I see it, actually these opportunities to prepare via pictures from the internet, are making the competitions more fair than usual, because then the aspect of "home-advantage" is not so big anymore. Everyone have the opportunity to prepare for the challenges, not only the ones who have been in the terrain earlier, or even lived there as we have seen earlier.
But why not then open the embargoed area for "tourism" as we have seen several times (including WOC 2015 in Scotland)? Another good question, but then it would just benefit the nations who can afford to send their runners on several "tours" (or even stay) in the embargo = not very fair. Everyone can use the tools on the internet without costs, and I can inform that the Google Street-view pictures are quite good in the 4 Scottish towns... :)
In Scotland next year they have embargoed 4 different towns, which is good because it makes it more difficult to know exactly what to expect. But it's more fair for everyone. I think they should also have closed bigger parts of Venice, or even other town/cities to make it more difficult to prepare for the runners.
Still everyone are permitted to enter the embargoed town in Scotland, just not with a map, running or routechoice-testing, and I don't really understand why it's necessary. It will just give the big and rich federations and runners living close to a bigger advantage, because they will probably travel more to Scotland than the smaller federations...
Anyway I like that the organizers now have tools (artificial fences), to make the challenges bigger and more different from what the runners have prepared for. Actually I would have liked more fences in Venice, because a lot of legs were quite boring, and I already knew the best routechoices. Of course everything has it's limits, and the limits were tested in World Cup Sprint in Imatra, where the use of artificial fances was too massive making some legs too difficult, and the question of succes more based on luck than skills.
What do you think?