The World Ski Orienteering Championships will begin tomorrow in Otepää ©IOF

The World Ski Orienteering Championships will begin tomorrow after the event was officially opened today in Otepää.

An Opening Ceremony was held for participants today, with proceedings beginning with a parade of athletes and music provided by folk and rock band Zetod.

Performances by two youth choirs followed, before Estonian Orienteering Federation President Sixten Sild and International Orienteering Federation (IOF) President Leho Haldna officially opened the World Championships by hoisting the IOF flag.

The Opening Ceremony ended with a performance by Jaan Roose, an athlete in slackline sports.

Roose's performance was followed by a fireworks display.

Competition will begin tomorrow at the Kääriku Sports Center with the World Championship, Junior World Championship and European Youth medals on offer in sprint events.

Pursuit races will be held on Thursday (February 25), with junior and youth events focused on the long-distance mass start events.

No competition will be held on Friday (February 26).

Middle-distance races will be the focus of the penultimate day of competition, before the World Championship sprint relay event is held on Sunday (February 28).

Junior and youth relay events will be held.

The Estonian Orienteering Federation confirmed last month that it had been given permission by the country’s Ministry of Culture that competition could be organised in close cooperation with the Estonian Health Board despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.