Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Year in Review: The 20 most popular!

On this last day of the year, we look to the 78 messages posted within the Portuguese Orienteering Blog in its first year of life. Athletes, organizations and events looked by our eyes, in the 20 most viewed. A time to remember!

1. Emily Kemp: “I take advantage of every opportunity...”
Small in stature, huge in want, Emily Kemp headed to France searching for the dream. Today she is already a safe value in this world of Orienteering and the future opens up before her, wide and promising. About herself and his career, she spoke with enthusiasm to the Portuguese Orienteering Blog. Et voilá! [more...]

2. Portugal O' Meeting 2012: Annika Billstam and Thie..
Thierry Gueorgiou and Annika Billstam arrived together at the Event Center in Viseu. With their usual kindness and disponibility, they agreed to speak to Portuguese Orienteering Blog. An interview made by maps and terrains of top quality, an excellent organization and a great desire to confirm their favoritism and win the Portugal O 'Meeting 2012. [more...]

3. Edgars Bertuks: “I am my own idol”
When, at the end of the year, Jan Kobach's “World of O” launches a new edition of "The Orienteering Achievement of ...", Edgars Bertuks – I am sure! - will be the leading candidate to the victory. Two medals, one of them of gold, at the recent WOC 2012, did fall the spotlights on this Latvian born in Aluksne, on the first day of 1985. Here and now he speaks to the Portuguese Orienteering Blog, telling us a little about himself and this dream that he's living. [more...]

4. Thierry Gueorgiou: “There are no limits to dream”
Thierry Gueorgiou doesn't need an introduction. At the aftermath of his recent victory at the Portugal O' Meeting 2012, the Portuguese Orienteering Blog spoke to him. Here you are the result of this conversation, getting to know a little better the man and the athlete. [more...]

5. Philippe Adamski: “I like simple things”
It's one of the major names of the moment and an athlete to take account for the big competitions that lie ahead. Philippe Adamski was in Portugal and left the Portuguese Orienteering Blog some important notes. [more...]

6. Jan Kocbach: “I do what is fun”
Jan Kocbach is in Portugal and the Portuguese Orienteering Blog went to meet him. From a very pleasant conversation in the crowded and noisy Arena of the XIII Orienteering Meeting of Centro, at the King's Forest (Marinha Grande), here you are, broadly speaking, the highest points. [more...]

7. Eva Jurenikova: “I want to go forward in this coac...”
Eva Jurenikova was recently in Portugal and the Portuguese Orienteering Blog found her at Oporto City Park, doing... Trail Orienteering. In this Interview, she describes the last few months, speaks of the new challenges ahead the Halden SK and projects the next season. And she also talks about Portugal and Trail-O. [more...]

8. Portugal O' Meeting 2012: The courses of the winne...
Thierry Georgiou and Simone Niggli were the winners of the first stage of Portugal O' Meeting 2012. We can see now the options on their maps and also some comments about the races. [more...]

9. Oleksandr Kratov: “To win a medal in Switzerland i...”
One year later, the winner of the last edition of Portugal O’ Meeting returns to Portugal. Portuguese Orienteering Blog talked to Oleksandr Kratov at Quinta dos Ribeiros, in Alpalhão (Nisa, North Alentejo), and here you are the most significant moments of a pleasant interview. [more...]

10. Eva Jurenikova: “Like Training in Paradise”
She left behind the freezing forests of Scandinavia and surrended to the beautiful green of Norte Alentejo. It was like a dream. Eva Jurenikova spent a few days in Portugal and the Portuguese Orienteering Blog spoke to her. Behind a fragile appearance and an almost whispered voice hides a person with an enormous inner strength and an orienteer who lives and feels the sport like few. [more...]

11. Portugal O' Meeting 2012: Options / Impressions of...
I’m very pleased with my race. When I looked at the map, I understood it was a fantastic terrain and I tried to do a good race. I tried to be always focused, reading the map frequently and it was a clean race with only a few hesitations. [more...]

12. Portugal O' Meeting 2012: Options / Impressions of...
Once again, Portuguese Orienteering Blog talked with another two athletes, searching about their Middle Distance races of Portugal O' Meeting's second day. Here you can find the opinions of Philippe Adamski and Lina Strand, as well as their maps and route choices. [more...]

13. Matthias Kyburz: “A day full of smiles”
Now that the 2012 elite season is over, it is still a surprise to many to see the name of Matthias Kyburz appear at the top of the IOF World Rankings. The current best sprinter in the world talks about his orienteering life, reflects on the season just ended and tells of his hopes for the future. [more...]

14. Portugal O' Meeting 2012: The party is here!
The 17th edition of Portugal O’Meeting is about to begin. From tomorrow on, the municipalities of Viseu and Sátão will host the biggest regular competition of Foot Orienteering in Portugal. Really close to the big Orienteering party, now is the time to check the last news from the event. [more...]

15. XIII MOC - WRE 2012: Nordic victories at Marinha G...
Near the beginning of the second stage of the XIII Orienteering Meeting of Centro, in Marinha Grande, we take a look at the Long Distance race, that was held yesterday. Counting to the WRE, it tested both physical and technical capabilities of near 1200 participants, and saw the Norwegian Olav Lundanes and the Swedish Linnea Gustafsson take the victory. [more...]

16. Emily Benham: “I just got it right on the day”
She opened her participation in the WOC MTBO 2012 with a historic result. Emily Benham, our guest today, tells us about this sport so special, setting its challenges and drawing some future projects. And she also talks about a silver medal that, finally, did not represent more than “a job well done.” [more...]

17. Matt Ogden: “Euphoria!”
Thursday, July the 12th 2012. In the forests of Izra, Matt Ogden gave to New Zealand its first gold medal in a Junior World Orienteering Championship ever. Two months later, he is the Portuguese Orienteering Blog's guest of honour. Still living in a state of euphoria, here he's willing to share memories, dreams and projects in a simple, direct way, enabling to know better the athlete and person. [more...]

18. XIII MOC - WRE 2012: Thierry Gueorgiou and Linnea ...
Full stop on the Orienteering Meeting of Centro - WRE 2012. On the second day of races, Thierry Gueorgiou and Linnea Gustafsson proved to be the best, joining to the stage victory the conquest of the respective trophies. [more...]

19. Portugal O' Meeting 2012: Thierry Gueorgiou and Si...
What a great atmosphere at the end of Portugal O' Meeting 2012! Almost two thousand participants celebrated around the Sanctuary of Sr. dos Caminhos, in Sátão, applauding Thierry Gueorgiou and Simone Niggli, the winners of the event. [more...]

20. Simone Niggli: “I knew that I can be the best”
After a long period of absence, Simone Niggli is back to competition. The recent victory at the Portugal O' Meeting shows that the athlete is in the best ways to recover the World sceptre. With her eyes on the future, here are the statements of an excellent athlete and, above all, an excellent person. [more...]

Joaquim Margarido

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Valentin Novikov: "Run, run and run"

With eyes wide open over the next months, the Portuguese Orienteering Blog talked with Valentin Novikov. The Vice-World Champion of Middle Distance is one of many orienteers that has chosen Portugal for the start of the season. Here you are his impressions.

When we look at your curriculum and we see that you won the Relay at the JWOC1994 (Gdynia, Poland), it means that you are on top for a long, long time. Can you tell me how did you start doing Orienteering and how important is it in your life?

Valentin Novikov (V. N.) - My parents were coaches of Orienteering, and they still continue doing it with much pleasure. My memories are about to travel all the time to Training Camps or competitions. Of course, when I was two or four years old, everything was an adventure for me. I didn’t run at that time but I would always see runners, maps and forests. I learned the map symbols and the understanding of the terrains came by the same way. I like this lifestyle a lot, because it combines the training routine and a lot of traveling, which allows me to see the World. And of course the competitions, where I can enjoy the races, be with my friends and meet new people.

In both major events of the year – European and World Championships – we could see your amazing performances in Middle Distance, winning the correspondent two silver medals. Where is the secret of such great results?

V. N. - I still have a big motivation to keep myself in a high level. I try to improve with progressive training technologies, finding the best one for me. And, at the same time, I gain more experience.

For three different times you've been the IOF World Ranking's nº 1. What are the most significant moments of your career, the ones that you keep deeply in your heart?

V. N. - For me, such moment was my first title in WOC Denmark 2006, at the Relay race. I really felt like I was flying in the forest. And when I finished the race I felt like I had just had an extraordinary experience.

How do you see the present moment of our sport?

V. N. - I can only say that we should keep the level of technical difficulty in every distances. That’s what makes Orienteering a sport where you need to think, a sport extremely attractive and interesting for all.

You are about to return to Portugal for the pre-season. Why did you choose Portugal?

V. N. - Every winter, I do Training Camps where there is no snow and I can find a comfortable weather for training. This winter I decided to come to Portugal because you have interesting terrains and updated maps with exercises, which is good for trainings. And you have enough competitions for speed practice.

This is not the first time that you're in Portugal. Can you tell me something about your best memories, namely the Portugal O' Meeting 2010?

V. N. - That year I was injured and I only walked or ran really slowly in the forest, but that did not stop me from seeing great prospects for training in the future. I could see that you try to offer very competitive races.

And what are exactly your plans?

V. N. My plans are to run, run and run. I will run in Norte Alentejano O' Meeting, Portugal O' Meeting and Meeting Orientação Centro. I may not be full speed in all of them.

What are your main goals for the next season?

V. N. - I will focus on WOC, World Games, CISM and Scandinavian relays. There, I'll be on top shape.

We are about to turn one more year. Would you like to leave a wish to all orienteers?

V. N. - I wish everyone to understand how unique our sport is, compared to others, and to appreciate that. And a happy New Year!

Joaquim Margarido

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Matthias Kyburz: "A day full of smiles"

Now that the 2012 elite season is over, it is still a surprise to many to see the name of Matthias Kyburz appear at the top of the IOF World Rankings. The current best sprinter in the world talks about his orienteering life, reflects on the season just ended and tells of his hopes for the future.

Everything has a beginning. Can you tell me something about your first steps in orienteering?

Matthias Kyburz (M. K.) - Like many orienteers, I started orienteering through my parents. At first, I wasn't interested in reading a map, so it was quite some time before I started hunting for controls in the forest. At the beginning I took part in some team competitions with my brothers, and I had the task of punching the controls while they read the map. I eventually did my first race alone at the age of 12. Before that, I was more interested in playing football or doing gymnastics.

What are your best memories from the early years?

M. K. - I have so many good memories…One of my best is from my first European Youth Orienteering Championships, in Sumperk (Czech Republic) in 2005. For me, everything was so new. So many competitors taller than me, strange food, unknown terrain and me, performing for the first time in a Swiss vest… We won the relay in the M16 class, and I think it was the only gold medal that didn't go to the Czechs. So I was really proud at that moment, and I thought I had won the most important race ever in my career!

The Sprint title that you won at the World Championships, in Lausanne, is for sure the peak of your career until now. How was it like to be there, the “three Matthiases” on the podium, in your own country, the gold medal on your chest?

M. K. - That was just incredible. The target of competing in WOC 2012 on home ground was a long-term project for me which started in 2008. At that time, I said to myself that this was surely an achievable goal. In the last few years I have improved really well, and this ambition became more realistic from day to day. The first big step was when I made it into the team. After the World Cup in St. Gallen where we, the “Matthiases”, finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th, I thought - that would be a nice result at the World Championships! But when we did even better in the most important race of the year, it was just amazing. It became a day full of smiles, so much so that one guy asked us if we were doing some kind of advert for toothpaste...

What was the secret behind your victory?

M. K. - If it were very easy to answer, then I wouldn't tell you! One reason is that we train Sprint quite often, and we also like to run Sprint races. Another reason is that the standard of Sprint training and competition is quite high in Switzerland, and so we gain something from every race.

Was it a part of your ambitions to reach the end of the season in first place in the World Rankings, and at the same time win the World Cup?

M. K. - The World Cup was of course one of my major goals this year. That was quite obvious for me, because I wanted to perform well at the European Championships and the World Championships, and all of them were World Cup races. Before the season started I was hoping for a top 6 placing in the World Cup overall. But when I went to the World Cup Final already in 3rd spot, I hoped I could get even higher...

Is there an athlete who you regard as a “model”, as an “idol”?

M. K. - No, not any more. Of course when I started orienteering at the age of 12, I was really impressed by the performances of the top Swiss orienteers. When Simone Niggli won every gold medal at WOC 2003 and Daniel Hubmann and Matthias Merz were collecting a lot of medals at JWOC, I was a big fan of theirs and it was they who motivated me to start to train seriously.

You started this fantastic season in the South of Europe, namely in Portugal, in February. What does Portugal mean to you?

M. K. - So far, when I was in Portugal for Training Camps, I always had a good time and could profit a lot from the nice and demanding terrains. Even though I do not have the best memories from this year, because I slipped on a stone and hit my head quite badly. But I will come back next year and run the Portugal O' Meeting and a two days event one week later.

What do you think of this “bulge” of Sprint races at the most important competitions?

M. K. - Like many other athletes, I think that there should be more Middle and Long races in the World Cup and fewer Sprints. For example, I do not understand why there are so many Sprints at the Nordic Orienteering Tour, when they have such great terrain for Middle and Long distance. It felt strange this year to drive for four hours from Oslo to Göteborg through the most beautiful terrain, and yet not take a single step into the forest. But on the other hand all the Sprint races this year were well organized, and I had a lot of fun competing in front of big crowds.

What are your main goals for the next season?

M. K. - My main goal is to defend the Sprint title at the World Orienteering Championships in Vuokatti. But I believe I should also be ready for my first medal in a forest discipline… I also want to be on the podium at The World Games in Colombia.

We are almost in 2013. Would you like to make a vote to orienteering and to the orienteers in the whole world?

M. K. - I wish to every orienteer nice races in 2013 and I hope to see you on the 16th March and the 14th August at the beautiful races in the Fricktal.

Joaquim Margarido

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Orienteering Achievement of 2012!

Read about the fantastic achievements of the 13 athletes and 3 teams who are nominated for The Orienteering Achievement of 2012. Then post your vote for your favourites, and be part of the drawing for prizes worth nearly 4000 Euros!

2012 has been yet another year full of great orienteering achievements – and as we now are moving towards 2013, we follow the tradition and decide the greatest of achievements of the year. New this year based on many request: Teams can now also win the achievement of the year – this year three teams are among the nominees! The annual poll to find the best Orienteering Achievements of the year is organized by the major source for international orienteering news on the Internet, World of O –

In the vote for “The Orienteering Achievement of 2012″, the best achievement of the year is to be named – and not necessarily the best orienteer of 2012. On December 4th, all nominees are presented at World of O. The winner is decided in a vote amongst all the readers of World of O between Tuesday December 4th and Monday December 10th. The winners will be announced December 13th.

Please, vote here:

Joaquim Margarido