Friday, January 25, 2013

NAOM 2013: Seven... and go!

Nisa prepares to host the 7th edition of NAOM, Norte Alentejano O' Meeting. The prestigious event returns to the place were it was born, with the same spirit: welcoming more than 800 participants!

Famous for its pottery and tasty cheese, the village of Nisa franchises, once again, its doors to Orienteering. The Norte Alentejano O' Meeting returns to one of the most beautiful regions of Portugal, revisiting the iconic places of the inaugural edition, back in 2007. Comprising two stages of Middle Distance and one Night Sprint (extra-competition), the event promises to draw a number of participants up to eight hundred, including close to three hundred from outside Portugal, representing twenty countries.

Organized jointly by the Grupo Desportivo dos Quatro Caminhos, the Municipality of Nisa and the Portuguese Orienteering Federation, the NAOM 2013 will take place on the first weekend of February, opening a cycle of major events. In the Schoolar Sports, the event is part of the qualifying series for the ISF World Schools Championships Orienteering 2013, which will take place in the Algarve, from 15th to 21st April. It is also the start of the Foot-O's National Cup - Level 1. Finally, in the international field, it's part of the three World Ranking Events, preceding the journeys of Idanha-a-Nova and Pombal, in two immediate weekends.

''Back to Nisa is always a thrill! ..''

Event Director from the first moment, Fernando Costa appeals to his memories and tell us how everything started: "In 2004, Grupo Desportivo dos Quatro Caminhos organized in Nisa the National Championships of Sprint and Relay. There was an excellent relationship with the local authority and the event went very well," he explains. By then, it was urgent to find a place for the annual application to the National Cup and the solution of the problem was found. From there to the first NAOM was a brief step: "In the preparation, I remember the great floods because it was an incredible winter, good level of participants, the presence of the runner Fernando Mamede as ambassador and the discovery of Orienteering by Joaquim Margarido'', says Fernando Costa, reviving some moments.

«Back to Nisa is always a thrill! …", continues Costa, whose family is originally from a little village of the county (Amieira do Tejo). Indeed, "this fact was important in this choice, as I consider this as my region, despite not being born here," he says. But Orienteering cannot cover just one municipality, hence the name 'Norte Alentejano O' Meeting' have been adapted to an entire region, being since then an intermunicipal project. After having been disputed in Castelo de Vide, Alter do Chão, Crato, Portalegre and Marvão, the NAOM returns to its roots, opening a new cycle full of promise and hope for the future: "In my opinion this region will live of their Tourism of Nature. We want Orienteering to be part of this larger project which is the InMotion: Alentejo Tourism and Sustainability", Costa says.

"Difficult to repeat!"

Reviewing the six previous editions, Fernando Costa admits that "with more or less difficulty, all organizations have its big moments. Despite the editions of 2007, 2010 and 2011 having been scoring for the World Ranking, they all leave us pleasant memories because in all of them we knew new people, highly professionals and with a major sense of responsibility." But, if he had to choose the most remarkable moment... "it would be the WRE of the Entre-Ribeiras' map, in 2011, by the place and the athletes present. Difficult to repeat! "

To an athlete who had been in Nisa in 2007 and only now returns to NAOM, Fernando Costa enumerates the differences that he will find: "The program is very similar to 2007, with the difference that both races are of Middle Distance, the Cartography has a very different criteria and the terrain of WRE race escape a bit to the usual, having a little slope and being extremely fast. But the spirit of the event and the region will have the same motto: welcoming the participants!

Dmitriy Tsvetkov and Maja Alm, the stars

With the entries closed, the participation rate stayed slightly below the expectations. Fernando Costa confesses: "We aimed to reach the thousand participants. This value was not achieved, but we can consider very good the number of entries for the event at the end of the first term of inscriptions – 823." In terms of big names, already signaled its presence in NAOM 2013 a total of 13 athletes in the world's top- 50. The Russians Dmitriy Tsevkov and Valentin Novikov, ranked, respectively, 8th and 10th, are headliners in the male sector. In the female sector, the stars come from Denmark, Maja Alm and Ida Bobach, ranked 10th and 11th.

But this ''short list'' also includes names such as the French Frédéric Tranchand (13th), Philippe Adamski (24th) and Amélie Chataing (24th), the Danes Emma Klingenberg (23th) and Tue Lassen (26th), the Russians Svetlana Mironova (33rd ) and Natalia Vinogradova (47th), Kiril Nikolov from Bulgaria (27th) and the Czech Vojtech Král (43th). From Spain comes the winner of the men's ranking in 2012, Antonio Martínez Pérez and the second places, Andreu Blanes Reig and Anna Serralonga Arqués. Brazil brings to Portugal its largest delegation ever, with a total of 18 athletes, among whom is the National Champion and South American Champion 2012, Mirian Pasturiza.

And to finish ...

A little over a week, it is still important to know what is done and what remains to be done. «Some passages in a few fences, a work that is only possible to run even at the last minute", says Fernando Costa, adding "the printing of maps and - of course! - assemble the logistics structure in the day before the event." Finally, a wish: that "the participants, when they finish their races, feel comfortable returning to the 2014 edition, in Castelo de Vide.''

To know all about NAOM 2013, see the webpage on

Joaquim Margarido

[Sponsorized by Orievents and SERI]

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