Tuesday, February 19, 2013

EYOC 2013: "It's ours, it's of Portugal!"

These are great news. The European Youth Orienteering Championships 2013 will be held in Portugal. The European Working Group considered the arguments of the Portuguese application and the spotlights are focused now to Portugal.

The news came by the International Orienteering Federation's webpage: “EYOC 2013 to be organised in Portugal”. The message states that “the EWG based its decision on the results of evaluation visits to both short listed countries [Poland and Portugal].” Both candidates had good arguments but, as regards Dusan Vystatel, EWG Chairman, “there can only be one winner and this time it is Portugal.”

The Portuguese Orienteering Blog met Antonio Amador, the Portuguese Orienteering Federation's Executive Director. He and Augusto Almeida, POF's Chairman, were the big workers of this application and Antonio Amador should be, very soon, nominated as EYOC 2013's Event Director. These were his first words: “When this opportunity arose, we felt thet we could meet the necessary conditions to organize EYOC. It would be, in a certain way, the reward to the work that has been done by our youth teams. Whether in technical chapter or the commitment of the athletes, we have improving a lot in the last few years and it will be a big motivation for everyone to organize EYOC at homeground.”

The areas are quite good”

The EYOC 2013 will take place from October 24th to 27th, with its epicentre pointed to Foz do Arelho, a magnificent natural setting dominated by the confluence of the lagoon with the sea. An entire region that Antonio Amador evaluates as follows: "The areas are quite good. We will make the competition on Ferrel and Óbidos's maps, the Event Center will be in Foz do Arelho and this, in addition to a very beautiful region, has the advantage of proximity, which will allow greater interaction between all the participants.”

The next days will be of intensive work: “When we advanced with the application, we would have seen that we have the conditions for this step. It was a safe step, being safeguarded the fundamental aspects related to logistics, transport and accommodation for about 400 participants. On the technical chapter we have maps that give us the guarantee of excellent competitions but they will need an update and that is the next step, for now. Thereafter there will be the question of the courses because, when we receive the visit in July of the Event Adviser [the Czech David Ales], we want to present, already, the maps and a first version of the courses. Until then, we have an intense work ahead, but it is perfectly feasible and I believe we will have no problem in achieving these goals”, says this responsible. And the last words of Antonio Amador: “At the moment, what we can promise is a lot of work, looking to another event of excellency organized by Portugal. We just end a cycle of three international events, of very good quality, and I am sure that EYOC 2013 will be an event within this line, a high quality event.”

"A big motivation for those who want to go further"

But talking of EYOC is to talk about Diogo Miguel and his "golden sprint" in Eger (Hungary, 2007), where the athlete wrote one of the most beautiful pages ever of the Portuguese Orienteering. Hence it was also important to listen to the athlete: "I participated in three EYOC, with some very good results. These are moments that are always present in my mind and that I keep in a very special way. Of course they were abroad, because if it had been in Portugal the emotion would have been ten times bigger,” said Diogo Miguel.

The athlete recalls that “for many, EYOC is the first opportunity to represent the country in a major international competition. It comes at a crucial time in the athlete's life, when he begins to realize the importance of Orienteering.” But competing in EYOC “is also a great motivation for those who want to go further”, said Diogo Miguel, who gives the example of the current leader of the IOF's World Rankings: “I recently read an interview with Matthias Kyburz in which he stated that one of the most important moments of his career was exactly the victory in the EYOC's Relay in the Czech Republic.” Looking for the future, Diogo hopes “that this organization could be at the level of the organizations that we had in Portugal the past three weeks.”

Joaquim Margarido

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