Wednesday, January 22, 2014

NAOM 2014: Thierry Gueorgiou & Co. towards Alentejo

The focus is more on the performance itself and not in the final result”. This is how Thierry Gueorgiou sees his presence in Portugal, to compete next weekend in Castelo de Vide, in the eighth edition of NAOM - Norte Alentejano O 'Meeting. An important event, joining in Portugal some of the world's best specialists and counting until now 640 participants from 14 different countries.

This year the NAOM will celebrate its 8th edition. For the second time in the event's history, it is in Castelo de Vide that some of the best orienteers in the World will start the season. Beautiful terrains, challenging courses, spectacular moments and an organization attentive to the detail, explain for the most the NAOM's success towards the orienteer community. Organized by Grupo Desportivo dos Quatro Caminhos, the NAOM 2014 will be held in Castelo de Vide. The two forest stages, of Middle Distance, will take place in Póvoa e Meadas dam, while Castelo de Vide's town centre will host the the WRE urban Sprint. This year NAOM's terrains can be characterized as open land with scattered olive trees with several details of rocks and vegetation. The visibility as well as the runnability are generally very good, providing a full speed and challenging race.

First of the three training camps planned by Thierry Gueorgiou in Portugal this year, NAOM attracts the Frenchman's attentions for several reasons: “The Portuguese organizations, in general, have a great reputation nowadays and I am expecting an event to be also World class, in terms of terrains and courses”, he says. The main goal for NAOM is “to get a good feedback and see if my technique is working well at racing speed”, says the leader of the IOF's World Ranking, concluding: “The focus is more on the performance itself and not in the final result”. Another strong presence in Castelo de Vide is Daniel Hubmann. Placed second in the IOF's World Ranking, Daniel considers that “it's always nice to start competing again and I hope the races will be challenging”. “To work on the Middle Distance skills” seems to be the goal of the Swiss, concluding that “NAOM will be a good test, just at the end of the camp.”

As for the women, Anastasia Tikhonova is very well placed for taking the final victory. The Russian was one of the stars of the last edition, finishing 2nd, and returns to Portugal: “I really liked this competition and this year we'll have a WRE Sprint which is very attractive.” For the first international competition of the season, Anastasia will try “to see how am I ready and which aspects I need to work harder to improve”. And concludes, expecting “good organization, interesting distances and good mood”. Finally Emily Kemp, usual presence in Portugal this time of the season: “I'm super excited to be racing in NAOM but I have no specific goals since I've just been coming back from a few long lasting injuries”, says the very young Canadian. And concludes: “I'm just happy to be training and racing on some new terrain in Portugal and hopefully with a bit of sunshine”.

Joaquim Margarido

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