A set of ten interviews reach the end today. In the past two weeks, by the voice of some of the greatest figures of the world in Trail orienteering, we tried to anticipate the ETOC 2014. After JK, Marit, Kreso, Ivo, Hanka, Pinja, Remo, Agata and Martin J, is now the turn of the Danish Søren Saxtorph to provide his testimony.
The ETOC is approaching and I would like to know, in brief, what have you doing since Vuokatti, last summer?
Søren Saxtorph (S. S.) - Since the last WTOC I have been to Sweden for three times and to the Nordic match, in Finland. The only result I remember was the Swedish TempO Championships, where I was 9th, but only eight could reach the final – anyway, I'm not Swedish, so I couldn't have won :-) I wasn't fast but I did few mistakes.
Do you feel “comfortable” with the European Championships so early in the season?
S. S. - I don't feel ready for a Championship, but I'm looking forward to have some good maps, as I think we have had at the Championships the last years. I really don't expect any good result, as I never do, because there are so many factors other than the orienteering that affects my competitions and concentration, since I'm dependent of the wheelchair, the conditions of the trail and the visibility from a low sitting.
A couple of years ago, the TrailO was something new in Portugal and now here we are, about to organize the European Championships. I would like to hear your comments to this.
S. S. - It is very exciting to go to Portugal. I have never been there before. And it is fantastic that your country can take the task to organize ETOC.
What kind of event do you expect?
S. S. - I have seen the old maps and it seems that we will have to look down the slopes, which is, sometimes, very difficult when you are low. I prefer to look up. But I know that the adviser (Knut, I think) is very fair about these things. So I do expect some good and fair courses.
Can you point the best candidates to the European titles?
S. S. - In the Paralympic Class, I hope some others, than the strong Swedes, can take a medal. Michael Johansson seems to be the biggest favourite to me. I do like the Swedes, but to make the prize giving ceremonies more colourful I hope for some others on the podium. And in the Open Class and TempO I think that Martin Jullum, at last, will get some medals.
What is your main goal for the season? Will 2014 be your “golden year”?
S. S. - My own expectations this year are not on medals, since we are also in southern Europe for the WTOC, but I will do my best and I hope for medals to Denmark.