He was “only” the second placed in the European Championships' PreO competition, letting the title go elsewhere through his time at the timed controls. But he took revenge in the TempO competition, winning the gold medal with full justice. For Inside Orienteering, Antti Rusanen returns to April 16th, recalling the moments when he was crowned the first TempO European Champion ever.
You are the first person ever to enter their name in gold in the Hall of Fame of the European Trail Orienteering Championships, in the TempO competition. What does this title means to you?
Antti Rusanen (A. R.) - The victory feels great, especially after a disappointing fourth place in Vuokatti last summer.
What is the key for success in a TempO competition?
A. R. - TempO is about balancing the speed and the risk of a wrong answer. In the ETOC final I slowed down compared to the qualification course, whilst many others speeded up and made mistakes. Of course everything is based on the ability to understand the relationship between the map and the terrain at first glance.
The sum of the seconds led you to the highest place on the podium in TempO, while denying you the PreO title. The way your brain is “formatted” - is it different depending on whether it is a PreO or a TempO competition?
A. R. - My brain was far happier with the brand new sprint map of TempO than the re-mapped old orienteering map that was used in PreO. Still, I don’t fully understand why I could not solve the ETOC PreO timed controls faster.
I can almost guess the answer, but even so, I would like to ask you about your preferences: PreO or TempO?
A. R. - I love both. In a PreO competition you need to apply yourself for hours without making a single mistake. A PreO course is testing your analytical map reading skillsand concentration. When you punch all controls correctly, especially in a multi-day event, you get the feeling of a perfect performance. TempO allows aggressive map reading and you can compensate for your mistakes with speed. Thus, tactics are involved in TempO more than in PreO.
Some foresee a great future for TempO and see, at the same time, PreO in a descending phase, a kind of “endangered species”. Do you share the same point of view?
A. R. - PreO is not an endangered species at all. I believe that most trail orienteers still like PreO more, as it requires diverse map reading skills. Young foot orienteers are often keen on TempO, that requires speed of map reading.
The last question leads us to Italy where, within a month, the World Trail Orienteering Championships (WTOC 2014) will take place. Doing better than in Portugal means winning three gold medals. Is that the big goal?
A. R. - Yes, I will fight for three gold medals but I will be satisfied if I can keep the placings at Palmela.
[Photo: Joaquim Margarido]
[See the original article at http://orienteering.org/edocker/inside-orienteering/2014-3/InsideOrient%203_14p.pdf. Published with permission from the International Orienteering Federation]