Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Ines Domingues: "One of the constant aspects in my course was, definitely, the nerves"

She was the big surprise - or maybe not! - of the Portuguese TempO Championships, held last Saturday in Cantanhede. With the gold on her chest, Ines Domingues speaks with the modesty of the great champions and talks to the Portuguese Orienteering Blog about a victory in the first time she tried TempO. It's worth listening to her!

What goals and challenges did you put to yourself, entring to the TrailO Dunes?

Ines Domingues (I. D.) - My goal for this event was, primarily, to extend my experience in this discipline. I had participated in such events only once and only in PreO, and this was my debut in TempO. There was no specific goals in terms of results. However, I always try to do my best and wanted, obviously, have a good performance in the PreO. As for TempO, and since I had never done this kind of course before, I was a little more anxious and worried too, if I would or would not be able to face the challenge.

So, I can imagine that your bet was more in the PreO competition.

I. D. - The focus was, definitely, more on the PreO. As I already knew what to expect and had some bases, I hoped to do a better course here than in TempO, which turned out not happened (quite the contrary). I tried to prepare myself for both competitions, not expecting, however, to be ready at all for the TempO since I had never met a real course situation, where you feel the pressure more than ever.

How did you prepared for the competition ?

I. D. - I tried to read as much as I could about this kind of course, to be as familiar as possible with all aspects, rules and details, which is more important here than in Foot Orienteering. And, moreover, I also did some virtual TempO exercises, simulating a competition and where I could get a first idea of how it would be during the course.

Six years ago, you revealed to the Portuguese Orienteering Blog: “Since I take part in Orienteering courses, I always had good results and went to the podium, but I'll never be completely satisfied with these results and will always try to improve.” Better than the result achieved on Saturday is almost impossible, but... Did you really expect to be the first TempO Portuguese Champion in the history of the discipline in Portugal?

I. D. - I wasn't really expecting to win this competition at all. It was a huge surprise when I saw my name on the top of the list. I never thought that, in my first participation in a course like this, I could adapt as well and, much less, to achieve a good result. I confess that, until to see the results list, I had no idea that the course had run so well. I was aware of some of the points that I did wrong but I had no idea if the time taken was too much or not. I was really amazed when I knew my result.

Would you like to talk a little bit about your course?

I. D. - One of the constant aspects in my course was, definitely, the nerves. Just the fact of knowing that I was being timed, made the concentration more difficult and I couldn't analyse correctly the terrain. I thought that the anxiety decreased as the stations progressed but in every point I felt as if it were the first. That ended, however, to be a good point, making me to be faster and not waste so much time at each station. However, the pressure made me to do a couple of mistakes, some very basic. Nevertheless, the speed could compensate those errors and, in the end, I could achieve a good result.

And what about the PreO? To miss six points is not good, I think...

I. D. - The PreO didn't run as I expected, indeed. There were many controls where I had questions and I couldn't find the appropriate solution to reach a final conclusion. On the other hand, the reduced visibility in some controls made it very complicated to solve the challenges presented. I tried to use every technic I knew but, still, it wasn't enough. Now I have to continue to train and to participate in these events to gain more experience and to continue learning.

How do you classify the organization of the TrailO Dunes?

I. D. - I think the organization was able to meet the competitors' expectations, both in PreO and in TempO. The only negative point was the waiting time between the two courses, as between the various stations the waiting time was fine. Technically, I think that both events were well set, with a huge variety of challenges in each one of them.

The next 14th June, your club organizes the II Portuguese PreO Championships. Will you be able to participate in the competition ?

I. D. - I'm involved, precisely, with the organizing team, so I will not take part in the course.

Is TrailO, in Portugal, in the right way?

I. D. - The TrailO in our country still has a long way to do. It is a very recent discipline and with low adhesion, but I think it is going well, in the right way. We have to continue to organize this kind of events and, if possible, in greater numbers. These organizations demand a lot of effort, patience and dedication, but I think they are worth, reinforcing what differentiates the Orienteering from most of the sports, the technical part, which is maximum in this discipline.

Having missed the ETOC, I know that the TrailO Technical Commission of the Portuguese Orienteering Federation opened the possibility of you to go to Italy, for the WTOC. How do you see this opportunity?

I. D. - I think it's a fantastic opportunity to broaden my experience in the TrailO. After the ETOC, I can't really miss another chance like this, but there are several factors to take into account and I didn't made, yet, a final decision.

Talking about the future, are we going to see you more connected to the TrailO, and giving to us great joys or the priority is - and will always be - the Foot Orienteering?

I. D. - What attracted me the most in TrailO was that focus on the technical part of the Orienteering, the reasoning skills, making of it the major focus of interest. Each control is a challenge, too much more challenging and more elaborate than the ones of Foot Orienteering. To make this challenge even more attractive, in my opinion, there is still a timed variant, in which technique and speed are combined and the pressure is permanent. Despite all this, the Foot Orienteering is not back and continues to be the priority. However, whenever possible, I intend to continue to participate in both types of courses.

Joaquim Margarido

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