Monday, March 31, 2014

Krešo Keresteš: "Almost every day I listen to fado and eat presunto, queijo and caldo verde"



Cartographer, illustrator and designer, Krešo Keresteš is one of the most important names in TrailO. World Champion (Open Class) in 2007, he is also member of the IOF's TrailO Commission and one of the most dedicated person to the “cause”. Soon in the season, we'll have the chance to see him in Portugal, during the European Championships, about which he leaves us, already, a couple of opinions.


We couldn't see you last summer in Vuokatti, so it's almost two years that you don't participate in a TrailO competition with the status of World or European Championships. What have you doing in the meanwhile?

Krešo Keresteš (K. K.) - Almost two years? But since WTOC in Scotland, I skipped only WTOC in Finland, for what I didn't pass my personal criterion. ;) Every Championship is important because TrailO is a developing sport, but don't worry. In the last year I regularly competed in the CRO-ITA-SLO TrailO Cup and reached the 2nd place overall. I competed only in four competitions of European Cup and reached twice top 5 and the 14th place overall. I was also very active in course planning and also in the organization of Clinics for course planners.

European Championships in Portugal. Doesn't it sounds “strange” to you?

K. K. - It is more strange that some big orienteering countries as Switzerland, Austria or Belgium don't do TrailO. All the praise to Portugal that has taken the organization of the ETOC. I believe that you have in Portugal good mappers and good maps are the main condition for a good competition. About the courses, I believe that the Event Advisors will be of great help. About TrailO in Portugal, I know you as a good TrailO promoter and Ricardo [Pinto] as a persistent competitor. Especially in the recent times I regularly follow all TrailO competitions in Portugal and the Facebook group Iberia O-Prec.

How did you prepare yourself for this competition?

K. K. - Almost every day I listen to fado and eat presunto, queijo and caldo verde. You can imagine how I'm ready to the TrailO competitions. (laughs)

What kind of event do you expect?

K. K. - I don't care about that. My job is to do my best under given conditions. I have to be ready for anything. I expect more green terrain as it was last year at Palmela TrailO Meeting and more colourful map with many emblems and logos, and funny sign for the north. ;)

Can you point someone who is in a perfect position to be the European Champion?

K. K. - Anyone who comes to the European Championship has excellent conditions to become European Champion. Someone will take this opportunity and all others will allow that. It is difficult to predict anything, especially since the new season has not started yet in many places. I don’t follow competitors and I don't make them for my idols, because it will be much more difficult to beat them, but I respect them.

A good result, in your case, what could it be?

K. K. - John [Kewley] hopes in top 15, which means that I'm already in the top 15 (laughs). This will be my first European Championships. Competition will be bigger than at WTOC. A moment of inattention can cost you 10 places or even more, but it is so for everyone. I would be satisfied with finishing in top 10 and very happy with any medal. :)

What is your main goal for the season?

K. K. - My main goal for the season is to achieve at least the 4th place at the World Championships in Italy. This is a condition set by the Olympic Committee of Slovenia for our sport given the possibility of co-financing for the future participation in TrailO Championships and trainings.

I would like to ask you to make a wish for the European Champs.

K. K. - I wish that this European Championships will be of great success and the best promotion of our sport. To the European Champions I wish a lot of Easter eggs. (laughs)

Joaquim Margarido

Friday, March 28, 2014

Marit Wiksell: "I would probably be disappointed if I would come home without any medal"



If there is, in the Trail orienteering world, a person that inspires the utmost respect and admiration, Marit Wiksell is for sure one of the strongest names. Despite her youth, the results of his remarkable career speak for themselves. Marit will be in Portugal defending her European PreO title and she is the Portuguese Orienteering Blog invited of today.


In two weeks, we'll have in Portugal the ETOC. Are you prepared for the competition?

Marit Wiksell (M. W.) - I feel well prepared for the championship, even though it takes place so early in the season. I have mostly done mentally preparation so far, but I will also have some PreO training and competitions before I go to Portugal. I’ve also done some internet TempO, which is a great way to maintain the speed and map reading skills during the winter.

Portugal. Isn't it a “strange” place for the European Trail orienteering Championships?

M. W. - When I first heard about Portugal as organizer of ETOC, I was actually a bit sceptical, since I haven’t heard about any trail orienteers from Portugal before. Since then I have met some of you, and I have noticed that you are very willing to learn more about TrailO and that is very important to be able to organize such an event. With that positive spirit and good help from the Event Advisors, I think that Portugal can offer really nice and fair competitions!

What kind of event are you expecting?

M. W. - I’m really looking forward to the European Championships and I’m expecting challenging courses in interesting terrain. I have actually never been to Portugal (only to Madeira, on vacation), but I have understood that the terrain is quite different from what I am used to in Sweden. It will definitely be a challenge to understand how this kind of terrain is mapped, but I hope that I can improve that knowledge during the Model Event. Since I have no experience from Portuguese TrailO, it’s not that easy to know what to expect from the competitions and the course planning. The Model Event will be an important indication on how to solve the problems in the best way. The TempO competition, which takes place on a golf course, feels more familiar and I have an idea about what to expect from a course in that type of terrain.

To be the European Champion in PreO brings you an additional pressure?

M. W. - My feeling is actually the opposite. Being the European Champion gives me the possibility to relax a little bit, since I can trust that I have the capability of performing my best at an important event. I would have felt more nervous and insecure without my past successes and the gold medal from 2012. Now I can really enjoy the competitions and have fun, but I also know the feeling of being the best and I want to experience that again!

Is there someone that you see as major opponents?

M. W. - There are many very good trail orienteers coming to Portugal, but I have to say that the major opponents are from Sweden and Finland. The Swedish team is very strong and every one of us has the capability of taking a medal. It might actually be more difficult to win ETOC than WTOC, since there are more competitors from each country.

Your bet is more in PreO or TempO?

M. W. - It’s not possible for me to choose between PreO and TempO. I focus equally much on them both. There are probably less competitors with capability of taking the TempO gold medal, but at the same time the margins are very small in TempO. There is a higher risk of making wrong decisions, since you have to make them really fast. Many can win PreO gold medal, but there are other skills that are decisive and there is more time and thoughts behind every decision. I think that I have equally chance of both gold medals, but that it might be a little bit easier for me to be top three in TempO than top three in PreO.

What will be a good result, in your case?

M. W. - I would probably be disappointed if I would come home without any medal.

And what about the season? What is your main goal?

M. W. - There are two TrailO championships this year, except from ETOC in Portugal there is also WTOC in Italy, in July. These two are my main goals. Currently I am 100 % focused on ETOC but it’s nice to know that I will get another chance of championship medals this year. There are also other important events which I’m looking forward to, for example the unofficial European Cup and the Swedish championships.

I would like to ask you to make a wish for the European Championships.

M. W. - I wish for a Swedish success and a very nice week in Portugal with high level competitions!

Joaquim Margarido

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

John Kewley: "Training and practice are key"



The European Trail Orienteering Championships are approaching and Portugal is ready to receive the almost 130 participants in the PreO and TempO comepetitions. John Kewley is one of them and talk about his expectations.


I start by asking you about your relationship with Orienteering, in particular with Trail Orienteering?

John Kewley (J. K.) - I have always been interested in maps and the outdoors. I started foot orienteering when I was growing up in Scotland, but my passion was always for mountain orienteering and I went on to compete at the Elite level in Britain and Europe. My highlights would be my wins in the British KIMM (now the OMM), the Swiss Mountain Marathon and the 2001 IOF World Marathon Orienteering Trophy in La Cerdanya, Spain. My first TrailO was the Elite class at the Swiss 6 days in 1999. My next was the British Championships in 2007 and I then started to do more as there was the possibility of competing for GB in the Open class from 2009 and I have been on the British team ever since.

What is so special about the discipline that attracts you the most?

J. K. - It fits well with my love of both maps and puzzles: there is a problem to solve and you have various techniques at your disposal so at each control you have to decide which techniques fit the problem best. I also think it is excellent technical training for all levels of foot orienteer.

What skills does a trail orienteer have to have? Are these “genetic” or do you have to train them (or both)?

J. K. - Training and practice are key. One problem we have in GB is that we have so few events compared to those in Scandinavia so our only chance at success is to travel to events in other countries.

You've been recently in Portugal, at the Portugal O Meeting. Was it in your plans since the beginning?

J. K. - I hadn't previously done Trail Orienteering in Portugal and when I saw that POM would have TrailO, I decided that it would be good training to see what POR TrailO was like, especially given that ETOC 2014 is in Palmela. Seeing the maps from last year's POM helped in my decision as both TrailO and FootO courses looked very good. This year's TrailO terrain looked even better and I wasn't disappointed.

How do you evaluate the Portugal O Meeting overall?

J. K. - This was my first POM, my only previous time in Portugal was in the early 90s. It was an excellent event with great terrain and courses. To me the only poor thing was the maps. Although sealed, the plastic they were sealed with was very thin and once water leaked in the colour came off the maps; this also happened when the maps were folded. The paper itself was also very thin. I am hoping that EOC/ETOC will have some sort of waterproof paper instead. I did the M50 courses at POM and had a few problems "in the black" although much of that was because I use glasses and with so much rain I couldn't see through them. As well as TrailO and POM I also did the Night Sprint and ran on both training areas. The banquet was another highlight: I think I ate more food that night than the rest of the week put together.

During your stay, I believe that the Trail-orienteering stage was the most important to you. What was your opinion of it?

J. K. - The principle reason for me attending POM was to give me the best chance of performing at ETOC 2014 therefore the two priorities for the trip were firstly to get as much exposure to Portuguese maps as I could and secondly to get some TrailO practice since I have only done two events since WTOC 2013.

What about the course? Was it what you expected in terms of technical challenge and your result?

J. K. - It was probably a better course than what I expected, the area used was very good for TrailO. There as a good variety of problem and through my mistakes I learned a bit about the "zero tolerance" of the planner. Of course the ETOC planner is different so I'll have to be pay attention at the model event. I was happy with my position, but I was several points lower than I expected. This was because I was a bit rusty and it has highlighted a few areas for me to work on.

How do you see the Portuguese Trail-orienteering level?

J. K. - I can see that you are improving each year and I think you have some guys in their first international this year. It'll be interesting to see how they do on home soil at ETOC since that "home advantage" will bring extra pressure in addition to it being their first major championships.

Within two weeks, we'll have the European Trail Orienteering Championships in Portugal. How is it going your preparation and what can we expect from John Kewley and from the Team of Great Britain?

J. K. - My personal bests at ETOC are 9th in PreO and 2nd in Team PreO. While it would be nice to beat one or both of those I suspect the best I can realistically hope for is top 15 at PreO, top 25 at TempO and top 6 for Team. Since our team will only be selected after day 1, I don't yet know which team (if any) I'll be in. In any case, I believe that the whole GB team are strong so I am expecting them some very good individual and team results this year.

What is your main goal for the season?

J. K. - The World TrailO Championships in Italy will be my main goal, ETOC is a bit early in the season for me as I have done so few events in the last 6 months.

Joaquim Margarido

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Maria Magnusson: [Orienteering] ... it's like being in love, intoxication!



Accomplished the cycle of Portuguese international events of the winter season, the Portuguese Orienteering Blog met one of this year's most prominent performers. Winner of the Middle Distance WRE, the Portugal O 'Meeting's most important stage, Maria Magnusson shows herself at her best: strong, determined and spontaneous. Come to meet her.


In the end of the Portugal O' Meeting, you came home with the second position overall and the victory in the most important stage, on the third day. Did you expect this?

Maria Magnusson (M. M.) - No (laughs). I had no expectations regarding results at all, but I had expectations of my own o-technical performance and I lived up to that.

Where was the secret of such good results?

M. M. - To stay focused on my own orienteering and also to try, always, to find my “happy place” - I ask myself “why am I doing this” and I remember that it's because I love it. The result should never be of importance - just the performance.

How do you evaluate the Portugal O' Meeting?

M. M. - This was my first time at POM! I really enjoyed the technical terrain, orienteering at its best. A shame for the organizers that the weather was so bad, I really felt sorry for them standing out in the rain.

And what about Portugal?

M. M. - I like both the mountains and the beach forests - it's beautiful nature. Most people I've met are friendly - but I've only met a lot of orienteers so I couldn't say if they are or not representative of the portuguese people (laughs). Lisbon is a beautiful city - I've been there now twice and I'd really like to spend some more time there to see more of it. The culture... I haven't really dug into that yet but the Portuguese food, for example, is a little bit too much meat for a vegetarian like myself. I like the cheese though!

How did you meet Orienteering?

M. M. - I was 9 years old and my best friend was into orienteering - so I came along with him and fell in love with it (laughs).

What do you find in this sport that makes it so special?

M. M. - The combination of adrenaline, focus, nature. All the thoughts, impressions, the smell of mud, trees, your own sweat, the sound of branches breaking under your feet, birds chirping, being in totally control of your route choice through the forest... it's like being in love, intoxication.

Can you mention the best moment of your career until now? And the worst?

M. M. - The best moments are always - for me - the races that I've run in total focus, when I've shut the world out and have been in my own “bubble”. The WRE course, at POM, was surely one of those moments, and also when I ran a Middle Distance race, at the Swedish "Elitserie", in Blekinge (in the south east Sweden), in 2010. But nothing compares to my sprint (!!) race at the Swedish Championships, in Strömstad, in 2009. After the qualification race, I got a call from the then Swedish National Team captain and got to know that I was not selected for WOC. I was really disappointed and sad but after moaning for some hours I decided to take the “angry” energy and convert it into a happy-race-focus instead. And what a race... I can still replay it all in my mind. I could hear the crowd but somehow I was so much in my “bubble” that it couldn't touch me. I still think on that summer evening in Strömstad as kind of surreal, I'm not sure it actually happened (laughs).

Is there an athlete that you follow as an example, of which you are a big fan?

M. M. - I admire a lot of athletes for their skills in their field (always been a fan of Anja Pärson, a Swedish legendary alpine skier), but I don't really follow anyone as an example. Mostly because I admire and try to follow the example of people who struggle for “real issues” more than athletes. Like all strong feminists out there!

One of the reasons why you were here in Portugal was the selection program of the Swedish Team for the European Championships that will be held in Portugal in the next month. How do you evaluate the experience and what do you expect in terms of being selected?

M. M. - I think that the terrain wasn't relevant for the EOC and also that all the Swedish athletes should have started in the same starting group to make the test more fair. So, until the next time we have tests, I hope the Swedish team thinks more about this beforehand.

To have in the Swedish Team names like Tove Alexandersson, Annika Billstam, Lina Strand, Lena Eliasson or Helena Jansson, what does it mean to you?

M. M. - It means that it's veeery tough to get a spot in the team. It also means that if you get to run a Relay, you have some of the strongest team mates there is. But, most important of all, it means to me that wherever I go with the National Team I always have some of my best friends by my side.

What is your main goal for the season?

M. M. - To get selected for WOC Middle Distance and perform a totally focused race there.

For those who always wanted to know about Orienteering, but are afraid to ask, would you like to leave a message?

M. M. - Ask me! I'm a pretty nice person (?!) and I can talk for hours about why you should orienteer!

Joaquim Margarido
 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

On the Spectators Control: Mari Fasting



Second placed at the 3rd Mediterranean Championships of Orienteering, Mari Fasting talked to the Portuguese Orienteering Blog. She accepted to be watched on the spectators control”, analyzing her present moment.


Imagine the whole season like a course and that you're now passing on the spectators control. What do we, spectators, can see?

Mari Fasting (M. F.) - The physical shape is good, I've been training well all the winter and I'm looking forward to the season. My only drop back is that I have a little injury in my foot, but I think that it will go over in some weeks. At the moment I'm happy and the spectators can see my satisfaction.

Can you tell me something about the Mediterranean Championships in orienteering?

M. F. - The Long Distance terrains were really nice and I enjoyed the competition. I did a good race and some good orienteering, so I'm satisfied. In the Middle Distance I did a lot of mistakes and it didn't went as well as I thought.

Was it in your plans to be in Portugal in this time of the season?

M. F. - Yes, it was. It has been the plans for Halden SK, during the last seasons, to have some winter trainings here. This year, in particular, we are preparing the European Championships. The week before the Mediterranean Championships we've been in Coruche, in more similar terrains that the European Championships. I think that it's nice to have some experience of that terrains as well.

What do you expect from the European Championships?

M. F. - I don't think that would be easy to have an exact opinion about that at the moment. I hope that we'll have good competitions, but I believe that some courses will fit better to the competitors of the Central Europe... I mean, not the nordic. The terrain suits better to them, I think, because its fast and I prefer a more technical terrain. As for myself, I hope to do some good races and I'll fight for the top places. I can't expect to be all the way up, but I'll be fighting, yes.

What is the biggest goal of the season?

M. F. - The World Champs, of course.

One week before the World Championships, we are going to see you, again, on the spectators control. How will it be?

M. F. - Hopefully, you'll see Mari Fasting having a good self confidence, having a good control on the technique and running fast!

Joaquim Margarido

Friday, March 07, 2014

POM 2014: Guerra and Madella win Trail orienteering stage



The second day of the Portugal O' Meeting 2014 had an extra attractive. For the Trail orienteering 'aficionados', the stage held in the Senhora dos Verdes Park was a challenge of enormous complexity and technical quality. In the end, Julio Guerra and Remo Madella were the most precise.


On Carnival Day, the Senhora dos Verdes Park, near Gouveia , hosted the second stage of the Trail orienteering Portugal Cup 2014. Part of the Portugal O' Meeting 2004, the PreO POM 2014 was organized by CPOC – Clube Português de Orientação e Corrida and the Municipality of Gouveia. The bad weather conditions moved away more than half of the initially entries, being 67 the number of competitors who managed to complete the course .

In an absolutely fantastic place to practice this demanding discipline, Acacio Porta-Nova drew a course along 1000 meters, consisting of twenty controls, to which we must add two timed controls. Reading correctly the terrain, he knew how to set a good course, appealing to the classical techniques of decision, to meet the natural elements and the contour lines. Unfortunately, a flaw in the description of one of the points led to its avoidance, but the course didn't lost its value and interest, staying as one of the most demanding and technically carried out in Portugal until now.


Facts and figures

Important step of the selection process to the European Championhips, the event attracts all the big names of the national Trail orienteering, with natural emphasis on the portuguese champions, João Pedro Valente (CPOC) and Ricardo Pinto (DAHP), respectively in the Open and Paralympic classes. As for the large foreign presence, it's important to mention the British John Kewley and Charles Bromley-Gardner, both from SLOW, the Italian Remo Madella (REM), the Spanish Antonio Hernandez (FrontelaO) and also the winner of the previous edition of the Portugal O' Meeting in the Open Class, the Dutchman Mark Heikoop.

In the Open Class, Remo Madella (REM) was the big winner with just two points failed. In second place, one point behind the winner, were the British Charles Bromley-Gardner and the Portuguese João Pedro Valente. As for the Paralympic Class, Julio Guerra (DAHP) shown once again his 'appetite' by Gouveia terrains (one year ago he was crowned here the Iberian Champion) and was the big winner with 13 correct answers. Behind him, sign up to excellent performance from the debutant Claudio Poiares (CRN), three points less than the winner. Ricardo Pinto closed the podium with 9 points.


Portuguese team almost closed

Looking at the results, the ranking of the Trail orienteering Portugal Cup 2014 has now another leader in the Open Class, Luis Nobrega (COV-Natura). with 157.13 points. In the Paralympic Class, Julio Guerra follows now in the lead with 169.87 points. More important, perhaps, is the fact that Claudio Tereso (ATV) have secured a presence in the national team that will represent our country in the European Championships, adding his name to Nuno Pires (Ori - Estarreja) , Luís Leite (GD4C) Joaquim Margarido (CRN) and Ricardo Pinto. In order to complete the range selected, the Portuguese Orienteering Federation opened the possibility to some athletes to integrate the selection's works. They are Julio Guerra and Jose Leal Laiginha (CRN), both in Paralympic class, and, to the Open class, João Pedro Valente, Luís Nóbrega, Jorge Baltazar (GDU Azoia) , Luís Sérgio (ATV) and Inês Domingues (COC) . The final list of athletes that will represent Portugal in the European Championships will be announced early next week.


Results

Paralympic Class
1. Julio Guerra (DAHP) 13/19 points
2. Cláudio Poiares (CRN) 10/19 points
3. Ricardo Pinto (DAHP) 9/19 points
4. Ana Paula Marques (DAHP) 7/19 points
5. Ana Leça (Individual) 5/19 points
6. Ricardo Bastos (CRN) 4/19 points
7. António Amorim (1/19 points)

Open Class
1. Remo Madella (REM) 17/19 points
2. Charles Bromley-Gardner (SLOW) 16/19 points
3. João Pedro Valente (CPOC) 16/19 points
4. Luís Leite (GD4C) 15/19 points
5. Alexandre Reis (ADFA) 14/19 points
6. Luis Sérgio (ATV) 14/19 points
7. Inês Domingues (COC) 14/19 points
8. Mark Heikoop (Individual NED) 14/19 points
9. Urtzi Iglesias (Cobi) 14/19 points
10. Cláudio Tereso (ATV) 14/19 points

Results and more information at http://www.pom.pt/en/




Joaquim Margarido

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

POM 2014: Maps


Portugal O' Meeting 2014 (Gouveia)

Intermediate Distance, Vila Nova de Tázem (Day 1)






Middle Distance, Arcozelo da Serra (Day 2)




Middle Distance WRE, Arcozelo da Serra (Day 3)




Long Distance, Arcozelo da Serra (Day 4)






Sprint, Gouveia (Day 1)


Saudações orientistas.

Joaquim Margarido

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

POM 2014: Thierry Gueorgiou and Simone Niggli, the big winners



With almost 1700 participants, the Portugal O' Meeting 2014 is over. On the only Long Distance course of the event, Simone Niggli and Thierry Gueorgiou were the first to start... and the first to finish!


The19th edition of the Portugal O 'Meeting, the most important event of the national regular calendar of Foot orienteering, came to the end. The organization - of the CPOC – Clube Português de Orientação e Corrida and the Municipality of Gouveia – offered to the last day aLong Distance course, revisiting some of the most emblematic points of the previous days, in a perfect blend of technical complexity and physical capability.

The “chasing start” saw the leaders in Men Super Elite class and Women Elite class - respectively Thierry Gueorgiou (Kalevan Rasti) and Simone Niggli (OK Tisaren) - with comfortable advantages, such that only a cataclysm could dictate a reversal in the final standings. And it is true that the cataclysms happen - Simone Niggli is the perfect example, only 8th ranked in the previous stage -, it didn't happen in today's stage and both runners were even faster, increasing their advantages against the concurrence.


A very positive test”

In Men Super Elite class, Thierry Gueorgiou was the only athlete to run down one hour and twenty minutes, concluding the 13.9 km of his course in 1:19:47. The second position today was to the Swiss Andreas Rüedlinger (Leksands OK), 2:21 behind Gueorgiou, while the third place went to the Czech Jan Petrzela (OK Kare), with the time of 1:22:12. With this results, Thierry Gueorgiou confirmed the lead and won the Portugal O' Meeting for the fourth time (third consecutive). But it was possible to watch true “flip-flaps” in the classification, from the sensational rise of Andreas Rüedlinger from the 17th place to the 6th place in the end, to the “tumble” of the Swede Oskar Sjöberg (OK Linné), from the 4th position to a place outside the top-10.

In the end, Thierry Gueorgiou was very satisfied with his victory, “even though that the start field of the competition wasn't stronger than previous editions.” For the multi-champion French, “the set of four races of the Portugal O' Meeting ended up for being a very positive test for the following moments, showing that I made very few mistakes and I'm in a good shape. Talking about this last course, Thierry said: “It was what I was waiting for, a mixture of all the terrains of the preceding stages, which became very interesting with the more technical parts of the second and third days and many options at the longest legs.” For the moment, the balance “is very positive”, but “we are facing the European Championship and there are still many things to improve. From now on, is to work even harder, still get much training volume and I hope that all this work can be rewarded”, he concluded.


Technical demanding terrain”

Eighth placed at the end of the first stage, Jan Prochazka managed to rising steadily on the overall table, reaching the final second position. It's something that the athlete comments this way:
“After the first course I was quite surprised with my result, but the young Swedish guys started really strong, having doing a good job. I wasn't so much in front of the results since the beginning, but after the two Middle Distances I got a clear second position and I said to myself that I could keep it.”

Asked about the best of the four stages, Jan elects the second one, “nicer that the third stage, even if I stayed scared because of the problems with the readability of the map” and talk about this another experience in Portugal: “When I ran the Model Event, I didn't expect too much, but in the end it was quite technical demanding terrain and I enjoyed it a lot. Last weekend, at the Mediterranean Championships, I felt like I had lost some speed, but the three first stages at POM saying that my speed is getting better and better. I 'll work on it during the next month and I hope to be ready to run fast in the European Championships, which I think it would be very important.”


Lisa Risby, surprisingly (or not)

In the Women Elite class, Simone Niggli (OK Tisaren) was again in focus, making a great course in the time of 1:14:46 to 10,5 km of distance. The Swedish Annika Billstam (OK Linné) achieved the second fastest time, spending more one minute and a half to the winner, while the third placed was the Finnish Riina Kuuselo (Tampereen Pyrintö), redeeming from the less successful results in the previous stages and ending 2:11 behind the winner. Overall the four stages, Simone Niggli was the winner, what happens for the fifth consecutive time and the sixth time in general (the athlete won her first POM at the beginning of her brilliant career, in 2002).

Winner yesterday of the Middle Distance WRE course, Maria Magnusson ( Sävedalens AIK ) knew how to keep the second position, finishing with a little more than ten minutes from the winner overall. The Junior World Champion of Long Distance and Vice World Champion of Middle Distance, the very young Swedish Lisa Risby (OK Kare) also deserves the title of star of this edition of the Portugal O 'Meeting, climbing five places in the final stage and getting an honourable third position. Second placed at POM 2013, the Swedish Annika Billstam was sensational in this last stage, finnishing in the fourth final position. On the other hand was the Swedish Kristin Lofgren (Varegg), third in the start to the last stage and finally beated to the hardness of the course, falling to the 9th final position.


Always worth to coming to the Portugal O' Meeting”

Like Thierry Gueorgiou, also Simone Niggli expressed her satisfaction in the end of the event: “Of course, I'm very happy and glad with this overall victory and I think that I did three good races and one very bad. Otherwise, I was stable all the week and at the weekend, and it was another nice experience in a very surprising and demanding terrains, so always worth to coming to the Portugal O' Meeting.” Retreating twenty-four hours, Simone also takes a brief look at the “very bad” course: “The problem was just not read carefully enough the map. I should have done it very slowly and read every stone on the map. The terrain was something unexpected and I didn't react on the right way, but things happen and I'm happy because I did a good race again today.”

How did the athlete react when looking at the map and realize that she would revisit, in the last part of the course, the yesterday's terrains, that is the next question. The athlete gives a laugh and answers: “Yes, when I saw it I was a bit... how to say... I didn't fear it but it came to my mind and I wanted to do it better. I think it was a very fair course and even though it was a 1:15000 map scale, you're able to read the map and the controls were right settled, so you could really find them without being a matter of luck. Perhaps I did my best race today, no big mistakes and... yeah, I'm very happy.” Are we going to see you continue to win the Portugal O' Meeting in the next five years? (laughs) “We'll see. I think that my shape will be worse and worse every year, but I have a lot of expeience and I hope to come back again in the next years.”


This is what I love!”

For Maria Magnusson, to run to the victory meant to recover from an advantage of 6:05 to Simone Niggli. Impossible task? The athlete answers: “My focus was never on Simone, actually. I just focused on trying to do a good course. I felt my body very tired, but I was really full focused on the two Middle Distances and I was mentally very tired too. I didn't really big mistakes, I took it quite easy but I'm still happy. It wasn't my best course, but still a controlled course.”

To choose one of four stages is really easy: “Yesterday, of course (laughs). But I liked the second stage as well. I think it were really good Middle Distances, technically demanding, a top game. Every Middle Distances should be like these, and I really hope that orienteering keep on being technically demanding because I'm a little bit worried about the future. I can see more and more Sprint competitions, more and more easy running.” To compete at the Portugal O' Meeting wasn't in Maria's plans since the beginning: “My first plans were Slovenia, but since the test races for the European Championships were here, I went here instead. I expected a technical training camp, so this was, actually, much better than I expected. The competitions were so technical and so good, it was really nice. If it's up here again I'll surely return. This is what I love!”


Overall Results

Men Super Elite
1. Thierry Gueorgiou (Kalevan Rasti) 3:16:26
2. Jan Prochazka (Kalevan Rasti) 3:33:26 (+17:00)
3. Hannu Airila (Kalevan Rasti) 3:35:31 (+19:05)
4. Olli-Markus Taivanen (Pellon Ponsi) 3:39:45 (+23:19)
5. Jakob Lööf (MOKS) 3:41:14 (+24:48)
6. Andreas Rüedlinger (Leksands OK) 3:41:36 (+25:10)
7. Jan Petrzela (OK Kare) 3:41:54 (+25:28)
8. Andreu Blanes (Colivenc) 3:42:59 (+26:33)
9. Rassmus Andersson (OK Linné) 3:43:44 (+27:18)
10. Lauri Sild (Hiidenkiertäjät) 3:48:58 (+32:32)

Women Elite
1. Simone Niggli (OK Tisaren) 3:25:58
2. Maria Magnusson (Sävedalens AIK) 3:36:15 (+10:17)
3. Lisa Risby (OK Kare) 3:43:45 (+17:47)
4. Annika Billstam (OK Linné) 3:43:55 (+17:57)
5. Karoliina Sundberg (Lynx) 3:43:57 (+17:59)
6. Ulrika Uotila (Koovee) 3:44:12 (+18:14)
7. Outi Ojanen (Kangasala SK) 3:44:17 (+18:19)
8. Riina Kuuselo (Tampereen Pyrintö) 3:44:36 (+18:38)
9. Kristin Lofgren (Varegg) 3:51:57 (+25:59)
10. Anna Nähri (IFK Göteborg) 3:54:48 (+28:50)

All the information at http://www.pom.pt/en/

Joaquim Margarido



Monday, March 03, 2014

POM 2014: Maria's Day!



On a day where the sun, although lightly, visited Gouveia and the Portugal O 'Meeting 2014, Maria Magnusson was the brightest star of the third stage of the event, interrupting a blistering series of triumphs of Simone Niggli. As for the Men Super Elite, here there were no surprises and Thierry Gueorgiou continues to be the “man of the moment”.


Arcozelo da Serra returned to live a lively and different day with the third stage of the Portugal O' Meeting 2014. Organized by CPOC – Clube Português de Orientação e Corrida and the Municipality of Gouveia, the event has put the bulk of attention on today's stage, a Middle Distance counting for the IOF's World Ranking. And what a course! At one of the most technical terrains that we ever have seen in Portugal, many were those who lost their chances in the very early part of the course.

This was not the case of Thierry Gueorgiou (Kalevan Rasti), winning with a time of 34:46, ahead of the Swedish Albin Ridefelt (OK Linné) and the Czech Jan Prochazka (Kalevan Rasti), with more 1:39 and 2:42 than the French, respectively. “To dive into the course was a mind-blowing experience”, so says Thierry Gueorgiou, the big winner today: “It was everything but easy to get in the map. From the beginning, I felt 'attacked' for the terrain, with many short controls very closed in an extremely difficult space, demanding maximum concentration. The idea of running fast had to be relegated the second plan, instead of reading the map. I did no mistakes, I think, but I was not fast in the initial part. After that, in the longest legs, yes, it was possible to push with some speed, but it was a super race in an atypical terrain, I really enjoyed.”

Confessing not be waiting for “such a surprise”, Thierry insisted on noted that "what has been fantastic in all three days of the Portugal O 'Meeting is that in all of them we had different terrains and different challenges have been offered and this is what I think it's great, this diversity of terrains in Portugal, giving me possibility to test my shape at different levels.” Talking of another victory, Gueorgiou stated that “it is something always good, especially in a difficult stage and having the need to recover some disavantadge when I passed through the spectators control. Hence have been forced to 'push' hard in the final part of the race , something very important at this moment of my preparation for the European Championship.” To interrupt this impressive number of of victories at the Portugal O' Meeting is something that the athlete refuses: “I will run seriously the last stage. In this moment of my preparation, my interest goes towards getting the best time. Tomorrow we'll have a very long course with 16 km, the scale of 1:15000, we would certainly visit different types of terrains and will be a beautiful and fun stage, I'm sure.”


To win was a super-bonus!”

In the Women Elite class, the Sweden placed three athletes on the podium. Maria Magnusson (Sävedalens AIK) was the winner, with the incredible time of 34:50, while Annica Gustafsson (IFK Lidingö) was second, at distant 3:48 and the third placed was for another athlete of the IFK Lidingö, Helena Karlsson, with the record of 39:09. Simone Niggli (OK Tisaren) was far below of what she used to be, not going beyond the 8th place, 6:34 (!) behind the winner. “I didn't expect to win today at all. I was just expecting to do a good technical race, just like I did yesterday. That was my goal, but... I mean, to win was a super-bonus! And also to beat Simone Niggli, as I did for the first time ever and only four months after her retirement. I think it's OK (laughs).” This were the first words of Maria Magnusson, the big winner today, that talked also about to difficult “jump” into the course: “I stayed focused all the time. In a tricky terrain like this, you have to be calm and ignore that feeling that you're running too slowly. The important is to be concentrated all the time. I knew that and I knew that I was doing the right thing, I tried to be concentrated all the time and I gaigned there a lot of time”, Maria says.

There's still the chance to win the Portugal O' Meeting, which is seeing for the athlete “a possibility”. According her words, “the Swedish team had test competitions for the European Championships on day 1 and 3, and this days were very special for me. Tomorrow I expect a lot of fun, another nice competition and then we'll see.” Two final words, the first one to the very young Carolina Delgado (GD4C), the best Portuguese today with a time of 53:06 (62th overall), getting here the first victory of his career in a stage of the Portugal Cup in the Women Elite class. And also for the best Portuguese in Men Super Elite, the “returned” Diogo Miguel (Ori - Estarreja), ranked 58th at 12:39 to the winner.

Results

Men Super Elite
1. Thierry Gueorgiou (Kalevan Rasti) 34:46
2. Albin Ridefelt (OK Linné) 36:25 (+1:39)
3. Jan Prochazka (Kalevan Rasti) 37:28 (+2:42)
4. Hannu Airila (Kalevan Rasti) 38:15 (+3:29)
5. Oskar Sjöberg (OK Linné) 38:17 (+3:31)
6. Anton Östlin (MOKS) 38:21 (+3:35)
7. Lauri Sild (Hiidenkiertäjät) 38:53 (+4:07)
8. Olli-Markus Taivanen (Pellon Ponsi) 39:07 (+4:21)
9. Jonas Viytautas Gvildys (IGTISA) 39:17 (+4:31)
10. Antonio Martinez (Colivenc) 39:23 (+4:37)

Women Elite
1. Maria Magnusson (Sävedalens AIK) 34:50
2. Annica Gustafsson (IFK Lidingö) 38:38 (+3:48)
3. Helena Karlsson (IFK Lidingö) 39:09 (+4:19)
4. Marttiina Joensuu (SK Pohjantähti) 39:56 (+5:06)
5. Jannina Gustafsson (SK Uusi) 40:08 (+5:18)
6. Heini Wenman (SK Pohjantähti) 40:09 (+5:19)
7. Anna Josefine Engström (AOOK) 40:15 (+5:25)
8. Simone Niggli (OK Tisaren) 41:24 (+6:34)
9. Elin Mansson (IFK Göteborg) 41:25 (+6:35)
10. Ulrika Uotila (Koovee) 41:35 (+6:45)

Everything to check at http://www.pom.pt/en/.


Saudações orientistas.


Joaquim Margarido



Sunday, March 02, 2014

POM 2014: Thierry Gueorgiou and Simone Niggli reinforce the leadership



With the victories of Simone Niggli and Thierry Gueorgiou in today's stage, came to the end the first half of the Portugal O 'Meeting 2014. In the stage of Trail orienteering, Julio Guerra and Remo Madella were the big winners.


Unsurprisingly, so we can classify the victories of Thierry Gueorgiou (Kalevan Rasti) and Simone Niggli (OK Tisaren) in the second stage of the Portugal O 'Meeting 2014 held this morning in Arcozelo da Serra, in the municipality of Gouveia. The two athletes have an impressive series of victories in the most important Portuguese event, having given today a giant step for the achievement of the fourth POM, in the case of Thierry Gueorgiou and the sixth POM (fifth in a row) for Simone Niggli .

On a physical and technical demanding course, Thierry Gueorgiou was better than anyone else, winning with a time of 35:55. His teammate, the Czech Jan Prochazka, was second with more 2:25 while the third position was to the Spanish Andreu Blanes (Colivenc), 3:03 behind Gueorgiou. Antonio Martínez (Colivenc) was another Spanish athlete achieving a great result, getting the fifth position with a record of 40:23. In the Women Elite class, Simone Niggli won with a time of 40:19, while the Swedish Maria Magnusson (Sävedalens AIK) and the Finnish Outi Ojanen (Kangasala SK) were second and third, respectively, 2:13 and 2:37 behind the winner.


Remo Madella and Julio Guerra , the most precise

The Portugal O 'Meeting 2014 continued during the afternoon with the Trail orienteering course. Scoring for the TrailO Portugal Cup, the course was held at Nossa Senhora dos Verdes Park and was attended by all the top Portuguese athletes and also some reputed foreigners, cases of the Dutch Mark Heikoop, 5th place in WTOC 2012 and the winner of the POM 2013's TrailO stage, and the Italian Remo Madella (REM). And it was the last one the winner in the Open Class, with 17/19 points. The British Charles Bromley-Gardner (SLOW) finished in the second place with 16/19 points , as many as the portuguese João Pedro Valente (CPOC), ranked third. In the Paralympic Class, Júlio Guerra (DAHP) would confirm his appetite by Gouveia terrains, winning with a 'score' of 13/19 points, against 10/19 points of Claudio Poiares (CRN) and 9/19 of Ricardo Pinto (DAHP) .

One last word to the Urban Night Sprint, held in the early evening yesterday and, having in the Lithuanian Arturs Paulins (IGTISA) and in the Canadian Emily Kemp (PFU) the big winners, ahead of the Spanish Antonio Martinez and the French Lauriane Beauvisage (PFU), respectively.


Results

Men Super Elite
1. Thierry Gueorgiou (Kalevan Rasti) 35:55
2. Jan Prochazka (Kalevan Rasti) 38:20 (+2:25)
3. Andreu Blanes (Colivenc) 38:58 (+3:03)
4. Hannu Airila (Kalevan Rasti) 39:23 (+3:28)
5. Antonio Martinez (Colivenc) 40:23 (+4:28)
6. Severi Kymäläinen (Tampereen Pyrinto) 40:34 (+4:39)
7. Jussi Suna (TuMe) 40:46 (+4:51)
8. Julian Dent (IFK Lidingö) 41:05 (+5:10)
9. Jonas Vytautas Gvildys (IGTISA) 41:30 (+5:35)
10. Jan Petrzela (OK Kare) 41:42 (+5:47)

Women Elite
1. Simone Niggli (OK Tisaren) 40:19
2. Maria Magnusson (Sävedalens AIK) 42:32 (+1:13)
3. Outi Ojanen (Kangasala SK) 42:56 (+2:37)
4. Henna-Riika Haikonen (AnttU) 43:16 (+2:57)
5. Emily Kemp (PFU) 43:38 (+3:19)
6. Anna Nähri (IFK Göteborg) 44:30 (+4:11)
7. Karoliina Sundberg (Lynx) 44:41 (4:22)
8. Lisa Risby (OK Kare) 45:03 (+4:44)
9. Ulrika Uotila (Koovee) 46:52 (+6:33)
10. Kristin Lofgren (Varegg) 47:01 (+6:42)

Results and all the information at http://www.pom.pt/en/

Joaquim Margarido