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)