João Pedro Valente and Ricardo Pinto were the big winners of the Invacare PreO, a stage of Trail Orienteering which was part of the competitive program of Portugal O' Meeting 2015. Offering great technical challenges and showing a high competitive quality, the Invacare PreO had the participation of 92 athletes, the highest number ever in Portugal in a TrailO competition.
On his speech during the Invacare PreO's Prize Giving Ceremony, Silvério Regalado, Mayor of Vagos, was keen on demonstrating his pleasure to receive at Vagos a TrailO event, in what he designated as “the inclusive day of Portugal O 'Meeting 2015 “. And so it was!
Competing side by side, 83 athletes in the Open Class and 9 athletes in the Paralympic class, embraced with energy the twenty challenges offered over 1200 meters of magnificent forest, with the “bonus” of a timed station with three problems preceding the formal course. Numbers that, in total, accounted for the largest participation ever in TrailO events in Portugal, rewarding the technical quality and organizational ability of Clube de Orientação de Estarreja in this second stage of the Portugal Trail Orienteering League Invacare 2015.
Hard fight for the victory
In the Open Class, the fight for victory was colossal, with João Pedro Valente (CPOC) and Jorge Baltazar (GDU Azoia) reaching the finish tied on points, after a whole of correct answers. Thanks to João Pedro Valente's speed and accuracy in the timed controls, he was able to beat his direct opponent. The third position would belong to Mark Heikoop (Aligots) with 19 points, the same as Jorge Gonçalves (CPOC), but also with a better performance in the timed controls. Portugal would still put three athletes in the five following positions, with the Italian Remo Madella, winner of the Portugal O 'Meeting last year, being ranked in the 10th place.
To João Pedro Valente, “there was a moment when I felt that the victory was not sure, but the motivation was there. Like almost all victories, it was a hard one. Indeed, if not, they aren't good wins.” Speaking about his course and the technical challenge he faced, Valente made a point stating that “apart from one or two controls, it was a great pleasure, which is not normal because we are always left with some questions here and there. This time, I felt confident throughout the race and had the perfect idea that was taking the right decisions and I enjoyed”. The last words are addressed to the organization of the Invacare PreO: “I have been able, personally, to congratulate the course setter because I think this was one of the best courses that I have participated in, where all the controls were challenging and demanded hard thinking”, he said.
The return of Ricardo Pinto
In the Paralympic class, Ricardo Pinto (DAHP) made his debut in the season with a win, finishing the course with 12 correct answers, against 11 points of Carlos Riu Noguerol (Individual), currently the Spanish champion in TrailO, in the Paralympic class. The winner of the previous edition of Portugal O' Meeting, Júlio Guerra (DAHP) ended his course in the third place with 9 points.
In the end, the most international of all Portuguese TrailO athletes, Ricardo Pinto, spoke about his victory: “I am particularly pleased with my victory. It was the first time I won the Portugal O'Meeting's TrailO stage but, above all, because it was my first competition this season after overcoming a number of difficulties and it was not easy to join with the maps after such a long absence”. As for his particular performance, the athlete admits: “I'm a bit disappointed with my performance because there were controls that I shouldn't have failed. Anyway, the result turned out to be better than the performance, but it is still a motivation to continue to embrace this sport that I love”, he said.
1. João Pedro Valente (CPOC) 20 points (16 seconds)
2. Jorge Baltazar (GDU Azoia) 20 points (34 seconds)
3. Mark Heikoop (Aligots) 19 points (29 seconds)
4. Luís Goncalves (CPOC) 19 points (37 seconds)
5. Cláudio Tereso (ATV) 18 points (25 seconds)
6. Héctor Lorenzo (El Imperdible) 18 points (33 seconds)
7. Tiago Martins Aires (GafanhOri) 18 points (91 seconds)
8. Antonio Hernández (Alcon Orientación) 18 points (101 seconds)
9. Inês Domingues (COC) 17 points (20 seconds)
10. Remo Madella (WIOMASI) 17 points (22 seconds)
1. Ricardo Pinto (DAHP) 12 points (177 seconds)
2. Carlos Riu Noguerol (Single ESP) 11 points (208 seconds)
3. Júlio Guerra (DAHP) 9 points (147 seconds)
4. José Laiginha Leal (DAHP) 8 points (165 seconds)
5. Cristiana Caldeira (CMRRC - Rovisco Pais) 8 points (243 seconds)
6. António Amorim (DAHP) 8 points (250 seconds)
7. Arsénio Reis (CMRRC - Rovisco Pais) 7 points (330 seconds)
8. Ana Paula Marques (DAHP) 5 points (105 seconds)
9. Cláudio Poiares (DAHP) 5 points (183 seconds)
Complete results and further information at www.pom.pt/en/.