After a great season in 2014, with two gold medals in the Relay of the European Championships and World Championships, Gustav Bergman will want to show that 2015 is the confirmation year. Two podiums in the opening round of the World Cup, in Tasmania, are an excellent presage, but much more is to come.
We could see you at your best, at the Portugal O’ Meeting, winning the first stage, but after that you “disappeared”. What happened?
Gustav Bergman (G. B.) - After the first day's race I got really sick, and spent the remainder of my days in Portugal in my hotel bed with 40 degrees fever.
Well, at least I believe that the first day was a good experience. Would you like to share with us your thoughts about it?
G. B. - The first day was good, but it wasn't amazing. I ran well, and just focused on running straight, and in the end I turned out to be fastest that day, which felt great.
How are you dealing with your preparation in the start of the season? Was it positive, the Australian experience, in the other side of the World, so early in the season?
G. B. - My winter training has been going really well (except for my portuguese fever...). I have had good, continuos run, and I really feel that I have taken a step further in developing my running. I have not been focusing at all on the World Cup stages in Tasmania, but instead training hard towards WOC in Scotland, and I will continue to do so, even though the domestic season starts now. I don't have a problem with having a World Cup round in January, but IOF has big issue to work with, regarding the status of the World Cup. If all the best runners don't run, then there is really no point in having a World Cup.
Let me go back to the golden season of 2014 for the Swedish Relay (EOC and WOC), with you performing perfectly in the decisive moments. What are the strongest memories that you keep from those two victories?
G. B. - It felt really good to win as a team. The faces of Jonas [Leandersson] and Fredrik [Johansson] when they met me at the run in - that was worth every training hour I've done towards WOC.
To go to Scotland and win the gold medal again in the Relay will be one of your major goals for the season, I am sure. I would like to know your feelings about that and also about the other goals.
G. B. - I am focusing a lot on WOC, and I am really looking forward to all the forest distances. Last year I focused a lot on the relay, which meant I skipped the Long Distance on both EOC and WOC, but this year the program is a little bit different, so I'll be able to run the Long Distance as well.
What will you need to succeed?
G. B. - I think that my technical and mental skills are good enough to win gold medals at WOC, but I feel that I need to improve a lot physically. I have a long term plan that I am working on and I am becoming better and better each year, so I am not too worried about that.
What would mean to you reaching the end of the season in the leadership of the IOF World Ranking?
G. B. - I don't care a lot about the World Ranking, and that doesn't mean that much. However, the new WOC rules make the World Ranking important so that you get a good starting time, so for that sake, it is important.
In the end of our talk, I would like to ask you to make a wish to all orienteers, now that the season is about to start.
G. B. - Good luck with your season, and hopefully you'll be able to do a few perfect races throughout the year!