It started as a “family matter” and it is now “a very serious matter”. Orienteering entered in Isia Basset's life at the age of eight and revolutionized it completely. Today, she is one of the rising stars of French and World orienteering and her ambitions have a perfect parallelism to her enormous talent. Come know her a little better.
How did you meet Orienteering?
Isia Basset (I. B.) - I started doing Orienteering very young, at the age of 8, at the time my parents and my older brother began to take interest in the sport. I liked it, I participated in many national races, but it was only at the age of junior when I started training more seriously with my older brother Lucas [Basset], in search of a place in the National Team of France.
And why Orienteering? Why not Athletics or Swimming?
I. B. - Well, firstly it was because Orienteering was a family matter, was something particular, that joined us, leading us to the forest to do something that we really liked. I learned to run later, but I stayed focused in the orienteering. I've never done Athletics. And why not? I do not know. I know that Orienteering is a sport that pleases me greatly. When you are invaded by Orinteering you can't ever stop.
What responsibility has your brother in the process?
I. B. - He has a very big responsibility. Mainly because it was he who dragged us to the races every weekend. After that, also my two younger brothers started doing Orienteering. Anyway, we are four siblings and we all are in Orienteering on a very serious way.
Despite being too young, I'm sure that you have had a special moment in Orienteering. Would you like to share it with us?
I. B. - The first special moment was my first Junior World Championships in 2011. I managed to exceed my own expectations and I realized that, with training, I could get really interesting results. Currently, my reference is the World Junior Championships in 2013, in Czech Republic, where I got the 4th place in the Long Distance and the 5th place in the Middle Distance. Those were two good results and I hope to repeat them in the coming years.
This is not the first time that we have seen you at the Portugal O 'Meeting. Why the Portugal O' Meeting?
I. B. - This is my third participation, having been here in 2010 [Figueira da Foz] and 2013 [Idanha-a-Nova]. The Portugal O' Meeting is a very interesting competition, which always attracts a large number of participants. In France, for example, we don't have an event like this, with such strong competition, particularly speaking of Women Elite. And even though I live in a region of France where the snow isn't usually a problem, it is always a pleasure to run in these conditions. Portugal is perfect!
How do you rate this organization of the Portugal O' Meeting 2015?
I. B. - I really enjoyed. I didn't see any mistake in the organization and the competitions were very interesting, even if the terrain was technically very accessible. But it is a very beautiful forest, very clean, where you can run easily. For me it's specially important because I feel that there is a lot of work to do in terms of my physical shape. The shape is still not the best and competitions of this level allow us to understand what to do.
Are you happy with your results?
I. B. - Yes, very happy. I begin to explore my potential to the maximum and achieving results that make me very happy.
What are the major goals for this season?
I. B. - Last year, I was at the World Championships in Italy, and I would love to be able to repeat the experience, being in this year's World Championships, in Scotland. I can't say, at the moment. In what or which distances I will participate, as I must, necessarily, have good results in the selection races that will be in the World Cup. So, really important for me, there will be two events this season and I have, for one of each, a precise goal.
I. B. - Very motivated. Comparing to last year, I could see a huge improvement over this last week. I will still stay a few more days in Portugal, we will make some more technical training, but it was a good start to the season and that opens excellent perspectives.
Thierry Gueorgiou is one of the outstanding figures of Portugal O' Meeting and he was absent, this year, by injury. Would you like to leave him a word?
I. B. - Thierry is the French Team's mentor. He made our level rise enormously and we all are very grateful for that. Right now, I just hope that he can quickly restore from his injury and that he may be at the highest level in the World Championships.
And a word to all orienteers worldwide.
I. B. - A good season for everyone and continue to love this sport.