After a start of season in Australia, Olav Lundanes chose Portugal to resume his preparation. To the Portuguese Orienteering Blog, the athlete talks about the present moment and sets his main goals for 2015.
Another stay in Portugal and another participation in the Norte Alentejano O’ Meeting, this time with the second place overall. Are you happy with this experience?
Olav Lundanes (O. L.) - It was a better race on the first day. In the second day I was quite tired and I also did a one and a half minute mistake. The maps and the courses were really interesting, some forest parts and some green were great, I liked it a lot. About my second place, I don’t blame it. I think Oleksandr was at a high level in the decisive day.
Fifteen days later, we could see you in the Portugal O' Meeting.
O. L. - It was a good training in interesting terrains, even if I got injured in the third day and skipped the last day of the Portugal O' Meeting. But it was a good training time indeed.
How do you evaluate the time you spent here?
O. L. - It was really nice and great, this first period here in Portugal. The trainings have been really good, and also the maps and the courses.
O. L. - Because here we can always find a lot of good maps and well organized competitions. The training camps are at a very high level. That’s the reason why I came to Portugal at this time of the season, and also because of the weather. It’s the best.
You’ve been in Australia, for the World Cup. Was it worth it, such a long trip, the jet lag, everything?
O. L. - It was a nice experience in Australia. The competitions weren’t top level but the terrains were quite interesting and my performances were… Well, they were okay. This time of the season, what I expect the most is to train well, to orienteer well. The shape can be better, of course, but there isn’t an excuse to make mistakes.
Looking at the winter period, where do you need to improve?
O. L. - I think it’s my physical condition. There is still a lot to work on. I need to manage to train continuously over a long time and that’s my main focus.
O. L. - Now I’ll go home for a short period and then I’ll go to South Africa, for training in altitude. This year we’ll have a more quiet Spring season than normal and the big first competitions before the World Championships will be the Tiomila and the World Cup at home, in Halden, and in Sweden, and, of course, the Jukola. And that’s all before the World Championships.
Would you share with us the big goals of the season?
O. L. - The big goal of the season is to win two medals in the World Championships, in Scotland. I’ll fight for the gold in the Middle Distance and Long Distance. About the Relay, we’ll see. I think it’s tough to fight for the gold if you run too many races. So the best would be for the Relay to take place in the end of the program of the World Championships, but this year it's in the middle, so we'll have to see how it works out.
You're currently the leader of the IOF World Ranking. Does it mean something special to you?
O. L. - It’s a little bit strange. I felt like I would be better before, like in 2012. I don’t know… I think the old ranking was better. The new formula is a little bit tricky, it’s all about the European Championships and the World Championships. It’s a little bit sad in some way but, of course, it’s more fair. If you win the gold both in the Middle and Long, there’s no discussion, you’re the number one. As long as I can see, Hubmann won two gold medals in the European, Thierry won the gold in European and World Champions, just like me, well, it’s hard to compare. But I want to beat them!
So, two gold medals in the World Championships and the lead of the World Ranking at the end of the season and... that’s it (laughs).
O. L. - Yes, that’s it. There’s no discussion about that (laughs).
I would like to ask you to make a wish for all orienteers at the beginning of the season.
O. L. - A lot of good races and have as much fun as possible. That’s what Orienteering is about.