Svetlana Mironova was, undeniably, one of the biggest revelations of last season, by winning the Long Distance title at the WOC in Italy. Now, that “a new season is starting and it's time to forget the past and start to work again”, as she says, the Portuguese Orienteering Blog talk to her, trying to understand her ambitions and goals to 2015.
You made history last WOC, achieving for Russia the first individual gold medal ever in the women class. How present is that moment in your mind?
Svetlana Mironova (S. M.) – I worked really hard last year and I'm so glad for my family, my coach and my sport-school, my city and my country, that we had reached such great success together. It was very important to all of us. Actually, I didn't feel extremely satisfied that day after the race and it's the same today. I just feel satisfaction for my work and for the quality of my orienteering at WOC. But a new season is starting and it's time to forget the past and start to work again.
How important was the Long Distance title for your career?
S. M. - First of all, I've got great confidence in myself. It is amazing to find that you can be one of the best orienteers in the world. I was chosen as IOF Athlete of Month, in autumn, and I won the “Athlete of Year 2014” title in my home region (Nizhni Novgorod). This is, of course, a really big motivation to continue training and improving. The last title gives additional opportunities to improve orienteering in my region and my success made orienteering more popular in my city and in whole Russia. I'm very happy for that.
How “heavy” is your gold medal?
S. M. - I feel now much more attention to my person, which used to be very unusual to me. Soon after the WOC 2014, my friends laughed at me when I was asked every time by strangers who greeted or waved at me. I really didn't understand from where they knew me (laughs). But I like to meet people, to communicate... I didn't think too much about this, yet. I just do what I love to do now - I run orienteering!
You started the season in Australia, in the beginning of January. How did you feel running so early in the year and in the other side of the planet? How do you evaluate the experience?
S. M. - Australia was amazing! I was so happy just visiting it, to see the kangaroos and other native animals, birds, etc, so I think it was at least as important as to run World Cup. But I've never run such an important competition in January. It was very hard for me, because I finished previous season just in November with Russian Championships. My coach and I decided to take it easy, and don't think about the World Cup's results too much. Of course, I wasn't in the best shape, but I got great experience out of it, because the terrain wasn't easy and every course was technical and difficult. It was also difficult to change the time zone in 8 hours, when you feel unable to wake up in the morning and can't go to bed in the evening...but it just takes time for adaptation.
How do you feel your shape at the moment? What is good and what do you need to improve?
S. M. - Well... It is better to ask my coach (laughs). I trust her, and I think that it is too early to evaluate my shape.
What are your next important steps before the WOC?
S. M. - I must run the selection races if I want to run more than one race at WOC. And I've already planned the World Cup in June. And of course, Tiomila and Jukola will be important for me and my club.
What will be the key to succeed at WOC?
S. M. - I don't know, I've never been in Scotland before. I don't know what kind of terrain is there, I hope I will do a Training Camp there and will try to recognize what key is necessary (laughs). I suppose that the terrain will be everything but easy, both technically and for running. It makes me think that WOC will be very exciting!
In the beginning of a new season, I would ask you to make a wish to all orienteers all over the world.
S. M. - I wish to all orienteers to enjoy our beautiful and clever sport and do it very well!