If last week ended with the interview to the World Long Distance Champion, Thierry Gueorgiou, the week starts now with the interview to the female World Champion in the same distance, Ida Bobach. A revisitation of the achievements of the Danish athlete in Scotland, told in the first person.
How was your training time? Did you feel well prepared for the WOC? What goals have you drawn?
Ida Bobach (I. B.) - I felt very well prepared before the WOC. I could do all the physical training that I had planned without any injury problems, which I had before the two last WOCs. Technically I also felt very well prepared. During the last year I have spent almost two months in Scotland together with the Danish National Team. So before the competitions I had a lot of self-confidence and my goal was to bring home two medals.
In fact, you actually won two medals and I can understand your satisfaction. I would start by asking you to tell me about this extraordinary title of Long Distance?
I. B. - To win the gold medal at the Long Distance felt really amazing. After running 75 minutes all by myself it felt so great to hear the speaker saying that I was more than two minutes in lead. I didn’t expect to win but I had dreamed of it all year. The past year I had tried to focus on the Long Distance and I had had many good long distance trainings and competitions so I believed that I could do well. I am really proud that I could win this Long Distance in a very physically and technically challenging terrain, that is far from what I am training in at home. This win means a lot to me.
And what about the other gold, this time in the Relay? What feelings do you keep from the race?
I. B. - It was really great to succeed as a team. I think the Relay will always be something special. I really feel that I am not just running for myself but for the team. That really kept me motivated until the end of the race where I pushed as hard as I could so I could send Emma out with as many seconds as possible. I did not know that I was minutes ahead. It was a great moment when Maja and I could give Emma a big hug at the last control and run together with her all the way to the finish line.
How disappointed are you with the 4th place in the Middle Distance?
I. B. - I was quite disappointed after the Middle Distance. Not so much because I did not win a medal but more because of my race. I made a way too big mistake and was caught up by Annika Billstam. I actually had many very good periods during the race and I kept a high speed. After I was caught up by Annika I tried not to give up and fight all the way. I succeeded pretty well with that but unfortunately I had a lack of focus at one control and I was orienteering to a wrong one. Luckily I found out before I had lost too much time but Annika had gone away. I almost caught her up again in the end though.
What motivation do these results represent for the future?
I. B. - After winning these two gold medals I just feel like winning more. I don’t feel saturated with medals at all. I see every WOC as a new challenge with new and exciting terrains and courses. I think that I will keep my focus on the forest disciplines (Middle, Long and Relay) and hopefully I can bring some more medals home in the next couple of years.
What about the Danish team? Overall, what results do you highlight?
I. B. - The Danish team has really had an amazing Championship. So many people have been performing at their best. And not only the ones who got gold medals but also our young stars. I am really impressed with our three debutants: Cecilie Klysner, Jakob Edsen and Thor Nørskov. Cecilie and Jakob ran the sprint and were 14th and 22nd in the final while Thor ran the long distance and was 28th. That really impressed me. One of the highlights of the week was also the sprint-mix-relay-team. They had very big expectations and they really managed to focus on their own runs and had an amazing win with a big margin.
How do you rate the WOC 2015 from a technical and organizational point of view?
I. B. - I think the WOC2015 was a really good championship. It was very well organized and seemed really professional. Of course there are always small things that could have been better but the terrains and courses were of great quality. The arenas were really good and it was cool to see so many cheering spectators. The Brits are really good at cheering and the atmosphere at the arenas was great. It makes the competitors feel even more excited and important.
If I asked you a moment - the great achievement of the Championships -, what would your choice be?
I. B. - It was a really great moment for me when I came to the last control on the Long Distance and I saw Søren Bobach, my brother. He gave me a Danish flag and told me that I had a big lead. It felt great.
The season is approaching an end. What are the goals for what remains of the season?
I. B. - I will try to be at my best in autumn, at the World Cup, in Switzerland. I am currently no. 2 in the World Cup so I hope that I can keep that position or maybe take the lead. But I always think it is difficult to peak right in autumn because there are so many national races and the Danish Championships where I would also like to run at my level.
[Photo: WOC 2015 / woc2015.org]