After Nadiya Volynska and Lucas Basset, the Portuguese Orienteering Blog calls to its tribune one more Vice-World Champion. Or, to be more precise, one Vice-World Champion twice. To the silver medal won in the Relay, the Norwegian Mari Fasting joined a second place in the Long Distance, achieving her first individual medal ever. But let us hear what she has to tell us about this.
How was your training time? Did you feel well prepared for the WOC? What goals have you drawn?
Mari Fasting (M. F.) - My technical preparation has been good for this year's WOC. I have altogether been in Scotland four times before this Championships, and had about 45 technical trainings in the Scottish forest. The physical preparation has been more challenging, with some injuries during the spring. My goals were to take one individual and one Relay medal so I'm very satisfied with achieving my goal.
Would you like to talk about your amazing silver Medal in the Long Distance? Did you expect it?
M. F. - I knew that the Glen Affric terrain did suit me well. And after almost being at the podium at the last WOC, I was confident that, with a strong race, I would be on top 3. After a stable start, I almost forgot to run to the 4th control because I was looking at the route choice to the long leg – 5th. But I realized it and got the 4th before taking the long leg. I was struggling a bit in the middle part of the long leg trying to find a good route. From the 5th to the 8th controls I had good navigation and pace. But running towards the 9th I felt a bit tired and did a parallel mistake and got too far from my way to the control, having to struggle through a lot of fallen trees, and loosing a lot of time. I then realized I had to focus and run really good the last part to have any chance of getting a good place, and managed to keep myself together and do a really good end of race from 10th to the Finnish.
And what about the other silver, this time in the Relay? What feelings do you keep from the race?
M. F. - The Relay silver was as good as gold to us, Norwegian girls. No other nation had any chance against the Danish girls. I was very happy with my performance and that all, on the Norwegian team, did show that we all are good orienteers.
How do you feel about the 10th place in the Middle Distance?
M. F. - I was really disappointed with my Middle Distance. I knew that I could do a good race and have a good result. But I was a bit surprised that the forest in the start of the race was so dense and I didn't manage to adapt my speed and do a proper technical job. I did loose a lot on the 1st, 2nd and 4th controls. The end of the race was OK.
What motivation do these results represent for the future?
M. F. - It's always challenging to do a very good race at the WOC individual races. I have not yet managed to do so. For next year this will be my goal, and then hopefully I will be on top of the podium. :)
What about the Norwegian team? Overall, what results do you highlight?
M. F. - For the Norwegian team the Relays are always one of the highlights.
How do you rate the WOC 2015 from a technical and organizational point of view?
M. F. - I have only been running in the forest and therefore will not comment on the sprint races. But the forest races have had a very good technical level. They were challenging and fun courses. It was nice to have a lot of gaffling at the relay for us who compete, but not so nice for the public to follow. The one thing I think the organizers should have done better is giving the public/audience the possibility to follow the race live! There should have been wifi at the arena all days! (Or a better way to follow up on the results.)
If I asked you a moment - the great achievement of the Championships -, what would your choice be?
M. F. - My best moment this Championships was the morning prior to the Long Distance. One of the boys in my team told me that he really believed in me and that I had to remember that I was one of the strongest girls in the field. This helped me a lot, especially at the long leg to the 5th control after my first mistake to the 4th.
The season is approaching an end. What are your goals for what remains of the season?
M. F. - Since I didn't run any World Cup during the spring, I will have no chance in the World Cup overall. So, after finishing this WOC, I will focus on the Norwegian Championships before I focus in the WOC 2016.
[Photo: World of O / twitter.com/worldofo]