Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Nadiya Volynska: "Yes, I expected a medal"

With the second place achieved in the Sprint, Nadiya Volynska offered Ukraine its first ever medal in the Women class of World Championships. A historic moment that we revisit today.

How was your training time? Did you feel well prepared for the WOC?

Nadiya Volynska (N. V.) - To start from the beginning, in the autumn of 2014, during the Swedish Championships, I injured myself and didn't realise, for a long time, what was wrong. But a training camp in Scotland was already booked and I couldn't afford to stay home and go there some other time (lose the flight tickets, getting visa is expensive, etc.). It was during the camp that my doctor told me that I had a fracture in the fibula bone so I had to use crutches for one month. Good or bad, I decided to face my feelings and the real situation. And act: I was walking our o-courses during the training camp, usually about two hours per training. It was the only camp in Scotland for me and the Ukrainian team, but it was better than nothing. So, as you see, it wasn't the perfect start on the way to WOC, but I still had a lot of time to recover, so it was no panic!

Would you like to talk about your amazing 2nd place in the Sprint? Were you expecting it?

N. V. - My goals were the Sprint and Middle Distance. I knew, from the beginning, that it was possible to get a medal. After my 4th place in the Sprint at WOC 2014 I was really disappointed that I was so close to a medal but still so far from it. However, it was a huge motivation for me to become better, so this year I felt really confident about myself and believing that I could do better than last year. So, yes, I expected a medal, which I think was really important for Ukraine in many aspects. It was the first individual women medal from WOC for Ukraine and, undoubtedly, a historical moment.

And the Middle Distance and Long Distance? Are you happy with your results?

N. V. - At the Middle Distance I felt really bad, having no power in my body but I knew if I controlled my technique I could reach the top 6. So, when it happened, I was actually really happy with the result, but after checking the GPS I figured that my mistake on the way to the 4th control was fatal. But what if... Don't wave your fists after the fight… That is orienteering. The Long Distance was the last course at the Championships and I wanted to remember it as a good moment checking if I achieved that when crossing the finish line - I wanted to feel satisfaction about my performance, my technique above all. And because after almost the whole WOC program I couldn't really demand miracles from my body, I focused just on doing my best at the moment. So I'm quite happy with that result, even if it is a new kick and I feel that I can do better.

What motivation do these results represent for the future?

N. V. - Ukraine is becoming a really strong rival for other nations in the orienteering world and not just on the Men's side, which is good. I hope it can motivate the younger generation in Ukraine to develop and become the best in the world, in the future. The Ukrainian team is - THE TEAM! With very limited - but very effective - resources, fighting with injuries and bureaucracy, having an unpaid running-coach [Oleksandr Kratov] and not old fashion thinking “stacked in the eighties” person, supporting and helping each other in the team and potential team members to become better in orienteering, all of us went through this and we did it together, no matter what (not really smart) people say. Everyone did their best on the way to WOC and everybody can be and will be better. I’m proud of MY TEAM OF UKRAINE!

How do you rate the WOC 2015 from a technical and organizational point of view?

N. V. - There have been some organizational troubles but everything was dealt with quite well. Since the very beginning we got really good contact with the WOC staff which helped us a lot on the way and during the WOC. I liked the touch free system and the great TV broadcast. The weather was nearly perfect, I think, it was fun at the banquet (haven't been there since 2009) and the atmosphere at the arenas was amazing. I just want to thank you all for your good work!

If I asked you to choose a moment - the great achievement of the Championships -, what would be your choice?

N. V. - If you mean my achievement, it would be my medal, no doubt. If you mean overall, it would be - Denmark's girls!

The season's end is approaching. What are the goals for what remains of the season?

N. V. - I'm planning to run the last stage of the World Cup in Switzerland (I have no idea what my position is in the Rankings). But I still have the Swedish Championship and other club Relays left as well. It is going to be fun!

[Photo courtesy of Nadiya Volynska]

Joaquim Margarido

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