Thursday, August 20, 2015

Svetlana Mironova: "Orienteering is my life now and I want to continue, to improve"

Her presence in the World Championships were in doubt, but Svetlana Mironova never stopped believing. In the end, a bronze medal with golden streaks and a pair of beautiful moments, here recalled with intensity and passion.

How was your training time? Did you feel well prepared for the WOC? What goals have you drawn?

Svetlana Mironova (S. M.) - This year was complicated. I planned a couple of Training Camps in Scotland, but I was injured just before the first one, so I spent my time there just walking. This injury took a lot of time finally and my coach and I had doubts about the possibility to enter the WOC at all. But we decided that we had to try. We had to change the trainings in a way that my knee could recover well but at the same time to follow the training program as much as possible. We had to plan every training carefully! A couple of weeks before the WOC I was still in doubt if I would be ready to compete or not, but my coach made me believe in myself again.

Would you like to talk about your bronze Medal in the Long Distance? Did you expect it?

S. M. - As I told you before, to participate in the WOC was out of question three months ago. But I wanted so much to run. Honestly, to get the Bronze this year was finally more difficult than the Gold of last year. Not so many people know what I went through this year but some of them who were going this way with me tell me that this Bronze is “in gold colours”. Yes, this Bronze is so important. It is a victory over me and over my injury.

And what about the 13tht place in the Sprint? What feelings do you keep from the race?

S. M. - Actually, this is my best WOC-sprint! I have only one better sprint result which is the EOC 2012, where I was 7th. This year I was selected for all individual races and forest-relay. But I needed to think well what I wanted more: to run everything or to run better. My injury made me choose. My coach and I decided to refuse to run the Middle Distance to let me recover better before the Relay. I think it was a good decision. We built the WOC program as a “stair”, every step from Sprint Qualification until the Long Distance being tougher and tougher. I knew that I wouldn't win the Sprint so I decided that I needed to do almost perfect orienteering at the maximum speed I can run in the city. And even with a 12 seconds mistake I’m quite satisfied, because I was better than last year when I was in better shape (last year I was behind the top 20 in Sprint). I like sprint, its dynamic and beauty. And I’m sure that my Middle is waiting for me too.

How do you feel about the “mp” in the Relay?

S. M. - Relay was a bad surprise! Russian women’s team has never been disqualified before. We started well with Natalia, she was extremely fast and even with a really big mistake she came in 2nd place. I knew that I needed to run a clear race with no mistakes, first of all. But another thing happened – my SI “touch free” was broken after the 1st control. I lost some seconds at 2nd control misunderstanding what happened and then I needed to punch every control by the normal way. So, I understood that I was losing seconds because of that and I needed to be faster. Finally, I came 2nd with the same advantage over the third team (I won’t speak about the Danish, they were extremely fast). Something happened with Tatiana, I don’t know what, she is really the most experienced runner in our team… but things happen, and this is a Relay, always unpredictable. At first, after she finished, we were shocked but then I decided that there was already nothing we could do and the most important thing should be to keep energy and emotions for the Long Distance. So, we just forgot it. I was satisfied with my 2nd leg because I realized that I could run as fast as other strong girls and it was important for me that day.

What motivation do these results represent for the future?

S. M. - I wouldn’t like to make the question this way. Orienteering is my life now and I want to continue, to improve. I’d like to do it the best way. Just because I like my life.

What about the Russian team? Overall, what results do you highlight?

S. M. - This was a difficult year for our team. But I see that my team mates are really hard-working. We were happy to watch the Sprint Mixed Relay where we got an almost impossible Bronze. It was so great and I’m proud of Galina [Vinogradova], who did a great job at the last leg.

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

S. M. - Well… amazing! I think these were the most “TV-highlighted” championships ever. From the spectator’s point of view, it was really well organized. Every race was set with a tough end, which is better visible for spectators. A lot of cameras, running operators (even so far away from the Arena at Long!), I think TV broadcasts were the most interesting ever! Another moment is the way from Quarantine to Pre-start at the Long Distance. One of the buses fell into the ditch and that made it impossible to drive other buses to Pre-start, so we walked 20 minutes on foot. But what can I say? It was the only way to organize the course at this really unique terrain! So, no complaints!

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

S. M. - The title of the WOC achievement I’d like to give to the moment (really, a moment) of admiration when I came to the highest point of the first long leg at the Long Distance and saw the beautiful landscape of surroundings – forrestless mountains with small areas of snow not melting even in August, brightly green in the sun. I saw that only one second because I needed to continue the race but even this second made me admire the wonderful nature of the northern Scotland! (Sorry for the runners who chose the right route, they couldn’t see it).

Honestly, I’d like to notice that the terrain of Long Distance that has been offered this year is really unique. It was the most challenging and demanding day of the WOC, first of all, a terrain without roads, an extremely tough ground. It was really great and I’d even like to make the women’s course also for 1hour30min winner time, as in men’s course. So, I’d like to announce Glen Affric as the Achievement of WOC 2015!

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

S. M. - I’d like to spend the last part of season with my preparation for the CISM in which I’ll participate this year. It will be an exciting trip and, I hope, a great experience too.

[Foto: Team Russia Orienteering /]

Joaquim Margarido

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