Saturday, January 31, 2015

NAOM 2015: Olav Lundanes and Nadiya Volynska winners at Marvão's WRE Sprint



Amazing! This is the best word to define the Sprint stage on the second half of the NAOM’s opening day. Hold at one of the most beautiful places in the World for Sprint distance, the fight was hard in both classes, with Olav Lundanes and Nadiya Volynska getting tasteful victories.


After an intense and rough forest stage, the Orienteering “tribe” moved to the medieval city of Marvão, within which walls took place the Sprint WRE, stage counting for the IOF’s Sprint Orienteering World Ranking. Separated by twelve classes of competition, plus two open classes, almost 500 participants accepted the intense challenge, both technical and physical, through the neverending of narrow streets and little stairs.

In the Men Elite class, Olav Lundanes was unstoppable once again, reaching a win by margin that should be considered misleading, as an oversight of the Ukrainian Oleksandr Kratov led to his disqualification. Otherwise, the final difference between the two athletes, set in 13 seconds, would show more correctly what happened in the cold afternoon of Marvão. In second place, the young Spaniard Eduardo Gil was a pleasant surprise, reaching the second position just one minute after Lundanes. The Estonian Sergei Rjabyshkin was third, with a time of 16:10, while Tiago Romão, in 6th place with a time of 16:57, was the best Portuguese.

Nadyia Volynska, in the Women Elite class, took her revenge from the second-place finish in the morning, reaching the victory with a time of 15:06. The French Léa Vercellotti was second, 15 seconds after Volynska, while the Ukrainian Olha Panchenko got the third place, with more 30 seconds than the winner. Patricia Casalinho was the best Portuguese athlete, finishing in 5th place with a time of 17:53.


Results

Men Elite class (3.0 km, 24 controls)
1. Olav Lundanes (NOR Halden SK) 14:58
2. Eduardo Gil (ESP Frontela-O) 15:58
3. Sergei Rjabyshkin (EST Paimion Rasti) 16:10
4. Artem Panchenko (UKR IFK Mora) 16:27
5. Daniel Portal (ESP CODAN Extremadura) 16:48
6. Tiago Romão (GafanhOri) 16:57
7. Miguel Silva (CMo Funchal) 17:01
8. Valentin Novikov (Russia) 17:20
9. Alvaro Prieto (ESP Malarruta) 18:20
9. Diogo Miguel (Ori-Estarreja) 18:20

Women Elite class (2.4 km, 18 controls)
1. Nadiya Volynska (UKR OK Orion) 15:06
2. Léa Vercellotti (FRA Maximus) 15:21
3. Olha Panchenko (UKR IFK Mora) 15:36
4. Yulia Novikova (Russia) 16:28
5. Patricia Casalinho (COC) 17:53
6. Ekaterina Savkina (RUS ESSU) 18:17
7. Magalie Cordeiro Mendes (COC) 19:08
8. Yevheniya Chystyakova (Maximus) 20:25
9. Catarina Ruivo (COC) 20:37
10. Maiki Jaadmaa (EST OK Võru) 20:47

Complete results and further information at http://www.gd4caminhos.com/en/.

Joaquim Margarido

NAOM 2015: Victories of Olav Lundanes and Olha Panchenko in the opening stage


As expected, Olav Lundanes was the big winner of the opening stage of Norte Alentejano O’ Meeting 2015, with a comfortable advantage over his more direct opponents. In the Women Elite class, the surprise gives by the name of Olha Panchenko, beating the favourite, Nadiya Volynska. As for the Portuguese, Manuel Horta and Magalie Cordeiro Mendes were the best in their respective Elite classes.


Vale da Silvana's map received, this morning, the first stage of NAOM 2015. Today’s Middle Distance course was held in the same place were, seven years ago, took place the last stage of NAOM’s second edition, offering a good number of technical challenges in fast terrains. Giving to his race an impressive pace, the Norwegian Olav Lundanes, leader of the IOF’s World Ranking, concluded in the first position, with 33:47. The Ukranian Oleksandr Kratov and Artem Panchenko finished second and third, respectively, with more 0:55 and 1:32 than the winner. Manuel Horta, fifth placed with 38:23, was the best Portuguese athlete.

In the Women Elite class the surprise answer by the name of Olha Panchenko, from Ukraine, the big winner with 34:04. Another Ukranian, Nadiya Volynska, 12th placed in the IOF’s World Ranking and big favourite, was second with more 8 seconds than Panchenko. In the next positions, finished the French Léa Vercellotti with the time of 38:47. Magalie Cordeiro Mendes (COC) registered the best time between the Portuguese athletes, finishing 5th with 43:21. This stage registered around 650 participants, from 15 different nations.


The winners' impressions

To Olav Lundanes, “it was a great race. Maybe a little more green than expected, which made it more technical, but it was very nice, very tricky and I enjoyed it. At this time of the season and in the end of a tough training camp here at Alentejo, it is perfect to have this kind of competitions. About tomorrow, we'll see. It will be hard to beat Oleksandr [Kratov].”

Olha Panchenko was also very happy with her performance: “I think everyone wants to win. Before the race, I try to concentrate on my Orienteering and I knew that, if I get a good race, I could win. That was my formula to reach the best time, although I can say that wasn't a perfect race. I did a couple of mistakes but it was very interesting. I must confess that I didn't expect such a technical terrain. I was concentrated all the time, I had to push both my legs and my mind all the time. Tomorrow we'll see. There's a big group of candidates to the victory, Nadiya Volynska, Léa Vercellotti, Yulia Novikova... Anything can happen”.


Results

Men Elite class (6,5 km, 28 controls)
1. Olav Lundanes (NOR Halden SK) 33:47
2. Oleksandr Kratov (UKR OK Orion) 34:42
3. Artem Panchenko (UKR IFK Mora) 35:19
4. Valentin Novikov (Russia) 35:24
5. Manuel Horta (GafanhOri) 38:23
6. Eduardo Gil (ESP Frontela-O) 39:46
7. Fábio Kuczkoski (BRA ADAAN) 40:14
8. Daniel Portal (ESP CODAN Extremadura) 40:19
9. Pedro Nogueira (ADFA) 41:26
10. Sergei Rjabyshkin (EST Paimion Rasti) 41:40

Women Elite class (5,1 km, 20 controls)
1. Olha Panchenko (UKR IFK Mora) 34:04
2. Nadiya Volynska (UKR OK Orion) 34:12
3. Lea Vercellotti (FRA Maximus) 38:47
4. Yulia Novikova (Russia) 40:46
5. Magalie Mendes (COC) 43:21
6. Ekaterina Savkina (RUS ESSU) 43:33
7. Patricia Casalinho (COC) 43:47
8. Stepanka Betkova (ADM Ori-Mondego) 46:50
9. Andreia Silva (COC) 51:27
10. Inês Pinto (GafanhOri) 53:29

Complete results and further information at http://www.gd4caminhos.com/en/.


Joaquim Margarido

Thursday, January 29, 2015

NAOM 2015: Event brings to Portugal the World's nº 1



Castelo de Vide and Marvão are ready to host, this weekend, the ninth edition of the Norte Alentejano O' Meeting. The event awaits more than seven hundred participants for two well oriented days, a map and a compass in everyone's hands.


For the ninth year in a row, the Grupo Desportivo dos Quatro Caminhos leaves Matosinhos, its natural habitat, carrying the Orienteering flag to the beautiful and hospitable landscapes of Alto Alentejo. Regional project that started at Niza, way back in 2007, the Norte Alentejano O' Meeting extended, year after year, its range of action and its possible to see, in our days, its brand of quality also imprinted at Castelo de Vide, Alter do Chão, Crato, Portalegre and Marvão. Hence, the 2015 edition can be understood as a revisitation, since Castelo de Vide and Marvão are not hosting the event for the first time.

With two stages scoring for the FootO VITALIS Portuguese League 2015 and still one Sprint stage counting for the IOF's Sprint Orienteering World Ranking, the Norte Alentejano O' Meeting 2015 registers until now more than seven hundred entries representing fifteen different nations. Numbers who set in Fernando Costa, the Event Director, high expectations: "Mainly, we want those who visit us to enjoy the courses and maps and leave this region with an image of quality, where the sports and the tourism go hand in hand and will play a very important role in the future”.


Olav Lundanes is the headliner

Although the Grupo Desportivo dos Quatro Caminhos offers a wide and diverse range of annual events, the NAOM is a reference for the project's tradition and originality, representing the best way to disseminate the sport. Organizing an event of this nature is anything but easy, especially when the “comfort zone” is located more than 300 kilometres away, but there are also extremely positive aspects, namely “the very strong bonds of friendship created over nine years with fabulous people who love their region”, as Fernando Costa points out.

Another positive aspect has to do with the confidence on the event and its organisational crew by some of the world's best performers of the sport and that have already confirmed their presence at Castelo de Vide and Marvão. This is the case of the IOF's World Ranking leader and headliner of the event, the Norwegian Olav Lundanes, but also the Ukrainian Oleksandr Kratov and Nadiya Volynska, respectively 5th placed in the men's world ranking and 12th ranked in the women's world ranking. There are also other names to consider, in addition to the Portuguese Tiago Romão, Miguel Reis e Silva, Mariana Moreira, Vera Alvarez and others, as the Ukrainian Artem Panchenko and Olha Panchenko, the Russian Valentin Novikov, Yulia Novikova and Ekaterina Savkina, the Spanish Daniel Portal and Eduardo Gil, the French Léa Vercellotti, the Czech Stepanka Betkova and the Brazilian Elaine Lenz.


"The terrain is a dictator"

Putting the technical aspects and the quality of the terrains in the first place - “we usually say that the terrain is a dictator”, says Fernando Costa - the NAOM 2015 offers maps of quality for an event at this level and interesting terrains. Emphasising that “all maps are new and have the signature of Tiago Aires and Raquel Costa”, the Event Director is sure that the terrains and the courses “will please to everyone” and lists some of its features: “The Silvana Valley terrain was no longer used in official competitions since 2008, so for most of the participants everything will be new. The area of the third stage, at Quinta das Lavandas, is very diverse, alternating fast areas with slower areas, with lots of rocky elements that will certainly be of general satisfaction.”

Leaving a very special thank you “to the Castelo de Vide County, for believing in our association and for supporting the event and to the municipality of Marvão for having embraced this project in terms of continuity of stage scoring for the Sprint Orienteering World Ranking, but also to all the land owners authorizing the use of their terrains, to the Fire Departments of Castelo de Vide and Marvão, the security forces, the local and regional media and to all public and private entities which in many ways support our Association and especially this organization”, Fernando Costa concludes with a wish to all participants “to have a weekend in perfect communion with nature, in a region of rare beauty, and enjoying moments of pleasure practicing our sport”.

To know everything about the Norte Alentejano O' Meeting 2015, please consult the event webpage at http://www.gd4caminhos.com/en/.

Joaquim Margarido
  

Monday, January 26, 2015

Portugal O' Meeting 2015: The 20th edition is here



There it is, the Portugal O' Meeting 2015. From 12th to 17th February, the municipalities of Mira and Vagos, on the south coast of the District of Aveiro, hosts the biggest event of the Foot Orienteering calendar in Portugal. Among the nearly two thousand expected participants, the highlights are to the pair World Champion of Middle Distance, Olav Lundanes and Annika Billstam.


Five years after the magnificent journey of Figueira da Foz, the Portugal O' Meeting returns to the dunes of the “Silver Coast”, for its 20th edition. The organizational responsibility lies for the fourth time in the event's history on the Clube de Orientação de Estarreja, in partnership with the Portuguese Orienteering Federation and International Orienteering Federation, Municipality of Mira and Municipality of Vagos. Consisting in a Model Event, a Trail Orienteering course and six Foot Orienteering competitions - one of which, the Mixed Sprint Relay, is a novelty in our country -, the event is spread over six days, having 26 km2 of new maps and about 600 controls in the terrain.

Organized for the first time in 1996, was in 2000 that the Portugal O' Meeting was linked definitively to the four-day model, an initiative by the Ori-Estarreja club, held in Mira. In 2007, again by the hands of the Ori-Estarreja, the Portugal O' Meeting entered in the “modern age”, thanks to a great promotional investment, resulting in the presence at S. Pedro do Sul of 1562 participants, of which more than one thousand foreigners. In 2012, still and always by the hands of the Ori-Estarreja, the POM saw its technical quality recognized at the highest level, with the award of the “Course of the Year” prize, thanks to Bruno Nazário course setting of the WRE race at Senhor dos Caminhos map, Sátão. How will it be in 2015?


Mira and Vagos, two hosts for a big event

On the day that was turned the barrier of the 1500 entries, the Portugal O' Meeting 2015 presented itself to the media. The press conference took place last Friday in the late afternoon, in the Town Hall of the Municipality of Mira and was attended by the Mayors of Mira and Vagos, respectively Raúl Almeida and Silverio Regalado, by Diogo Miguel, President of the Clube de Orientação de Estarreja and Bruno Nazario, the Event Director.

From the presentation of POM 2015, highlights to the note left by Bruno Nazario stating four well-defined goals for this year: “Bring to the municipalities hundreds of visitors, attract local people to the event, organize a World level event and [last but not least] be the POM with the highest number of participants ever”. The Event Director also stressed “the great receptiveness of Mira and Vagos municipalities to host the POM 2015”, an aspect well reflected in the words of the two Presidents, unanimous in pointing out the event as “a factor of development of sport tourism and tourism of nature”, providing “further dissemination of the two municipalities and the region”. The idea, according to both, is to continue to attract events with this impact, jointly, as “the relationship between the two cities is excellent and fruitful”, they said.


Starts of POM 2015

With 1782 participants from 26 countries officially registered until now, time to look at the biggest names of this vast list. Number 1 in the IOF World Ranking, the norwegian Olav Lundanes is the brightest star of POM 2015. Currently World Champion of Middle Distance, Lundanes also has two world titles and two European titles to his credit, as well as seven wins in stages scoring for the World Cup, four world junior titles and two victories in the “classical” Jukola Relay. In the women's class, the Swedish Annika Billstam is the big name, holding the title of World Champion of Middle Distance and ranked 5th in the IOF World Ranking (she also was World Champion of Long Distance in 2011 and won three stages scoring to the World Cup). Gustav Bergman (Sweden), Baptiste Rollier and Martin Hubmann (Switzerland), Magne Daehli (Norway) and Edgars Bertuks (Latvia) are other names to consider at the level of the Men Elite, in a list that includes 8 athletes from the top 25 of the ranking of the International Orienteering Federation, four of which in the top 10 (Lundanes #1, Bergman # 7, Rollier #8 and Daehli # 9). Among the Women, a word also for the Norwegian Mari Fasting, 6th ranked at the IOF World Ranking, for the Finnish Sofia Haajanen and Minna Kauppi, respectively 12th and 14th in the World Ranking, for the Swedish Maria Magnusson, 20th in the table and to the French Amélie Chataing , which currently occupies the 24th position in the IOF World Ranking.

Finally, a look at the POM 2015's program that has at the Long Distance stage of the third day, scoring for the world ranking, its highest point. The competitive program is completed by two other Long Distance stages, on the first and last day of the event, and a Middle Distance stage on the 2nd day. The four stages are scoring for the Portuguese League 2015. Scoring for the Portuguese Trail Orienteering League Invacare 2015, the Invacare PreO POM will be held in the afternoon of the 2nd day, counting so far with 90 entries from 13 countries. A Mixed Sprint Relay, on February 13th and a Night Sprint at Praia de Mira, the next day, complete the program. The last words are addressed by Bruno Nazario to the unsettled: “The Portugal O' Meeting is an event to whom everyone expects. We offer the widest area of new maps ever made for an edition of POM and challenging courses setted thinking on the satisfaction of all those who come to Mira and Vagos. It's my invitation to moving up here, between the 12th and 17th February, and participate in the biggest Orienteering party in Portugal. "

[Photo courtesy of Bruno Nazario]

Joaquim Margarido
  

Sunday, January 25, 2015

ESOC 2015: Norway and Sweden close the Championships with golden key



By winning the Relay, Norway and Sweden were the great figures of the European Ski Orienteering Championships ESOC 2015's last day. At the same time, the World Masters Ski Orienteering Championships WMSOC Ski 2015 took place along the week, in which Finland demonstrated an overwhelming advantage.


Lenzerheide, at the Swiss region of the Graubünden, said goodbye to the 8th edition of the European Ski Orienteering Championships ESOC 2015. Joining 105 athletes representing 17 countries, the event saw today fulfilled the last final of the competitive program, with the dispute of the Relay finals. A happy ending, crowned with victories of Norway and Sweden, in the Men and Women classes, respectively.

In the men's competition, Finland, Sweden and Norway were in the lead in the ending of the the first leg, with the Finnish Tuomas Kotro handing over in the first position with 12 seconds ahead of the Swede Andreas Holmberg. The second leg was of total debacle for the Swedish first team, who saw the triple World Champion Peter Arnesson lose more than two minutes to the leadership. Lars Moholdt was perfect, ensuring for Norway an advantage of 34 seconds over the Finnish team and 37 seconds on Russia. As expected, the Russian Andrey Lamov raced once again at the highest level, but the recovered time was insufficient compared to a wise management of advantage by Hans Jørgen Kvale, which allowed to the norwegians enjoy their first and single gold in these European Championships. Norse victory with a total time of 1:41:00, against 1:41:18 and 1:41:25 from Russia and Sweden, ranked second and third respectively.

In the Women class, the first leg was extremely disputed, with Finnish, Swedish and Russian separated by just 10 seconds from each other. This alignment wouldn't change in the second leg, with the Finnish Mira Kaskinen to be the first to deliver the testimony with an advantage of 31 seconds over the Swedish Tove Alexandersson and 48 seconds over the Russian Mariya Kechkina. With their best pieces on the game board in the last leg, Sweden and Finland fought really hard for the vicory. With a strong start, the Swedish Josefine Engström quickly annulled the disadvantage to Mervi Pesu, being determined to get the gold for the second time in the Championships, after the victory, along with Erik Rost, in the Mixed Sprint Relay. The title with be discussed in a fierce sprint, with Josefine Engström to be stronger in the final meters and finishing with a time of 1:43:16 against 1:43:17 of Mervi Pesu. Polina Frolova stayed at 2:17 from the winner, offering to Russia the bronze medal.

Simultaneously with the ESOC 2015 took place the 18th World Masters Ski Orienteering Championships WMSOC 2015, which included the participation of 115 male athletes and 37 female, representing 13 countries and spread over a total of 19 classes. Finland dominated the competition, winning 23 gold medals from the 38 individual titles disputed. Germany with 5 gold medals, Russia with 4, Latvia and Switzerland with 2 and Norway and United States with a gold medal each, completed the medallist board.


Results

Men
1. Norway (Oyvond Watterdal, Lars Moholdt, Hans Jørgen Kvale) 1:41:00
2. Russia (Vladimir Barchukov, Eduard Khrennikov, Andrey Lamov) 1:41:18 (+ 00:18)
3. Sweden (Markus Lundholm, Martin Hammerberg, Ulrik Nordberg) 1:41:25 (+ 00:25)
4. Finland (Ville Petteri Saarela, Janne Hakkinen, Staffan Tunis) 1:41:50 (+ 00:50)
5. Switzerland (Andrin Kappenberger, Gion Schnyder, Christian Spoerry) 1:43:26 (+ 02:26)
6. Latvia (Raivo Kivlenieks Andris Kivleniekis, Nauris Raize) 1:50:06 (+ 09:06)

Women
1. Sweden (Magdalena Olsson, Tove Alexandersson, Josefine Engström) 1:43:16
2. Finland (Milka Reponen, Mira Kaskinen, Mervi Pesu) 1:43:17 (+ 00:01)
3. Russia (Natalia Kozlova, Mariya Kechkina, Polina Frolova) 1:45:33 (+ 02:17)
4. Norway (Marta Ulvensoen, Anna Ulvensoen, Audhild Bakken Rognstad) 1:48:17 (+ 05:01)
5. Estonia (Evely Kaasiku, Daisy Kudre, Doris Kudre) 1:53:55 (+ 10:39)
6. Czech Republic (Simona Karochova, Johanka Simkova, Hana Hancikova) 1:55:32 (+ 12:16)

Full results and other information at http://www.skiolem15.ch/

[Photo: Martin Jörg / skiolem15.ch]

Joaquim Margarido

Saturday, January 24, 2015

ESOC 2015: Middle Distance titles to Lamov and Pesu



The second last day of the European Ski Orienteering Championships' competitive program saw the Middle Distance titles being attributed. Andrey Lamov and Mervi Pesu were the great figures of the day, reaching the gold.


The European Ski Orienteering Championships ESOC 2015 walks quickly to the end. On the last day of the individual competitive program Lenzerheide staged the Middle Distance finals, which included the participation of 52 athletes in the Men class and 35 athletes in the Women class.

Showing why he's in the lead of the IOF's World Ranking, Andrey Lamov saw finally gotten his day. After the two bronze medals, in the Sprint and Long Distance, the Russian was unstoppable today, beating his opponents by margin that leaves no room for doubt. The Swedish Andreas Holmberg dominated the first half of the race, but when Lamov took over, the way to the Gold was setted. In the end, victory with a time of 37:24, against 38:34 from Holmberg, second placed. Holmberg who lost 21 seconds to Lamov on the longest leg of the course on the way to the 16th control, starting to worry, since then, with the defence of the silver medal, against the approach of Stanimir Belomazhev. The very strong final of the Bulgarian, however, wasn't enough to overcome the Swedish, having to settle for the bronze medal, after the silver in the Mixed Sprint Relay and the gold in the Sprint. The Finnish Staffan Tunis was once again out of the medals, finishing in 4th place, the same result achieved in the previous two individual finals.

Competing for the first and only time in an individual course in this edition of the Championships, Tove Alexandersson defended here the European title achieved in Tyumen, in March last year. But the Swedish, which is also the current leader of the IOF World Ranking, wasn't certainly waiting for a so strong opponent as it was the Finnish Mervi Pesu. Silver medal in the Sprint that opened the ESOC 2015, Mervi Pesu took the command of the operations from the start, finally escaping to her most direct opponents from the 13th control. Since then, the Finnish never ceased to expand her advantage which, in the end, would range in comfortable 54 seconds over Tove Alexandersson. Repeating the result achieved in the Long Distance, the Swedish Josefine Engström finished third, with more 1:32 than the winner.


Results

Men (9.6 km, 30 controls)
1. Andrey Lamov (Russia) 37:24
2. Andreas Holmberg (Sweden) 38:34 (+ 1/10)
3. Stanimir Belomazhev (Bulgaria) 38:38 (+ 1:14)
4. Staffan Tunis (Finland) 38:43 (+ 1:19)
5. Oyvind Watterdal (Norway) 39:09 (+ 1:45)
6. Peter Arnesson (Sweden) 39:33 (+ 2:09)

Women (8.4 km, 27 controls)
1. Mervi PESU (Finland) 39:41
2. Tove Alexandersson (Sweden) 40:35 (+ 0:54)
3. Josefine Engström (Sweden) 41:13 (+ 1:32)
4. Mira Kaskinen (Finland) 41:28 (+ 1:47)
5. Iuliia Tarasenko (Russia) 41:44 8+ 2:03)
6. Tatyana Oborina (Russia) 41:53 (+ 2:12)

Full results and other information in http://www.skiolem15.ch/.

[Photo: Martin Jörg / skiolem15.ch]

Joaquim Margarido
  

Friday, January 23, 2015

Trail Orienteering: Future discussed at Frankfurt



The joint meeting of the IOF Council and the Commissions of each one of the disciplines took place last weekend, at Frankfurt. Member of the IOF Trail Orienteering Commission, the Norwegian Ole-Johan Waaler shared on his blog - http://pre-ole.blogspot.com - some of the conclusions. The Portuguese Orienteering Blog summarizes the article, highlighting its most important subjects.





The IOF Council and Commissions had the usual joint meeting in the past 16th and 17th January, this time at Frankfurt. The bulk of the encounter was devoted to meetings of each one of the Commissions separately, with the Saturday morning dedicated to the latest news presented by the upper body. A good part of the news are published at the IOF webpage - www.orienteering.org -, waiting for the necessary approval.

The conclusions of the Trail Orienteering Commission’s meeting include a large number of points, mostly proposals also waiting to be approved by the Secretariat or the IOF Council before being made official. Are in this the case the proposals for Event Advisers for the next major competitions, where and when Clinics will be held and others. European Cup in TrailO, world ranking, European Championships, Guidelines for organizers and Relay were also discussed issues during the meeting.


TrailO Ranking on the way


The European Cup in TrailO will continue next year and the applications must be submitted until July. The Commission considers that is desirable that more TempO courses may be part of the European Cup calendar. In the meanwhile, one of the IOF Council priorities lies on the need of extending the World Cup to all disciplines, although it was not clear when the decision will be taken and will take effect. Also the establishment of a Trail Orienteering World Ranking and the definition of World Ranking Events seems to be a priority. After all, the Trail Orienteering is the only discipline that has no such ranking. A meeting between the Trail Orienteering Commission and the IOF Rules Commission shall be scheduled to clarify some subjects that may be involved in the Ranking’s creation.

The Trail Orienteering Commission also had a meeting with the EWG - European Working Group, denouncing the existence of applications for the European Championships only concerned to Foot Orienteering, leaving the Trail Orienteering aside. Considering that is desirable the European Championships to be conducted jointly in Foot Orienteering and Trail Orienteering, the IOF Trail Orienteering Commission asked the European Working Group to contact the candidates in order to have European Championships in FootO and TrailO at the same time. Also the Guidelines for organizers were fully reviewed and suffered some adjustments. Many of the changes were based on the reports of the organizers and Event Advisers from the recent European Championships and World Championships.


Relay replaces the Team Competition already in 2016

From 2016, will cease the Team Competition, being replaced by the new Relay format. This decision requires the approval by the IOF Council, which should be signed in the autumn. The new format has its starting point on a proposal from the Athletes' Commission, with slight adjustments by the Trail Orienteering Commission, and will be subject of a demonstration activity in the last day of the World Trail Orienteering Championship WTOC 2015, in Croatia.

Briefly, the Relay will be played in two classes, Open and Paralympic, for teams of three athletes. The format is based on a formal course with a total of 30 controls (10 controls each leg) and a time limit of 90 minutes in all three legs. In addition, there will be a TempO station, with 5 controls (two stations, eventually), which should be fulfilled by the three members of the team. The penalty for each incorrect answer will be of 60 seconds in the PreO and 30 seconds on the TempO.

The start will be given in mass and the athletes of the first two legs will make the TempO station after finishing their courses. The athletes competing on the final leg, after finishing the PreO course, will wait in a quarantine zone until the calculation and announcement of the results. After that, they will dispute the TempO station, by the reverse order of their classification, ie the top-ranked before this decisive moment will be the last to start.

[Translated and adapted from the original at http://pre-ole.blogspot.pt/2015/01/iof-mtet-i-frankfurt.html]

Joaquim Margarido

Thursday, January 22, 2015

ESOC 2015: Sweden wins Mixed Sprint Relay



Breaking a sequence of three gold medals for Russia, Erik Rost and Josefine Engström offered to Sweden the European title in Mixed Sprint Relay, winning the race that filled the third day of the European Ski Orienteering Championships’ program.


Lenzerheide was the stage, this morning, of the European Ski Orienteering Championships’ third final. Mixed teams and the spectacularity of relay races were ingredients for an exciting Mixed Sprint Relay, attended by 26 teams of two elements including at least one woman, representing twelve countries. Played officially for the first time at Sumy, Ukraine, in 2012, the Sprint Mixed Relay had seen Russia get the gold in the three previous editions. Today, however, everything would be different, with the Russians unable to recover from a weak start and finishing out of the podium.

European vice-champion 2014, the team nº 1 of Bulgaria was the fastest in the first leg, with Antoniya Grigorova-Burgova to deliver the testimony to Stanimir Belomazhev with a lead of six seconds over the Czech Hana Hancikova and at a time when the first 14 teams rolled with a difference of one minute from each other. Overriding the difference of 32 seconds that separated him from Belomazhev, Jorgen Madslien, of Norway's second team, gave the note of sensation on the second leg launching Anna Ulvensoen to the command of the operations with 11 seconds ahead of Grigorova-Burgova. With the Norwegian couple on a good day, the advantage has continued to grow, standing on 47 seconds at the entrance for the fifth leg.



Epic ending

It was the time of the great decisions. Separated by narrow 30 seconds, the first teams of Sweden, Bulgaria and Russia waited a stumble from the Norwegian team to storm the lead. Anna Ulvensoen showed signs of accusing the pressure, eventually losing more than one minute for her most direct opponent, the Swedish Josefine Engström, falling to the third place. The second position was now owned by Sweden's second team, after a sensational performance of Tove Alexandersson, on her debut at the Championships. The first teams of Norway and Bulgaria fought hard for the silver medal, while the Russian Andrey Lamov needed to recover 28 seconds to even have the chance to get the bronze.


The last leg was epic. Big figure of this Final, Jorgen Madslien would be early out of action thanks to a “miss punch” on the first control. Erik Rost knew how to manage the advantage of 19 seconds over Andreas Holmberg, giving to Sweden a historic title and ensuring, at the same time, his second gold medal in two days. Belomazhev and Kvale fought to the limit of their strength, with the Bulgarian being stronger in the last meters and beating his opponent for two seconds. With an incredible performance, Lamov was the fastest in the last leg, but the time recovered would eventually prove insufficient to reach the medals.


Results



1. Sweden (Erik Rost / Josefine Engström) 45:35

2. Bulgaria (Stanimir Belomazhev / Antoniya Grigorova-Burgova) 46:09 (+ 0:34)

3. Norway (Hans Jorgen Kvale / Audhild Bakken Rognstad) 46:11 (+ 0:36)

4. Russia (Andrey Lamov / Iuliia Tarasenko) 46:18 (+ 0:43)

5. Finland (Staffan Tunis / Mervi PESU) 46:19 (+ 0:44)

6. Switzerland (Gion Schnyder / Carmen Strub) 47:00 (+ 1:25)

Please see the complete results and further information at http://www.skiolem15.ch/.

[Photo: Stanimir Belomazhev / facebook.com/StanimirBelomazhev]

Joaquim Margarido
  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

ESOC 2015: Long Distance titles to Erik Rost and Tatyana Oborina



Erik Rost and Tatyana Oborina were the biggest names of the second day of the European Ski Orienteering Championships ESOC 2015. Tasteful victories by narrow margins in both cases, in a tightly disputed Long Distance race.


After the Sprint that pointed the start of the European Ski Orienteering Championships ESOC 2015, today's competitive program was dedicated to the Long Distance race. The best competitors in the World and demanding courses set the tone to exciting moments, with the doubt about the winners remaining until the very last second.

Showing his appetite for the beautiful Graubünden region, the Swedish Erik Rost won the European Long Distance title for the second time in his career, seven years after the gold in the second edition of the European Championships, not far from Lenzerheide, at S-chanf. Two European Championships in Swiss soil and two Long Distance titles, separated by seven years of difference, such is Rost's achievement, currently the third placed in the IOF World Ranking. But the things weren't easy for the Swedish, in a race where he had a good entry and completely dominates during the first half. However, a mistake on the way to the 21st control made him lose more than 30 seconds, from what took advantage the Russian Andrey Lamov, silver medallist in the Long Distance of the European Championships 2014. The truth is that also Lamov would make a mistake of the same size, seven controls before the end, returning Erik Rost to the lead, where he would stay until the Finish. In the end, victory with a time of 1:02:42 to 17.3 km of his course, against 1:03:00 of the Swiss Christian Spoerry, second placed, getting a historical medal, the first ever for Switzerland at an international event of this caliber in Ski Orienteering. Andrey Lamov was third, 14 seconds behind Rost, while the European Champion 2014 in Long Distance and winner of yesterday's Sprint, the Bulgarian Stanimir Belomazhev, finished sixth, with more 1:30 than the winner.

In the Women class, the Russian flag flitted for the second day in a row on the highest mast of the podium, thanks to the victory of Tatyana Oborina. With only 22 years, the young Russian had to deal with the fierce opposition of a large and combative set of athletes, as demonstrated by the fact that the first six classified have been separated by 25 seconds only. Gold medal in the Sprint race yesterday, the Russian Iuliia Tarasenko still led the race in the early moments, but it was another Russian, Polina Frolova, to take the first position, running in the lead until the entrance to the final third of the course. Between gains and losses, it was only at the 25th of the 29 countrols of the course that Tatyana Oborina took the lead permanently, thus achieving the first gold medal of her career in major international Elite competitions. Oborina spent 1:03:00 to complete her course of 14.9 km, leaving the second place to the Czech Hana Hancikova with 1:03:13, while the Swedish Josefine Engstrom was third with a time of 1:03:14. The three following positions were occupied by Russian athletes.


Results

Men (17.3 km, 35 controls)
1. Erik Rost (Sweden) 1:02:42
2. Christian Spoerry (Switzerland) 1:03:00 (+ 00:18)
3. Andrey Lamov (Russia) 1:03:01 (+ 00:19)
4. Staffan Tunis (Finland) 1:03:04 (+ 00:22)
5. Eduard Khrennikov (Russia) 1:03:09 (+ 00:27)
6. Stanimir Belomazhev (Bulgaria) 1:04:12 (+ 01:30)

Women (14.9 km, 29 controls)
1. Tatyana Oborina (Russia) 1:03:00
2. Hana Hancikova (Czech Republic) 1:03:13 (+ 00:13)
3. Josefine Engstrom (Sweden) 1:03:14 (+ 00:14)
4. Polina Frolova (Russia) 1:03:20 (+ 00:20)
5. Iuliia Tarasenko (Russia) 1:03:24 (+ 00:24)
6. Kseniya Tretyakova (Russia) 1:03:25 (+ 00:25)

All to check at http://www.skiolem15.ch/.

[Photo: Øystein Kvaal Østerbø / plus.google.com]

Joaquim Margarido
  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

ESOC 2015: Golden Sprint to Belomazhev and Tarasenko



Stanimir Belomazhev and Iuliia Tarasenko won today, at Lenzerheide (Switzerland), the European titles of Ski Orienteering in the Sprint distance. Quite comfortable victories, in both cases, in a race where Tove Alexandersson, the current World Champion in Sprint and leader of the IOF World Ranking was a notorious absent.


Seven years later, the beautiful region of Graubünden in eastern Switzerland, returns to host an edition of the European Ski Orienteering Championships. Center of the Event, Lenzerheide is the starting point for a week of orienteering at the highest level, gathering a total of 105 athletes representing 17 countries.

Today we could see the Sprint race, in which the Bulgarian Stanimir Belomazhev and the Russian Iuliia Tarasenko “took revenge” from the 4th place achieved in the last edition of the European Championships, at Tyumen (Russia), ensuring victories with relative tranquility. In the Men class, the Russian Andrey Lamov was the one who best entered in the map, keeping the lead until the 15th of the 18 points of his course and giving a good sign of wanting to revalidate his european title in Sprint. The truth is that Lamov never ceased to rely on the strong opposition from Stanimir Belomazhev and the Norwegian Øyvind Watterdal and eventually paid a high price for a mistake next to the Finish. In the end, Belomazhev took the gold with a time of 12:15, against 12:27 and 12:29 from Watterdal of Lamov, respectively.

In the Women class, the Swedish Frida Sandberg led in the first half of the course, offering the command to the Russian Iuliia Tarasenko on the 10th control. To the 12th control, Sandberg did a big mistake, losing more than 30 seconds, opening the way to the Russian to a comfortable victory in 13:10, against 13:32 of the Finnish Mervi Pesu, second placed. Making a race from back to the front, the Swedish Magdalena Olsson finnished third, 31 seconds after Tarasenko. European Champion of Sprint in 2014, the Czech Hana Hancikova couldn't get better than the 8th place with a time of 13:51.


Results

Men (3.4 km, 18 controls)
1. Stanimir Belomazhev (Bulgaria) 12:15
2. Øyvind Watterdal (Norway) 12:27 (+ 00:12)
3. Andrey Lamov (Russia) 12:29 (+ 00:14)
4. Andreas Holmberg (Sweden) 12:36 (+ 00:21)
4. Staffan Tunis (Finland) 12:36 (+ 00:21)
6. Peter Arnesson (Sweden) 12:43 (+ 00:28)

Women (3.1 km, 14 controls)
1. Iuliia Tarasenko (Russia) 13:10
2. Mervi Pesu (Finland) 13:32 (+ 00:22)
3. Magdalena Olsson (Sweden) 13:41 (+ 00:31)
4. Mira Kaskinen (Finland) 13:44 (+ 00:34)
5. Audhild Bakken Rognstad (Norway) 13:45 (+ 00:35)
6. Mariya Kechkina (Russia) 13:47 (+ 00:37)

The European Ski Orienteering Championships ESOC 2015 continues tomorrow with the Long Distance course. All to follow at http://www.skiolem15.ch/.

[Photo: Martin Jörg / skiolem15.ch]

Joaquim Margarido

Monday, January 19, 2015

Two or three things I know about it...




1. Switzerland is ready to host the 8th edition of European Ski Orienteering Championship ESOC 2015. The best athletes in this exciting discipline have gathered in Lenzerheide to compete for the medals in three individual races – Sprint, Middle and Long – and two relays – the traditional Relay and the Mixed Sprint Relay for teams of two including at least one woman. Current leaders of the IOF World Rankings, the Russian Andrey Lamov and the Swedish Tove Alexandersson are the headliners of a competition that joins 106 participants. Great winners of the European Ski Orienteering Championships in 2014, the Czech Hana Hancikova and the Finn Mervi Pesu will try to neutralize Tove Alexandersson's favouritism, revalidating the titles of Sprint and Long Distance, respectively. In the male sector, the Bulgarian Stanimir Belomazhev and the Russian Vladimir Barchukov will face the assault of Andrey Lamov, saving their titles of Long Distance and Middle Distance, respectively. Other names to consider are the Swede Peter Arnesson, the triple world champion in 2013 and the Norwegian Hans Jorgen Kvale and Lars Moholdt, second and third placed in the IOF World Ranking. Winner of the World Cup in 2013/2014 and nº 2 in the IOF World Ranking, the Russian Tatiana Rvacheva is absent from the competition, such as her teammate, Anastasia Kravchenko, World Champion of Middle Distance nº 3 in the IOF World Ranking. Simultaneously with the ESOC 2015 will take place the 18th World Masters Ski Orienteering Championships. The competition will start tomorrow with the Sprint race. Everything to follow at www.skiolem15.ch.


2. Some of the conclusions of the International Orienteering Federation Joint Meeting of Council and Commissions, which took place in Frankfurt, have been released. Among them is the approval of the application of the Egyptian Orienteering Federation as 79th member of the International Orienteering Federation. This decision is provisional and needs to be ratificated at the next IOF General Assembly to be held in 2016. Another of the decisions has to do with the allocation of the organization of the World Trail Orienteering Championships 2017 to Lithuania, country that will also host the World Masters MTB Orienteering Championships 2016. The World Masters Ski orienteering Championship 2017 will take place in Finland and the schedule for the World Orienteering Championships 2018, in Latvia - 27th July to 5th August - was approved. Finally, the IOF Council decided on the provisional approval of SFR Punching System in WRE events. Designed in 1993 for time-keeping service of the first World Cup Foot Orienteering event in Russia, the SFR Punching System is described as a “cheap analogue of SportIdent” and has had great acceptance in countries like Ukraine, Latvia and Lithuania, in addition to Russia, of course. More information about this subjects at http://orienteering.org/.



3. The British Orienteering Federation webpage has, since the beginning of 2015, a new and interesting feature for Trail Orienteering lovers. This is what Clive Allen, its creator, calls the "TrailO minisite" and can be seen at http://www.britishorienteering.org.uk/site/trailo. Masterpiece of Trail Orienteering, the article by Don Braggins on the Introduction to the PreO is only one of the major documents in a collection that encompasses a Guide for TempO Beginners, boards with the most relevant moments of the British TrailO both nationally and international, event calendars and links to some of the most significant Trail orienteering pages. Based on this model, the Portuguese Orienteering Blog proposes to support the design of a new webpage in portuguese language exclusively dedicated to Trail Orienteering, by providing contents (text and photos). Those who may be interested should send their suggestions to margarido61@gmail.com.


Joaquim Margarido
 

Friday, January 16, 2015

WMTBOC'16: Bairrada region prepares to host the Championships




The preparation for the World Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships 2016 continue in excellent pace. Amongst the first assessments, both technical and logistics, and a webpage fully working, an important step has just been overcome with the signing of the Partnership Protocol between the Municipalities of Águeda, Cantanhede and Mealhada and the Portuguese Orienteering Federation.


The Main Hall of the City of Mealhada was the venue for the signing of the Partnership Protocol between the Municipalities of Águeda, Cantanhede and Mealhada and the Portuguese Orienteering Federation. The agreement intend to expedite, in its various aspects, the organization of the Elite World Championships (WMTBOC'16), Junior World Championships (JWMTBOC'16), Youth European Championship and also a round of the World Cup, all in the discipline of Mountain Bike Orienteering, appointed to Bairrada region, in the last week of July 2016.

In addition to the mayors of Cantanhede and Mealhada, respectively João Moura and Rui Marqueiro (Gil Nadais, Mayor of Águeda, signed the Protocol on another occasion), attended the ceremony the President of the Portuguese Orienteering Federation and Event Director, Augusto Almeida, and also Carlos Ferreira, President of Clube de Aventura da Bairrada and Vice Director of the Event and Jorge Simões, Technical Director of the Portuguese Orienteering Federation. Among the terms of the partnership agreement, a special word to the bet of the municipalities in spreading the sport in the region and promote the Bairrada region worldwide, giving visibility to the recognized potential of technical quality for the practice of Mountain Bike Orienteering.


Another huge task on the horizon”

Talking about this important moment for the municipalities and also for the Portuguese Orienteering Federation, Augusto Almeida was keen to highlight that “the Portuguese Orienteering Federation continues to invest in the organization of major international events because it is a way to increase the visibility of the sport and simultaneously to promote the country and in particular the regions where these arise”, although noting that “we can only make these bets because we have dozens of volunteers we can rely on and there are municipalities available to work in partnership”. As for the particular case of Bairrada, the President of the Portuguese Orienteering Federation welcomes the fact that it was possible “to join the municipalities of Águeda, Cantanhede and Mealhada and go forward with the organization of the World Championships in high quality terrains and simultaneously promote a region that has a lot to offer to those who want to enjoy nature, culture and gastronomy”. And the last words: “Another huge task on the horizon. But who is not for it, doesn't get it!”

In the meanwhile, the Bulletin 1 is already available [HERE]. There, we can see that the Preliminary Program extends from the 23rd to the 31st July 2016, with the dispute of world titles in Sprint, Middle Distance, Long Distance and Relay. In addition to the competitive classes, participation constraints and embargoed areas, the document includes a schedule of competitions in Portugal, which will be certainly important training opportunities regarding the Championships. Among the proposals, a special reference to the VIII Ori-BTT Rota da Bairrada, event scoring for the Portuguese MTB Orienteering League 2015, that the Clube de Aventura da Bairrada organizes next 28th and 29th March, at Mealhada. And also, of course, the big event of the year, the European Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships 2015 and simultaneously the World Masters Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships 2015, to be held in Idanha-a-Nova, from the 7th to the 13th June.

Joaquim Margarido

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Two or three things I know about it...



1. Close to the celebration of the 162nd anniversary of the birth of Jose Martí, hero of the Cuban independence, the city of La Habana welcome a big international orienteering event. The organization of the 1st International Orienteering Event in "Parks y Cities" has the signature of the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation, in coordination with Cuba Deportes SA and Spanish Orienteering Federation, with the program extending for two days, the next 16th and 17th January. “Meet orienteering friends and exchange experiences, provide a forum for social debate on orienteering and promote orienteering which is one of the most complete sports taking place in natural environment” such are the objectives set by the organization, who sees in this challenge “a wonderful way to meet and enjoy the interesting history and Cuban society”. The event has Technical Direction of Jose Angel Nieto Poblete and promises plenty of energy and excitement along the boulevards and green spaces of the beautiful city of La Habana. More information and entries through the adresses vicecul@inder.cu, recreac@inder.cu, costa@cubadeportes.cu or yolanda@cubadeportes.cu.


2. The city of Seville receives, on 14th and 15th November 2015, the last stage of the second edition of the City Race Euro Tour. Set of events that, joining the cities of London, Porto, Edinburgh and Barcelona, had last year its first edition, the City Race Euro Tour prepares to expand its influence already in 2015. Edinburgh will be out - the popular "Race the Castles" will not take place this year - but this “absence” will be compensated by the integration of the cities of Antwerp, Krakow and Seville. The calendar for 2015 is already fully defined and will be as follows: Antwerp (Belgium) 05th/06th September; London (Great Britain) 12th/13th September; Porto (Portugal) 25th/27th September; Krakow (Poland) 10th/11th October; Barcelona (Spain) 31st October/1st November; Seville (Spain) 14th/15th November. For more information, please consult the page of the City Race Euro Tour at http://cityracetour.org/.


3. The opening round of the IOF Orienteering World Cup 2015 knew its final stage. The map of Transit Flat, on the east coast of Tasmania, received a demanding Long Distance, in which took part 92 athletes, distributed by Men Elite and Women Elite classes.
In the Men Elite class, the Swiss Matthias Kyburz repeated the result of the first stage, running the 13.2 km.of his course in 1:18:29, having spent less 1:17 than his compatriot Daniel Hubmann, the winner of the second stage. Like at the first stage, Gustav Bergman (Sweden) took the third position with more 1:52 than the winner. Hubmann and Kyburz achievements in the three stages of the Australian round translates into equal points in terms of IOF World Cup ranking, with both athletes credited twith 260 points, 85 points more than the third-placed, the Norwegian Olav Lundanes. In the Women Elite class, the Swedish Tove Alexandersson was again at the highest plan, achieving a fantastic “hat-trick” and getting the leadership of the IOF World Cup ranking with 300 points, 115 points over the second ranked, the Swiss Sara Lüscher. Tove Alexandersson fulfilled the 9.5 km of her course in 1:13:03, against 1:16:54 and 1:17:27 of Sara Lüescher and the Swedish Emma Johansson, respectively second and third placed. The Australian Julian Dent and Hanny Alston achieved the best results among the athletes from Oceania, finishing on the 13th and 10th places, respectively in the male and female sectors. Further informations at http://oceania2015.com/.

Joaquim Margarido

Monday, January 12, 2015

Edgars Bertuks: "To be in Portugal is like a new beginning"



A new season begins and it's time to prepare it properly. Edgars Bertuks is one of the internationally renowned orienteers to prefer Portugal for the first races of the year, with or without map. I found him in Coruche and we talked nicely for a while, under the watchful eye of the small Jurģis, now with almost thirteen months of age. From the review of the last season to the big goals for this one, a set of ideas to retain.


For the start, I would like to hear you about the last season. Was it a good one?

Edgars Bertuks (E. B.) - Well, the beginning was good. The European Championships here in Portugal were good, even if I couldn't get any medals. But I finished 5th in the Middle Distance and 10th in the Long Distance and we also had the chance to fight for the medals in the Relay, although we haven't the best team. Later in the season, I still had some good races in the big Relays and at the National Championships, but I got quite seriously sick before the World Championships and... and that's it (laughs). I still tried – I believe that I shouldn't have to do that -, I wanted to run the World Championships so much. I think that I've could run a good Middle Distance if I have skipped the Long Distance, but since my main goal was the Long Distance, I decided to take part on it. It was a total disaster. The truth is that it took to much power that I didn't have any way, so...

Could you recover from that?

E. B. - Well, it wasn't a serious situation, in fact. It was just a flu but, since I had high fever for ten days, I couldn't recover as quickly as I would like. After that I was fine again and I ran some good races in Autumn. I feel now quite confident and well.

How are your trainings going?

E. B. - In November and beginning of December I was in Kenya and it was a really good experience. Just running, of course – they don't have orienteering maps -, but I did it quite well, I learnt something new. I've never been in altitude for a training and I think I will most likely do it again in the future. We'll see. The season is so full of competitions that we don't have too many chances to spend one month like that.

And what about Portugal? Why Portugal and why not Tasmania this time of the season?

E. B. - [Laughs] That's a good question. In the beginning I planned to go to Tasmania for the World Cup but one of the main reasons for me to give up was the travel around the globe. Of course there was a point, there was the World Cup, but for me to go just for the World Cup wasn't enough. That would be a good birthday present for myself [Edgars celebrated his 30th anniversary on January the 1st], but since I couldn't take my wife and son with me, I decided not to go there. The travel take a lot of money as well and for Latvia to send five ou six athletes would spend the whole budget for the season.

Do you agree with the World Cup being so far away and too early in the season?

E. B. - No, I don't agree with that. We can see that only the big nations are present in Tasmania and there are a very few other athletes who can go, so... And it's not the fact of being early in the season. We can have the first round this time of the season in Portugal, Spain, Turkey, even in Italy. But I can't take the fact that it is so far and the time and money that a World Cup round like that needs. I could use my sponsors and be there, but I can use that money more wisely with other purposes that's for sure.

So, that's why you're here in Portugal...

E. B. - I like Portugal. In January, I've always come to Portugal, mostly for running, but I always find some places where I can get a map. I was here for the first time six years ago. At that time, I was training for Athletics, I travelled to Albufeira and I totally loved the place. From that moment on, I've visited Portugal five times and I think that I'll come again next year.

You did your first contact with the map this season here, at Coruche. How was it, to win?

E. B. - I was surprised that I did it so well. Last time I ran with a map was probably Smålandskavlen, more than two months ago. It's been a while. I mean I ran with a map yesterday (laughs). Before I came here I was also quite tired because of the bad weather back home, I couldn't train properly. But here, at Coruche, I found a terrain not too complicated and I like it, I like running fast. To be in Portugal is like a new beginning.

What are your next steps?

E. B. - I intend to return to Portugal for the Portugal O' Meeting. To go back home for few days, and then fly directly to the first stage of the Portugal O' Meeting. After that, we are going to Huelva with TuMe, my club, during ten days for another training camp.

Do you still feel your gold medal, achieved two years and half ago, too heavy in your chest?

E. B. - Too heavy? (laughs) No, I don't think so. I'm actually quite happy for getting that medal, but it wasn't that much for me. It was nice, just nice. Maybe that moment of the national anthem... I still remember the moment, when they said “please rise...” (laughs). My intention is, of course, to win other medals in the future. It's my main goal for the season, to reach the podium in the Long Distance. At the moment I feel quite confident already, at least I think that I still have the chance to fight for the podium.

What can we expect from you for the rest of the season?

E. B. - I look forward for the big relays. We have a great team, Scott Fraser is coming back, Yannick Michiels and Miguel Silva are running for TuMe as well, so we are a young and ambitious team, focused on the big Relays for now. At the national team level, big changes are happening in Latvia, owing to the World Championships in 2018. We have very serious plans, we have a new mentor, a new head coach for the Latvian team, Jari Ikaheimonen, he started his great work three years ago and he knows the deal.

In the beginning of a new season, a wish for the orienteers overall.

E. B. - Keep enjoying what you do. This is a great sport, you never get bored, so keep it that way. And stay healthy. That might be the most important thing, and not only for orienteering.

To know more about Edgars Bertuks, please take a look on http://bertuks.com/.

Joaquim Margarido