Big winners of the Porto City Race
2015, the British Jack Kosky and Sophie Kirk talked to the Portuguese
Orienteering Blog about their experiences in Portugal. A relaxed
conversation which withdraws the great convergence of opinions about
the value of the course, the organization and the City Race Euro
Like many British orienteers, Jack
Kosky and Sophie Kirk departed from London to Porto for one special
weekend. The active tourism is among the activities of their choice
and, in a fashionable city like Porto, an Orienteering event is very
welcome. “I think I've never been in Portugal before”, say
Sophie, joining to the sentence a hearty laugh. But quickly corrects,
“perhaps at the Portugal O'Meeting, I'm not quite sure.” These
are days of break in her professional activity and a holiday in
Porto, a city to discover, is the reason why she's here. “And I
still have two more days of vacation”, Sophie says, smiling from
ear to ear. The purpose of a tourist visit is also the reason of Jack
Kosky's option for the “Invicta”, but here the situation is
somewhat different: “Last year I was in Porto in this time, as a
tourist, but I lost the Porto City Race. Seeing the city, I
understood how interesting would be to compete here, in a very hilly
city, with many narrow streets, for a very nice orienteering. This
year I could confirm that”, he confesses.
Speaking of her race, Sophie Kirk
emphasizes that “it was quite fast and tricky as well. And it was
quite hot and quite long too, so I got really tired in the end.”
Sophie points the keys for her victory: “I didn’t make too many
mistakes, I just try to keep running.” Kosky highlights the running
part as his ultimate weapon, stating that “I train more running
than Orienteering and it might helped today.” But he underline “the
small technical sections along with longer legs, in the hills, on the
heat... it was an absolutely physical and technical challenge”,
giving full marks to the course setter. Also the organization, in a
global way, deserved the appreciation of both, with Jack Kosky to
applaud a particular effort: “I could see a lot of publicity around
the city, there was so many sponsors on the map comparing with
London, for example. When we run in the middle of the forest, nobody
see us, but this is an urban race and it was nice to see what
happened here. The organizers have done really well, calling the
The concept of the Euro City Race Tour,
combining tourism and Orienteering, equally pleases both. Again Jack
Kosky taking the word, based on his personal experience: “I like to
plan my trips with a purpose and it’s nice to go somewhere with a
sport activity in mind. You see the place in a different line, you
understand better those who live there, you see different parts of
the city that you wouldn’t visit otherwise. It’s nice to mix
sport and trip, so I think that the concept for the City Race Euro
Tour is great.” And Sophie Kirk suggests that the circuit should
include more cities. But which ones? On her face, the expression of a
decision everything but easy, but finally a name: "Berlin".
Jack Kosky, on the other hand, puts forward the name of Venice
without even thinking twice: “I’ve never ran there but some of my
friends did it and I think it’s really fun. And we could see
another country joining the circuit”, he concludes.
Held today, on Pasteleira map, the
third stage of Port City Race 2015 put an ending in the event. Hardly
contested, the queen stage had in the British Jack Kosky and Sophie
Kirk the big winners.
Point of departure and arrival of the
third and final stage of the Porto City Race 2015, the Pasteleira
Park was the epicentre of the queen stage, held this morning and
scoring for the City Race Euro Tour 2015. Organized by the Grupo
Desportivo dos Quatro Caminhos, the event offered great challenges
to about three hundred participants, more than half of which
competing in the Open classes.
A week after the London City Race 2015,
where he was 23rd placed, the British Jack Kosky took a big
win today in the Men Senior class, covering the 8.400 meters of
his course in 52:10. Repeating the outstanding performance that
earned him, yesterday, the triumph in the Final of the Portuguese
Urban Circuit 2015, Nélson Baroca (CA Madeira) was the second
placed, with 59 seconds more than the winner. Winner of the Sprint
stage that took place yesterday at S. Roque Park and Monte Aventino
Sports Centre, the British Mark Burley (Bristol OK) finished in the
third place with a time of 53:26.
The winner of the Women Senior class
was the British Sophie Kirk (Octavian Doobsters), finnishing the
5.600 meters of her course in 41:26. To this result she adds the triumph
in the night Sprint stage that opened the Porto City Race 2015 and
follows to the excellent 8th place achieved last week at London City
Race 2015. The French Heloise Cavalier (RO Paris) and Marie Desrumaux
(Valmo), took again excellent results, occupying respectively the
second and third positions, with 1:39 and 2:07 more than the winner.
Tania Costa Covas (.COM) was the best Portuguese athlete in the race
today, finishing in sixth place with 5:45 more than the winner.
In the other classes, the rule remained
and while the Portuguese dominated in the lower age groups, the
foreigners, mostly British, were the great rulers in the Veterans
classes. The highlights go to the youngster Helena Lima (COC), for
the veteran Mary Ross (interlopers), for the Super-Veteran Annamari
Vierikko (HS) and for the Ultra-Veteran Christopher Branford (WIN),
which made a full of victories in the three stages disputed.
1. Jack Kosky (UDOC) 52:10 (+ 00:00)
2. Nelson Baroca (CA Madeira) 53:09 (+
3. Mark Burley (Bristol OK) 53:26 (+
4. Robert Kelly (AIRE) 56:55 (+ 04:45)
5. Maikel Rodriguez (AROMON) 58:37 (+
1. Sophie Kirk (Octavian Droobers)
41:26 (+ 00:00)
2. Heloise Cavalier (RO Paris) 43:05 (+
3. Marie Desrumaux (Valmo) 43:33 (+
4. Merill Mägi (OK Kape) 43:47 (+
5. Sally Calland (WIM) 47:04 (+ 05:38)
Winners other classes
Youth M/F - Tomás Lima (COC)
and Helena Lima (COC)
Junior M/F - Ricardo Ferreira
(ADFA) and Joana Marques (Ori-Estarreja)
Veteran M/F - Eduard Garcia
(Farra-O) and Mary Ross (INTerlopers)
Super-Veteran M / F - Gavin
Clegg (Quantock Orienteers) and Annamari Vierikko (HS)
Ultra-Veteran M / F -
Christopher Branford (WIM) and Liz Drew (Happy Hearts)
IOF’s Athlete of September needs
no presentation for people familiar with Mountain-bike Orienteering.
Two World Champion titles and two European Champion titles this year,
victory in the World Cup for the second time in a row and a big lead
in the IOF World Rankings has made Anton Foliforov the biggest name
in MTB Orienteering right now. From the first ride, under the
watchful eye of an expert father, to the most outstanding moments of
his career so far; read what Anton has to say.
Name: Anton Foliforov
Date of Birth: 3rd January 1987
Discipline: MTB Orienteering
Career highlights: World MTB
Orienteering Championships – Gold at Long Distance (2010, 2014 and
2015), Middle Distance (2015), Sprint (2011 and 2014) and Relay (2009
and 2010); European MTB Orienteering Championships – Gold at Long
Distance (2015) and Middle Distance (2015); World Cup – 1st overall
in the Mountain Bike Orienteering World Cup in 2014 and 2015.
IOF World Ranking position: 1st.
Born in Kovrov, 250 km east of the
Russian capital Moscow, Anton Foliforov seemed to have his destiny
set in advance. From his early years he got used to following his
father, a successful coach in Cycling, and it was natural that one of
his biggest gifts was his first bike when he was six. To ride “with
the older guys” is among his happy childhood memories, and as a
10-year-old Anton became part of the group of youngsters riding in
his club. “I was so small that I had to ride a bike without a seat
post, with the saddle right on the frame”, he recalls.
The years went by, and in early 2003 an
apparently simple event definitively changed Anton’s life. The
unexpected visit to the club of an MTBO coach brought up a challenge.
In the previous year Fontainebleau had hosted the first-ever World
MTB Orienteering Championships, and new opportunities to those who
loved bikes seemed to arise. Who dares to try? With nothing to lose,
Anton set off to discover. “Liking maps” may have helped him
decide. Since then, MTB Orienteering has become a part of his life
and definitely his main sport, and the mysterious visitor has since
then been his coach.
The first rides
In 2003 Kovrov hosted the Russian MTBO
Championships, and Anton Foliforov had the opportunity to participate
in what was his first significant competition. Joining the Elite
class and competing alongside stars such as Maxim Zhurkin, Viktor
Korchagin and Ruslan Gritsan, the young outsider took the silver
medal in the Classic (Long) Distance, and with it came the needed
motivation to focus even more intensely on the sport. Later that
year, in September and October, he had the chance to participate in
the last three rounds of the World Cup. 32nd place in an
individual stage was the best result achieved, but from the
experience of competing in Poland, Czech Republic and Italy he gained
experience on new maps and terrains, contact with the emerging names
in the MTBO world and an enhanced dose of motivation.
In 2005 Anton headed to Banska Bystrica
in Slovakia as a member of the Russian national team in a World MTB
Orienteering Championship for the first time. The first good result
appeared in the following year in Joensuu, Finland, with 5th place in
Middle Distance. But we had to wait until 2009 to see Anton Foliforov
rise to the top of the podium in what the athlete recalls as the best
moment of his career so far: “It was in Ben Shemen, Israel, with
the gold medal in the Relay. I ran the last leg and went out six
minutes lagging behind the lead, but in the end I was able to win. It
was something very unexpected.” But some less good episodes also
occurred, the worst of which was his exclusion from the Final in the
Long Distance course of the World Championships in Italy in 2011: “I
had a mechanical problem in the qualifying race and I couldn’t
finish it. I wasn’t allowed to compete in the A-Final, and
therefore lost the chance to defend my world title. It was very sad
and not quite fair in my opinion”, he says.
Three questions, three answers
– Do you have a preference for a
particular terrain or distance?
“Now I prefer hilly terrain,
regardless of the distance. But I must confess that I do find the
Sprint Mixed Relay interesting and entertaining. In any case, I
always try to do my best on every course.”
– Which particular skills do you
have that makes you a “primus inter pares”, the best of the best?
“Skills are unique and vary for each
athlete. Honestly, I cannot identify my best skills for MTBO. I train
for the physical part, and I try to keep a cool head at every moment
throughout the race.”
– Do you have any support or
sponsors that allow you to see yourself as a professional in MTB
“A major support comes from the
National Team. I can feel a tremendous energy and willingness to work
and seek quality training, thinking ahead to the big competitions. In
addition, there is the support of the Russian Orienteering
Federation, but also the Regional Federation and the Regional Sports
Department, to whom I owe a sincere word of gratitude. Saying this, I
think that I can consider myself as a professional in MTB
Luck at Middle Distance
Liberec in the Czech Republic can now
be seen as an important milestone in Anton Foliforov’s career.
There, in August, the athlete won two of the six world titles he has
achieved, getting his second gold medal in a row at Long Distance and
for the first time ever winning the gold in the Middle Distance.
These achievements make him the athlete with the most world titles
ever in men’s MTB Orienteering, along with his compatriot Ruslan
Gritsan. Therefore the best moments of the recent World Championships
were “each time I was on the top of the podium, singing the
national anthem of the Russian Federation, with my team-mates singing
From the latest achievements, Anton
highlights a moment: “I think that reaching a world title is
anything but easy, but I must admit I was very lucky winning the gold
in the Middle Distance. Luca Dallavalle was in the lead throughout
the race, but he had a problem with a tyre just at the last control,
which prevented him from winning. But this is a sport where the
‘man-machine’ combination is always present, and no-one is safe
from bike problems.”
“To join the Olympic program we
need to make our sport more spectacular”
But Liberec also offered the
opportunity to reflect on MTBO’s current state of development. To
have Brian Porteous, the IOF President, joining the athletes and
riding in the World Masters MTBO Championships “was very positive
and it shows that he is interested in our discipline and will support
us in the future”, Anton reflects. The athlete looks on the new
mapping standards, the rules about riding off the tracks and the
touch-free punching system, amongst others, to say that “MTBO is
going in the right direction”. But he warns: “If organisers allow
riding off the tracks, then competitors must ride and not run with
the bike; otherwise, organisers must forbid competitors from leaving
the tracks.” And also an eye on the Olympics: “To join the
Olympic program we need to make our sport more spectacular.”
The season is approaching its end, and
Anton looks back on the long time he has spent away from his family
and friends, “who support me all the time”. Now it’s time for
“one or two weeks without my bike, to lie on the beach”. But he’s
already thinking of the next challenges: “I will prepare myself for
all the MTBO competitions next season and I want to do even better.
2015 has been my best season ever so far, but I’ll be trying to
improve my results in the future, though it will be very hard I
suppose.” About the future, his last words: “I will continue MTB
Orienteering for as long as I’m able to compete with the other top
Yannick Michiels and Galina
Vinogardova were the big stars of the Euro City
Race Tour 2015's opening round. In the beautiful city of Antwerp, the two athletes
were unstoppable, counting for victories the three stages.
Confirming their favouritism, the
Belgian Yannick Michiels and the Russian Galina Vinogradova were the
big winners of the Antwerp Sprint Orienteering Meeting ASOM 2015.
First round of the City Race Euro Tour 2015, the event that saw its first edition this year, called to Antwerp, in northern Belgium, over three hundred participants from 19 different nations. Organized by the Orienteering Club TROL, the ASOM 2015 was
distributed by three urban stages in brand new maps - two of them in
the distance of Sprint and the third, named Antwerp City Race, in
Middle Distance -, offering to all participants “a spectacular
adventure where buildings and streets of the 13th century meet
creations of the 21st", in the words of the organizers. Note also that
the event relied on prize money for the Elite classes amounting
to € 2,000.00, leaving € 500.00 to the winners.
In the Men Elite, Yannick Michiels was
the strongest, leading the three stages on the Norwegian Øystein
Kvaal Østerbø and the New Zealander Tim Robertson, respectively
second and third placed. The differences between the three athletes
weren't particularly significant in any of the stages, but the
Belgian made avail of a more consistency, especially in the Middle
Distance stage, ending this ASOM 2015 with the total time of 54: 25,
against 56:45 and 57:21 from Østerbø and Robertson. In the Women
Elite, Galina Vinogradova had an excellent performance in the first
stage, ensuring immediately a comfortable margin over a Norwegian
“triad” of athletes. The Russian also won the remaining
stages, recording a total time of 53:45 in the end. The Middle
Distance stage turned out to be fundamental in scaling the immediate
positions, with the Norwegian Elise Egseth and Lone Karin Brochmann spending more 2:52 and 4:47 than the winner, respectively, and
occupying the second and third positions.
Portugal was represented in Antwerp with a set of
seven athletes, highlighting the performances of Fernando Costa
(GD4C) in the Men Superveteran class, with two good results in the
second and third stages (12th and 10th, respectively). The circuit
now heads to London, where, in the coming 12th and 13th of September,
will take place the London City Race, and then will settle in the city of
Porto, the last weekend of September, with the Porto City
Race's third edition.
By winning the Middle Distance world
title for the second year in a row, Annika Billstam signed one of the
most beautiful pages of the World Orienteering Championships 2015. To
the Portuguese Orienteering Blog, the great Swedish athlete remembers
the moment and outlines the summary of a week full of emotions.
How was your training time? Did you
feel well prepared for the WOC? What goals had you drawn?
Annika Billstam (A. B.) - My
training towards the WOC was interrupted by a long virus infection
during most of May, missing out on some important races such as
Tiomila and a couple of Swedish selection races. It was bad timing
but I convinced myself that my good training through winter and early
spring (I decided not to take part in the World Cup during January to
focus 100% on WOC) could pay off when combined with a good plan for
the last preparations. I decided that it was just enough time to get
Would you like to talk about your
gold Medal in the Middle Distance, repeating the amazing title
achieved in Italy? Did you expect it?
A. B. - I never expected a gold
medal at the WOC. Even if you feel fully prepared and do your best,
your competitors might just have a better day, which is something you
can't control. But I believed I had a chance. I felt really obliged
to fulfil my goal of a clean race and also grateful to be able to
bring inspiration and feelings to those following me with my result.
And what about the bronze in the
Relay? What feelings do you keep from the race?
A. B. - The Relay was a mix of
feelings for me. We won the bronze after a tight sprint finish on the
last leg and we were very happy about the result. My race was ok and
a better race wouldn't have made the result list much different. That
day the Danish girls were simply the best !
How angry are you with the 15th
place in the Long Distance?
A. B. - The Long Distance was a
different race from any I have ran in any WOC. Usually I have a
feeling of where I lose time, but not during this race. I made one
big mistake just before the arena, which was the mistake I “felt”.
The flow feeling was as good as expected throughout the race.
Analysing the splits, I lost a great amount of time on two of the
longer legs because of wrong route choices. I never thought they were
that decisive. I was not angry but felt empty knowing WOC was over.
What motivation do these results
represent for the future?
A. B. - I'm still in a state where I enjoy and reload. I’ll see which direction my
motivation will point out in the future.
And what about the Swedish team?
Overall, what results do you highlight?
A. B. - Of course Jonas' gold in
Sprint was very well deserved and a great achievement after several
top national results. That gold also “kicked-off”/set the level
for the Swedish team for the rest of the week. I also would like to
highlight Olle Boström's bronze in Middle Distance, his first
WOC-medal, and I'm sure you will see more from him in the future.
How do you rate the WOC 2015 from a
technical and organizational point of view?
A. B. - Organizing a WOC is a
big task. Overall it was well done. As an athlete I appreciated the
organization's choice to skip arena passages in Middle and Long to
make the best for the competition.
If I asked you a moment - the great
achievement of the Championships -, what would be your choice?
A. B. - The Danish girls' show
in Relay – impressive!
The season is approaching its end.
What are the goals for what remains of the season?
A. B. - I’ve decided to go to
the World Cup final to end my season.
Bulgaria was the great winner of the
South East European Orienteering Championships SEEOC & SEEMOC
2015, that took place at Bansko. Individually, the Bulgarian Ivan
Sirakov and the Romanian Andra Cecilia Anghel were prominent names.
Particularly known for its qualities as
a snow resort, the Bulgarian town of Bansko, at the foot of the Pirin
Mountains, hosted the 5th edition of the South East European
Orienteering Championships SEEOC 2015 and the 4th edition of the
South East European Masters Orienteering Championships SEEMOC 2015.
Held in the classes of M/W Elite, M/W16, M/W18 and M/W20, the SEEOC
2015 had the participation of 193 athletes representing ten national
teams. As for SEEMOC 2015, it joined the M/W35 class until the M/W75 class, with
the participation of 144 athletes from ten different nations. At the
same time, took place the Bansko Cup 2015, open event which brought
together a total of 635 participants and called to the competition,
in addition to the athletes belonging to the affiliated Federations in
SEEOA - South East European Orienteering Association, representatives
from New Zealand, Norway and Russia.
Counting for the IOF World Ranking, the
individual races relied on six different winners in male and female
Elite. The Sprint that started the competition saw the Bulgarian Ivan
Sirakov and Antonia Grigorova as big winners. The Romanian Ionut
Zinca and the Moldovan Galina Ribediuc won the Long Distance, while
the victories in the Middle Distance went to the Bulgarian Ivaylo
Kamenarov and the Romanian Andra Cecilia Anghel. Bulgaria also won
the male and female Relay, in the first case with a team composed by Teodor Yordanov, Ivaylo Kamenarov and Ivan Sirakov and in the women
by Antoniya Grigorova, Liudmila Gotseva and Liliana Gotseva. In the
sum of the results, Ivan Sirakov and Andra Cecilia Anghel eventually
beat the concurrence, with Ionut Zinca and Galina Ribediuc to stay in
the second position and the Turkish Ozgur Fettah and the Romanian
Veronica Minoiu concluding in the third place on the respective
classes. As for the youngsters, the Bulgarian Boyan Ivandjikov (M16)
and Apostol Atanasov (M20) were the featured figures, with two wins
and one second place achieved in the three races.
Bulgaria also wins in Veterans
The competition of Veterans SEEMOC 2015
was distributed by 18 different classes and saw the Bulgarian
athletes rise to the top of the podium for 21 times in the sum of the
three individual courses. Featured notes for the Turkish Tatiana
Kalenderoglu (W40), the Romanian Istvan Sebestyen (M40), the
Serbs Života Tasic (M60) and Miodrag Radisavljevic (M75), the
Moldovan Larisa Pogorletscaia (W70) and the Bulgarian Mariana
Zhecheva (W50), Petya Koleva (W55), Marusya Danailova (W60) and
Nikola Bedelev (M70), reaching three wins in as many races. Overall,
Bulgaria secured the top spot in eight classes, followed by Moldova
with four wins, Serbia and Romania with two wins each and Turkey and
Croatia, with a triumph each.
In the end, Bulgaria was the winner of
SEEOC 2015 with a total of 1682 points, having mastered six of the
eight competition classes. Under 242 points, Romania occupied the
second place, leaving the third place to Turkey with 1310 points.
Regarding the SEEMOC 2015, the victory of Bulgaria was overwhelming,
providing a total of 3206 points against 1496 points of Moldova,
second placed and 1472 points from Serbia, which occupied the third
1. Ivan Sirakov (Bulgaria) 118 points
2. Ionut Zinca (Romania) 109 points
3. Ozgur Fettah (Turkey) 76 points
4. Jernej Nejc Zorman (Slovenia) 72
5. Milovan Milic (Serbia) 62 points
6. Sergiu Fala (Moldova) 56 points
1. Andra Cecilia Anghel (Romania) 123
2. Galina Ribediuc (Moldova) 109 points
3. Veronica Minoiu (Romania) 92 points
4. Liliana Gotseva (Bulgaria) 91 points
5. Ajda Flashker (Slovenia) 82 points
6. Antonia Grigorova (Bulgaria) 75
Other classes' winners
M/W16 - Boyan Ivandjikov (Bulgaria) and
Niya Georgieva (Bulgaria)
M/W18 - Mihai Tintar (Romania) and Elif
Gokce Avci (Turkey)
M/W20 - Apostol Atanosov (Bulgaria) and
Andreya Dyaksova (Bulgaria)
M/W35 - Eugeniu Borsci (Moldova) and
Veselina Zasheva (Bulgaria)
M/W40 - Istvan Sebestyen (Romania) and
Tatiana Kalenderoglu (Turkey)
M/W45 - Robert Orehoci (Croatia) and
Olga Cecan (Moldova)
M/W50 - Boyko Stoyanov (Bulgaria) and
Mariana Zhecheva (Bulgaria)
M/W55 - Victor Ursu (Moldova) and Petya
M/W60 - Života Tasic (Serbia) and
Marusya Danailova (Bulgaria)
M/W65 - Lucian Gălăţeanu (Romania)
and Todorka Vaseva (Bulgaria)
M/W70 - Nikola Bedelev (Bulgaria) and
Larisa Pogosrletscaia (Moldova)
M/W75 - Miodrag Radisavljevic (Serbia)
and Anna Cholakova (Bulgaria)