Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Portuguese FootO Cup Vitalis 2017: The opinion of Filipa Rodrigues

With just three days left to the start of the Portuguese Foot Orienteering Cup Vitalis 2017, the Portuguese Orienteering Blog invites Filipa Rodrigues, a young athlete who is making her debut in the Elite category, asking her to analyze the circuit.

At 11 a.m. next Saturday, the 15th Orientation Meeting of the Center will start in Lagoa da Ervideira. This will be the first of the twelve rounds of the Portuguese Foot Orienteering Cup Vitalis 2017. A circuit that will extend over almost 11 months and, as in the previous four years, will end with the Absolute National Championships, in Mora, in the first weekend of December.

This season's calendar includes one more round than the previous year and its geographical distribution privileges the Center of the Country, where half of the events will take place, as well as the Alentejo region, that will host four events. The North of Portugal will receive the visit of the Cup's “tribe” just once, during the Male Iberian Championships, while the remaining round will cross the border towards Toledo, in Spain, where the Female Iberian Championships will take place. But the “asymmetries” of this edition of the Portuguese Cup aren't just geographical and the calendar, itself, is divided into two distinct moments, with the first eight rounds extending until the first fortnight of June. Then, we'll have a three-and-a-half-month “vacation”, returning on the last day of September for the first of the final four rounds.

I expect a good performance throughout the season”

Still enjoying a season of great achievements – winner of the overall Women Junior ranking of the Portuguese Cup 2016, Iberian Champion in all distances, a first international presence by participating in the JWOC 2016, in Switzerland, and a brilliant second placed in the Absolute National Championships -, it's quite anxious that Filipa Rodrigues, representing ADFA, awaits for the start of the competition. Which is understandable, since next Saturday's stage will represent her debut in the Women Elite class.

Regarding to goals, Filipa is cautious: “I expect a good performance throughout the season”. She explains that “with the rise up to the Elite category, the competitiveness has grown big and great athletes like Raquel Costa or Mariana Moreira will surely be in the lead, but I hope to improve next to them and we will see how it works.” Confident in her abilities, she adds: “I've been working hard, especially since it's not easy to combine training with studies. But I've managed to improve my skills and this is due to my coach, Pedro Duarte, and to the rest of my training group, to whom I leave a special thank you. If I'll be able to manage things like I've done until now, it's possible that I will be selected to the World Orienteering Championships. Let's wait and see”, she says.

I'm looking forward to the Portugal O' Meeting”

Looking at the Portuguese Foot Orienteering Cup Vitalis 2017, Filipa Rodrigues chooses three events in particular: “I'm looking forward to the Portugal O' Meeting, for being an event of excellence that brings to our country many athletes and because it will be very interesting to compare my current shape in relation to my adversaries in an international level, considering that I hope to reach top results in the World Championships, in the future. Another event that I find relevant is the Aguiar da Beira O 'Meeting, taking place in some of my favourite terains, and I also wait anxiously the Female Iberian Championships, because the results achieved last season motivate me to do great again in the next one”.

Finally, some opinions on the Portuguese Cup's calendar as a whole: “I think that we should have more events, but the scheduled ones seem to be quite promising. There should be more races in June and perhaps a few in July, regarding the preparation of both Elite and young athletes, as most of the international competitions take place in the Summer. As for the geographical distribution, I would prefer Northern terrains, but all the terrains are important for the practise of Orienteering”, Filipa concludes.

Date Event Place Organizer
1 14-15 Jan 15th Centro Orienteering Meeting Leiria COC
2 18-19 Feb Beira Litoral O' Meeting BLOM'17 Coimbra Ori-Mondego
3 25-28 Feb Portugal O' Meeting POM'17
Alter do Chão, Crato
and Portalegre
4 04-05 Mar Aguiar da Beira O' Meeting ABOM'17 Aguiar da Beira Ori-Estarreja
5 22-23 Apr National Championships Relay & Middle Vendas Novas ADFA
6 20-21 May National Championships Long & Sprint
Constância and
and COA
7 03-04 Jun Female Iberian Championships Toledo Toledo-O
8 10-11 Jun Bairrada O' Meeting BOM'17 Buçaco CAB
9 30-01 Oct Male Iberian Championships Montalegre .COM
10 28-29 Oct 5th Costa Alentejana O' Meeting Odemira
CN Alvito
11 18 Nov Ori-Mondego Trophy Figueira da Foz Ori-Mondego
12 01-03 Dec Absolute National Championships Mora CPOC

Joaquim Margarido

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