PORTUGAL O' MEETING 2012: HIGHLIGHTS!
PORTUGAL O' MEETING 2012: THIERRY GUEORGIOU AND SIMONE NIGGLI WIN AND CONVINCE
What a great atmosphere at the end of Portugal O' Meeting 2012! Almost two thousand participants celebrated around the Sanctuary of Sr. dos Caminhos, in Sátão, applauding Thierry Gueorgiou and Simone Niggli, the winners of the event.
Since 2000, when the Portuguese Orienteering Federation decided to devote four days in this festive season to the largest regular event in Portugal, that the period of Carnival is synonymous of revelry for our sport. In the meanwhile, the prestige of the event has been cemented on the quality and variety of our terrains, in the goodness of a mild climate and in an excellent capacity of our organizations. This raises the Portugal O' Meeting, in the words of the current leader of the world ranking, Thierry Gueorgiou, "at a level of a World Championship".
In a stage that saw Philippe Adamski take the victory, Thierry Gueorgiou was precisely who led to the best set of the four races, turning himself into the winner of the Men Elite class. After winning the first and third stages, Gueorgiou confirmed his enormous favoritism, reaching his second major triumph in the competition after winning in 2007, in S. Pedro do Sul. Thierry Gueorgiou's most direct opponent was Daniel Hubmann (Switzerland), number 2 of the World, and the podium was completed with Scott Fraser (Great Britain), thanks to a remarkable performance today.
In the Elite Women class, the winner was the best runner of all time, Simone Niggli, from Switzerland. Behind her, stood the vice-leader of the World ranking, Annika Billstam (Sweden), and a surprising Rahel Friedrich, representing the Swiss Orienteering Team. Simone Niggli opens and closes the Portugal O' Meeting with two great victories, and this is the fourth time that the athlete wins the one that is considered the greatest international competition of the Winter season.
An investment with a guaranteed return
Among the Portuguese, Tiago Romão (ADFA) and Joana Costa (GD4C) won this last stage, but Joaquim Sousa and Andreia Silva were those who achieved the highest score overall. The two athletes of Orienteering Club of Centro demonstrated to be in a superior shape, and their contribution was fundamental to the victory by teams of this Portugal O' Meeting 2012.
But, in this event, not only the big stars shine highly. Also the little "starlets", made of people from eight to eighty-eight years old, bring colour and joy. This was again clearly evident in the excitement that everyone embraced the challenges made of maps and compasses. A contentment that spread throughout a region so well known to welcome the participants, what represents an investment with a guaranteed return.
The Portugal O' Meeting will be back in next year's Carnival, for four days of the best Orienteering. The responsibility for organizing the 18th edition will be up to ADFA and will take place at Idanha-a-Nova, from 09 to 12 February.
Everything to follow at http://www.pom.pt/en/.
PORTUGAL O' MEETING 2012: OPTIONS / IMPRESSIONS OF THE WRE
“I’m very pleased with my race. When I looked at the map, I understood it was a fantastic terrain and I tried to do a good race. I tried to be always focused, reading the map frequently and it was a clean race with only a few hesitations.
It is great running here in these terrains, probably the best in Portugal. These are fast and technical terrains, although the low visibility in the forest.
The Portugal O’Meeting has a level of organization just as a World Championship and with all the World best runners. It will be a pleasure to be back because terrains like these are always enjoyable.”
Thierry Gueorgiou, France (1st position, M21SE)
“I didn't expect to win the race. I felt good, I did a nice start, had a good flow on the running and the orienteering but a few controls before passing the Arena I caught the runner that left before me and got overconfident and made a small mistake. On the last part of the race, I knew that Simone Niggli did a mistake and I tried to keep focused till the end and I did it.
My goal is to qualify to the Swedish team on this year’s World Championship. I’m betting on the Middle Distance, and winning it here gives me confidence for the future. I leave Portugal very happy.”
Lina Strand, Sweden (1st position, W21E)
The race was really nice, excellent terrains and very challenging. My race wasn't really good, specially in the beginning. I missed at the 2nd control one minute almost, but then I had a good flow, just on the last loop I made another small mistake, but the rest was really good. So I'm happy with the second place but, of course, I wanted to try to beat Gueorgiou.
In my preparation I'm doing everything to be ready for the World Championships and, of course, my goal is to win a gold medal in Switzerland.
Portugal is a really nice country for Orienteering. This time has been just perfect. All time we had a great weather and nice terrains, terrains so different from area to area, so it's really nice to make training camps and competitions here.”
Daniel Hubmann, Switzerland (2nd position, M21SE)
“After the race I knew that I made a quite big mistake, about two and a half minutes, so I knew that someone could be better, but I'm satisfied with the other part of the race. Really beautiful and demanding terrains, very technical, you must be concentrated all the way. I really enjoyed it.
It was really worst for a world ranking event. Good map, good routes, the course setter did a good job.
This is a good opening of the season, specially for me after the break last year. So I have to see how I am in relation to the other competitors, and so I know that I had a good winter training a good shape. My main goal are the World Championships, I hope to be in the match for the medals and, of course, it could be a special one in Switzerland, with a lot of people... I'm really looking for it.”
Simone Niggli, Switzerland (2nd position, W21E)
“It was, actually, a quite good race. Today everything it was excellent, a great terrain, a great map, a really Midlle Distance course, yeah, I liked it very much.
I don't think I can get the first place at the Portugal O' Meeting. My main goal for the saison it's, of course, the WOC in Switzerland, and I hope to win medals, so we'll see if I can challenging Thierry [Gueorgiou] or Daniel [Hubmann]. I'll try to recover my Long Distance title but it's a hard game. So, we'll see.”
Olav Lundanes, Norway (3rd position, M21SE)
“I'm happy with the third position. I can control de race of the others. For me it was totally okay, some small mistakes, but it was really tricky.
It was tough, both physically and technically. We don't have terrains like this in Sweden. It's very rare for us, it's hard to get into it in the beginning. But I like because you have to be concentrated all the time. You don't have time to think about mistakes, you just continue.
I had good races and bad races. I think it's positive for me right now and I haven't think a lot of how I can do make it better and improve. It's a good season opening, yes.”
Lena Eliasson, Sweden (3rd position W21E)
All information about Portugal O' Meeting 2012 at http://www.pom.pt/en/ or here, at your Portuguese Orienteering Blog.
PORTUGAL O' MEETING 2012: THIERRY GUEORGIOU E LINA STRAND WON THE MAJOR DAY
In a sunny day, the Lord of Paths (direct translation of Sr. dos Caminhos) blessed Portugal O’Meeting. High quality terrains, lots of emotions and the best competitors in the World made of this major POM day a big happening. Thierry Gueorgiou and Lina Strand reached the top positions on their classes.
Just like the previous year, the third day of PortugalO’ Meeting was the most important. Counting to the World Ranking of Orienteering, the Middle Distance race received almost two thousand runners of all ages among them the best runners in the World. Adding to the good maps and courses, we got a colourful sunny day and an excited Arena, applauding runners going trough the spectator’s control or ending their courses.
The world ranking decided the start list order, anticipating an emotional ending to this day’s race and reality didn’t stay behind expectations. The fight for victory lasted till almost the last second of the race with Tierry Gueorgiou and Lina Strand clearly beating their rivals. With a time of 33:51, Gueorgiou repeats the victories of the previous two years on the main courses of Portugal O’ Meeting, increasing his leadership on the World Ranking. Just behind, with more 1:26 and 1:49, stood the Suisse Daniel Hubmann and the Norwegian Olav Lundanes. Lina Strand won the Women Elite with a time of 37:55, beating the Suisse Simone Niggli and her country mate Lena Eliasson by 0:27 and 0:30.
1º Thierry Gueorgiou (France O' Team) 33:51
2º Daniel Hubmann (Swiss O' Team) 35:17
3º Olav Lundanes (Halden SK) 35:40
4º Mathias Kyburz (Swiss O' Team) 35:59
5º Oleksandr Kratov (Orievents Team) 36:28
1º Lina Strand (Göteborg-Majorna) 37:55
2º Simone Niggli (Swiss O' Team) 38:22
3º Lena Eliasson (Domnarvets GoIF) 38:25
4º Saila Kinni (Tampereen Pyrintö) 42:08
5º Céline Dodin (France O' Team) 42:56
“Probably the best terrains in Portugal”
“I’m very pleased with my race. When I looked at the map, I understood it was a fantastic terrain and I tried to do a good race. I tried to be always focused, reading the map frequently and it was a clean race with only a few hesitations. It was great running here in these terrains, probably the best in Portugal”. It was with these words that Thierry Gueorgiou commented his victory today. Passing the idea that this region has unique qualities for Orienteering, Thierry Gueorgiou says that these are fast and technical terrains although the low visibility in the forest. He ends stating that “Portugal O’Meeting has a level of organization just as a World Championship and with all the World best runners. It will be a pleasure to be back because terrains like these are always enjoyable.”
Lina Strand, the winner of the Women Elite wasn’t expecting to win the race. About her race she told: “I felt good. I did a nice start, had a good flow on the running and the orienteering but a few controls before passing the Arena I caught the runner that left before me and got overconfident and made a small mistake. On the last part of the race, I knew that Simone Niggli did a mistake and I tried to keep focused till the end and I did it. For the Swedish runner, her goal is to qualify to the team that will represent the strong Swedish team on this year’s World Championship. I’m betting on the Middle Distance, and winning it here gives me confidence for the future. I leave Portugal very happy.”
Tomorrow, last day of the competition on the “chasing start sistem”, Thierry Gueorgiou and Simone Niggli will start first. Will they be the first to arrive?
All information about the Portugal O' Meeting 2012 at http://www.pom.pt/en/ or at your Portuguese Orienteering Blog.
(Translated by Luis Santos)
PORTUGAL O' MEETING 2012: DAY 2 REVISITED
PORTUGAL O' MEETING 2012: OPTIONS / IMPRESSIONS OF PHILIPPE ADAMSKI AND LINA STRAND
Once again, Portuguese Orienteering Blog talked with another two athletes, searching about their Middle Distance races of Portugal O' Meeting's second day. Here you can find the opinions of Philippe Adamski and Lina Strand, as well as their maps and route choices.
“It's really something very different from what we usually find. It's very interesting to understand this huge variety of terrains in Portugal and in this particular case, terrains where it's hard to run and in the middle of the forest, which makes them particularly enjoyable.
The courses are also very interesting, very well made, ideal for a Middle Distance race and with lots of route choices. I think that's where I lost some time. It is not easy to run in these terrains and make simultaneously a good map reading. On the other hand, is the first time I run maps drawn by Tiago Aires and he did a good job.He is a new cartographer and we need to get used to his style of cartography.
As for the next days, I think we will have even better terrains, with some open areas and I am really impatient to run in Sátão. In the race scoring for the world ranking, I will try to apply what I worked this winter and then we'll see the result.
I think the Portugal O 'Meeting is a competition where everyone must be present. The format of the races, the maps and the organization are of a high level. But also the quality of the present athletes, that is why this race is so sought after. It is an unavoidable "rendez-vous" at this time of the season. And then there's this weather, this sun."
Philippe Adamski, France
“It was a nice and tricky course. And it was really tough to run and to find the right controls. Often I found the points really good but I lost some time on my way to the points. First, I didn't see the tunnel under the highway and then I get stuck in some really big cliffs, I passed in the wrong way.
Otherwise, I'm quite satisfied. I was really tired since yesterday, so I didn't run full speed today but
I hope to do it tomorrow.
Even yesterday and today, the cartographer and the course setter they did a good job. They were two good races, you must be focused all the way.
My main goal for this competition is the race of world ranking event. We have to go home on Tuesday, so I have been focused more on the WRE, but we're been training now for one week and we start to be tired in our bodies. I like Middle Distance and I hope is going to be really tricky. That will be good to me.”
Lina Strand, Sweden
All information about Portugal O' Meeting 2012 at http://www.pom.pt/en/
PORTUGAL O' MEETING 2012: BAPTISTE ROLLIER AND KRISTIN LÖVGREN SAID GOODBYE TO VISEU WITH VICTORIES IN THEIR LUGGAGE
With maps and compasses in hand, the party and the revelry of Orienteering took care of the forests of Viseu. On Carnival Sunday, Baptiste Rollier and Kristin Lövgren were Kings.
The greatest Foot Orienteering race of Portugal returned to the forests of Sra. do Crasto, for a particularly emotional Medium Distance race. The details of the terrain combined with an exigent course, were a real puzzle for close to two thousand participants.
In the Men Elite, Baptiste Rollier (Switzerland) was the strongest, making the 5.2 km of his course in 30:48. Behind him were his teammates Daniel Hubmann (32:20) and Martin Hubmann with 32:46. Big favorite to the victory of this POM, the French Thierry Gueorgiou today was not beyond the 6th position, while Joaquim Sousa (COC) was the best Portuguese in a very creditable 16th place.
The Swedish Kristin Lövgren was a surprising winner of the Women Elite rank, completing her course of 4.0 km at the time of 34:45. Lena Eliasson (Sweden) and Sara Lucher (Switzerland) finished in the immediate positions, respectively with 35:50 and 37:02. Like yesterday, Andreia Silva (COC) was again the best portuguese athlete.
1 Baptiste Rollier (Swiss Orienteering Team) 30:48
2nd Daniel Hubmann (Swiss Orienteering Team) 32:20
3 Martin Hubmann (Swiss Orienteering Team) 32:46
4 Oleksander Kratov (Orievents Team) 33:03
5th Severin Howald (Swiss Orienteering Team) 33:23
1 Kristin Lövgren (OK Kolmårde) 34:45
2 Lena Eliasson (Domnarvets GoIF) 35:50
3 Sara Lucher (Swiss Orienteering Team) 37:02
4 Annika Billstam (OK Linné) 38:16
5 Vroni Konig-Salmi (Swiss Orienteering Team) 38:51
Trail-O met first winners
In the afternoon, Orienteering moved to the center of the city of Viseu where was ran the opening stage of the Portugal Trail-O Cup. Diana Coelho (Baião High School) made history by winning the competition in the Paralympic class. Behind her were Ricardo Pinto and Ana Paula Marques, both from Prelada's Hospital (Oporto). There was still room for a demonstration of Adapted Orienteering Activity that was attended by 40 participants.
The Portugal O' Meeting says goodbye to Viseu and heads to Satão, where tomorrow will take place the most awaited stage of the event. Counting for the World Ranking, the Middle Distance race will put face to face, once again, the best Orienteers in the world.
Follow everything at http://www.pom.pt/en/ or here, at your Portuguese Orienteering Blog.
PORTUGAL O' MEETING 2012: FIRST DAY'S IMPRESSIONS
At the end of Portugal O' Meeting 2012's first stage, Portuguese Orienteering Bolg talked with some of the athletes, asking their opinions. There you are a few impressions of a Long Distance challenging and demanding and what can we expect for the next days.
It was a very hard race, I think. We trained in a terrain near the beach yesterday, so today it wasn't easy. The maps were really good, but my performance was not that good. For the rest of the days, I hope to do a good race on Monday.
Venla Niemi, Finland
I felt good, I felt better than in the first race of the cup in Arronches. Making a better race tecnically and physically was already very positive. Although this terrain is very different and obligates to do a slower race, I felt good. I liked the map very much. The forrest is closed, but it's very nice running over there. The cartographer made it to simplify the map a lot, but at the same time he had an uniform criteria and it was easy for me reading the map. I hope the next days are even better.
Alexandre Alvarez, Portugal
I enjoyed today's race a lot, but I thought it would have more green areas. Perhaps the part of the map where the was the burnt forrest was not that pleasant, but I liked it very much. I think I ran at a good speed, so it is not surprising that I am an elite runner. For me it was really good to know I can run seventy minutes at a good speed. I won't run on monday because I'm going home earlier. I have already been here for one here on training camp, so it was already good enough to be here and run these days, until tomorrow.
Erik Andersson, Sweden
The race went really well. I made two small mistakes, but I'm very happy. I think tat the map was very well drawn, since it represents the reality of the terrains. The POM's organization is always awesome. I think that in Spain we have a lot to learn with you. About the next days, I hope to enjoy the races just like it happened today, leave happy about my technique and the orienteering I do.
Annabel Valledor, Spain
I had some problems last week, I was a little bit seek and I also had an injury and today was a bit special, just to be concentrated in orienteering. It runned quite okay, only one big big mistake and maybe two small ones and I' m satisfied. The map is very different in several places than we have here around the beach, but the butterfly area was really nice to run. Now I have to leave and the Portugal O' Meeting is over for me.
Matthias Merz, Switzerland
It was really nice. An interesting terrain and a nice forest, that was what I expected. I'm not in a good shape, a couple of months ago I was injured and I start to training again ten days ago so, I didn't expect a really good result today, and I took it just like a train. For the rest of Portugal O' Meeting, I'll try to get as best result as possible on the world ranking event. And than we'll see. Just a good training camp, no snow, a fantastic sun...
Oleksandr Kratov, Ukraine
All the Portugal O' Meeting 2012 at http://www.pom.pt/en/ or here, at your Portuguese Orienteering Blog.
PORTUGAL O' MEETING 2012: THE COURSES OF THE WINNERS
Thierry Georgiou and Simone Niggli were the winners of the first stage of Portugal O' Meeting 2012. We can see now the options on their maps and also some comments about the races.
“I made a big mistake on point three, I lost some minutes and that broke my rhythm a little bit. I needed three points to recover my confidence, but then things went well. I'm not sure about it, but I took some options to avoid the green zones. I don't know if they were the best options, but physically I felt good, it was the first stage and I wait now for the next days.
I found it a very well drawn course, very varied, with very different places, some of them very easy, other ones more detailed. That required a very active Orienteering which I liked a lot.
The next two races are Medium Distance, and there there is no effort management, it's going to be full speed. It will be very intense and I like that. Tomorrow's race won't bring many surprises, since we already know the terrain, but I keep my biggest expectations for monday. I think it will be a very interesting race.”
“It wasn't a perfect race. I made two big mistakes, I think I lost about five minutes. I think I'm someone who can make a really better time. But it's nice to be on the track again, I really like the terrains for Portugal O' Meeting every year.
I feel very good, my physical shape is good. It's my first international competition of the year, after the twins were born, so I will see what the results will be like. I have a good feeling but, of course, there is a long way to World Championships.
I hope I can do the next races a little bit better, I hope the terrains will be even nicer than these last two days, I am looking forward to doing the other races.”
Follow the Portugal O' Meeting at http://www.pom.pt/en/ or here, on your Portuguese Orienteering Blog.
PORTUGAL O' MEETING 2012: THIERRY GUEORGIOU AND SIMONE NIGGLI START WINNING
Sun, color and plenty of excitement and fun. Portugal’O’Meeting 2012 started under the best expectations. In the map of Sra. Do Crasto, north of Viseu, Thierry Gueorgiou and Simone Niggli were the strongest among all runners.
It started this morning the 17th edition of Portugal’O’Meeting, the most important regular Orienteering competition carried out in Portugal. Around 1800 runners from 30 countries – two thirds of them from other countries – booked their place in Sra. do Crasto, for a Long Distance event full of challenging options.
Among Men Elite Class, Thierry Gueorgiou confirmed to be the stronger candidate to victory, winning the competition. The French runner did the 27 controls of his course (12,1 kms) in the time of 1:08:06, leaving behind Suisse runner Fabian Hertner and Swedish Mathias Millinger.
For Thierry Gueorgiou, this was not the perfect race: “I did a big mistake on the 3rd control were I lost a few minutes, lost my rhythm, and then I had to try to recover it.” The french runner, leader of the World Ranking liked the maps and the diversity of options in the courses, and he is already thinking on the races of tomorrow and Monday: “It will be two races of Middle Distance, two fast courses were there is no management of energy. It will be full speed and then will see”.
Strong return of Simone Niggli
Simone Niggli showed at Sra. do Crasto the reason why she is the best orienteer of all time. In her fourth consecutive presence at Portugal’O’Meeting (in the last 3 editions, she won 8 of the 12 stages), Simone Niggli didn't give a chance to her adversaries, wining in 1:04:04 a 9 kms race (19 control points). Behind her, at a distance of short 15 seconds, was Annika Billstam (Sweden), number 2 of the world ranking, and the swiss Rahel Friedrich.
In the end, Simone Niggli share her oppinions: “It wasn't a perfect race, I made a lot of big mistakes losing five minutes overall. But it's a return to the competition after a long absence and it was very good to start again like this at the Portugal O’ Meeting.” Confessing she felt physically well, the athlete waits now for “even more beautiful terrains and less mistakes in the next days”.
Portugal O’ Meeting returns tomorrow at the map of Sra. do Crasto to the Middle Distance race. The afternoon will be specially dedicated to Sport for Disability, with Trail-O races (reduced mobility) and Adapted Orienteering activity (mental disability), taking place at the centre of the city of Viseu.
More information and complete results at http://www.pom.pt/en/.
PORTUGAL O' MEETING 2012: ANNIKA BILLSTAM AND THIERRY GUEORGIOU ARE HERE TO WIN!
Thierry Gueorgiou and Annika Billstam arrived together at the Event Center in Viseu. With their usual kindness and disponibility, they agreed to speak to Portuguese Orienteering Blog. An interview made by maps and terrains of top quality, an excellent organization and a great desire to confirm their favoritism and win the Portugal O 'Meeting 2012.
It's an honor to have someone like you, the number two of the world, between us, and I would like to know if it's your first time here in Portugal.
Annika Billstam (A.B.) – Actually, it's my first time competing in Portugal. My first time training orienteering in Portugal was just two weeks ago, I stayed here for one week and I really like it here, it has been a beautiful weather and also the maps are very nice.
During this event, these four days, are you here to improve your level at this time of the season, or you are here to compete and to win?
A.B. – I'm here to do four good races. I will do my best and use my competing speed. It's important for me to see how my results are at this moment, and of course I will also use a lot of time for training and some other days where there are the competitions. The competitions are really important for me.
Looking at the level of your adversaries, do you expect a tough fight for the first place?
A.B. – Yes, I think there's a really strong group of athletes. But it's really nice, it's not very often that you get to meet some of the biggest names of Orienteering. I think there will be very strong opponents because, for me, this is a new kind of Orienteering, it's a little bit different. I will take contact with the maps now, and maybe some of the people are happier with this type of terrains, but we will see on the next race!
Thierry Gueorgiou: “The quality is the highest”
In a very direct way I ask you: are you here to win?
Thierry Gueorgiou (T.G.) – I think I'm in good shape and, although I have been sick these days, I will do my best in all the four races and we'll see then.
Five years ago you were the big winner of Portugal O' Meeting. What memories do you keep from those moments?
T.G. – Good memories. Besides, last week we were training in S. Pedro do Sul and it was a good reunion with those maps. The maps are really great, I have already had the opportunity to see the maps of the Model Event and they're also very good and I have a big will that tomorrow will come quickly.
We will have here eight of the top ten orienteers of the world. It will be a strong fight.
T.G. – It's something very pleasant. Even if it's not a World Cup or a World Championship, Portugal O' Meeting is already a reference in the beginning of the season and it's a great pleasure to to find again so many and such good athletes. The moment of preparation of each one of us is not exactly the same and the results won't say a lot, but it's always good at this time of the year to have a more competitive race, side-to-side with such big names of world Orienteering, to check the level of each one.
In the context of such an important event as Portugal O' Meeting, what gives you the most pleasure?
T.G. – What I like the most is, each time I come to Portugal O' Meeting, I know that the organization is perfect. There is also the issue with the terrains that, because they're always different, we know we will never have bad surprises. The quality is the highest and it's certainly because of that that there are so many athletes coming to Portugal to compete at this event. Maps, races and organizations of best quality is what every elite orienteer looks for and they know they can find it here.
All information at http://www.pom.pt/en/
[You can see the Model Event's maps and a video at the respective pages]
[Translated by Ana Macedo]
PORTUGAL O' MEETING 2012: THE PARTY IS HERE!
The 17th edition of Portugal O’Meeting is about to begin. From tomorrow on, the municipalities of Viseu and Sátão will host the biggest regular competition of Foot Orienteering in Portugal. Really close to the big Orienteering party, now is the time to check the last news from the event.
Since Orienteering took roots in Portugal, several agents and institutions fought by events of quality and visibility. One of the ways advocated in order to attract the athletes from all over the world and promote the sport would be the organization of an event recognized by IOF and scheduled by a time when those athletes, most of them for the Nordic countries, came to our country, taking profit of the fantastic terrains and the benefits of a gentle weather. It was with this goal in mind that, in 1996, the Amigos de Atletismo de Mafra organized the first Portugal O’ Meeting, at the Tapada Real.
Since then, many things have changed. The year of 2000 stay on the history of the event as the turning point to the four-day figurine, in the Carnival’s period. Portugal O’ Meeting arrive this year to the centre of Portugal, to Viseu and Sátão, by the hands of Estarreja Orienteering Club and Viseu Orienteering Club - NATURA and with the support of Portuguese Orienteering Federation and the municipalities of Viseu and Sátão.
A rich and diversified program
With the promise of terrains, maps and courses of big quality, ready to satisfy the highest levels of international exigency, it's worth to attempt to the rich and diversified program. On the first day of competition, since 11 a.m., the Sra. do Crasto map (Viseu) receives the Long Distance race. With the falling of the night, at 7 p.m., would start at the city centre of Viseu the Night Sprint race (extra-competition). Sunday is not “fat” only because it’s Carnival, but also because we’ll see, floating at the four winds, the flag of “Orienteering for All”. By 10 a.m., the athletes will enjoy again the Sra. do Crasto map for the Middle Distance race. In the afternoon, by 2.30 p.m., they will run in Fontelo's Park (Viseu) the first stage of Portuguese National League of Trail-O. Half an hour later, the City Park – Aquilino Ribeiro receives a demonstration of Adapted Orienteering Activity, a sport for mental disability.
The attentions in the second half of POM 2012 are focused almost exclusively in Sátão municipality and in the Sr. dos Caminhos map, where the last two races will take place. On Monday, we’ll have the most expected race of the program, a Middle Distance that scores for the World Ranking and that will start at 10.30 a.m. The last day we'll see the first athletes starting at 9 a.m., to run a Long Distance. Sra. do Crasto and Sr. dos Caminhos maps have in common the fact that they were made by Tiago Aires and represent hilly terrains with a lot of rock details, in a Pine forest area, with some areas of easy runability and others where undergrowth makes it slower. The Cidade de Viseu map, where the Night Sprint, Trail-O and Adapted-O will take place, is signed by Raquel Costa.
A true star parade, the Portugal O’ Meeting 2012 brings to Portugal, once again, the best orienteers of the world. Portugal is the most represented country, with an amount of 584 athletes, while all the others are foreigners. Finland (189 athletes), Sweden (158), Switzerland (134) and Norway (131) strongly demand the central region of our country, as like France (92 athletes), Spain (91), United Kingdom (54), Denmark (52) or Russia (50). Between the Men Elite, the Frenchman Thierry Gueorgiou attracts all attentions. Leader of the world ranking, gold medal at Long Distance, Middle Distance and Relay in the last World Orienteering Championships, Thierry Gueorgiou will want to repeat the performance of 2007, at S. Pedro do Sul, in which he was the winner of the 12th edition of the Portugal O’ Meeting, coincidently an event organized by Estarreja Orienteering Club. At that time, Gueorgiou was the winner of all the four races, reaching in the world ranking event race the highest score in history of WRE events, with 1516 points. It’s important to say, yet, that in the amount of 44 athletes of top100 that will compete in Portugal, eight of them are between the first ten, and that includes the Nº 2, Daniel Hubmann, from Switzerland, and Nº 10, the Ukrainian Oleksandr Kratov, the winner of 2011’s edition of the Portugal O’ Meeting.
Talking about the women, Annika Billstam (Sweden) and Simone Niggli (Switzerland) share the main attentions. The first one, because she is the vice-leader of the world ranking and the World Champion of Long Distance. The second one because she is the only athlete that won Portugal O’ Meeting in three occasions (2002, 2010 and 2011), having in her curriculum 17 world titles, 7 european titles, 7 victories in the World Cup and many other triumphs, which makes her the best orienteer ever. But big names are something that you don’t miss between the 132 registered in the Women Elite, 41 of them belonging to the world top100. It’s with all this Elite athletes that 37 portuguese runners will beat-up themselves, with the eyes on names like Raquel Costa, Mariana Moreira, Joana Costa, Manuel Horta or Joaquim Sousa, the last one the World Vice-Champion Masters (M40) of Sprint.
POM 2012 is not limited to competitive edge, and "to heat the engines", the participants will have at their disposal today, between 9.30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., the Model Events at Sra. do Crasto and Sr. dos Caminhos maps, the same maps that will test the competitors in the next four days. The 11 control points available in each of the maps are of free choice and will offer the possibility to the athletes to familiarize themselves with the terrain and the types of cartography. By late afternoon, on Sunday, will take place the prize giving ceremony of the Trail-O and Night Sprint races, while the awards ceremony of the WRE event will take place early in the afternoon of Monday, at 2.30 p.m., at the Arena of Sr. dos Caminhos. Also on Monday, by 16:30, the Viseu City Hall Auditorium open to all interested to a lecture given by renowned coaches of the French and Swiss teams, Kenneth Buch and Matthias Niggli respectively, and, because everything has an end, POM 2012 will close on Tuesday, at 2.00 p.m., with the Prize Giving Ceremony to be held once again at the Arena of Sr. dos Caminhos.
There are some advice that are worth being mentioned, brought here by Antonio Amador, the Event Director. The weather forecast seems to guarantee that we will have sunny days, so that all tasks are facilitated. But it is important that the athletes are aware and comply with certain instructions of the organization so that everything is even easier. A big number of athletes will only arrive on the day of the first stage, by which the organization calls, whom you are able, to passing through the Event Center (installed in the Viseu’s Pavilhão Multiusos) during today, "relieving" the Secretariat on the day of the first race. It is recalled that all athletes must use the POM 2012 bib. Each Team Leader can get it in the Event Centre. Only athletes with POM's official bib correctly placed on the equipment are allowed to start the race. One of the most difficult is the parking in the first two days, so it is essential that everyone can go to the place as soon as possible and follow the instructions of the elements that are coordinating this area. The space is limited and the cars are more than 1.5 km away from the Arena, so you need to have the time it takes to travel that distance. Note that all normal infrastructure of an event of this magnitude can be found in the Arenas of all races. The organization appeals to all athletes, even if not registered, to do everything possible to attend the Sunday afternoon activities, with the race of Trail-O in the Fontelo's Park and especially with the demonstration of Adapted Orienteering Activity, in the City Park – Aquilino Ribeiro, which holds the Awards Ceremony of the Night Sprint and Trail-O races, at 5.30 p.m. Everything is ready for a great 2012 POM!
All information at http://www.pom.pt/en/
NUNO LEITE AND THE PORTUGAL O' MEETING 2012: "I EXPECT A MEMORABLE EVENT"
President of Estarreja Orienteering Club and, as such, a fundamental part of the organizational structure of Portugal O 'Meeting 2012, Nuno Leite did for Portuguese Orienteering Blog the preview of this important event. An interview where he speaks about democracy within the club, how important is the event at various levels and were he wishes Sun. A bright Sun!
You assumed the presidency of the Estarreja Orienteering Club in a relatively advanced stage for the preparation of Portugal O'Meeting. Has it increased the responsibilities that this position entails?
Nuno Leite (N.L.) - It is true, but there are not many differences, only the person who signs the decisions of the management has changed. Those who know the structure of Ori-Estarreja know that everything is decided by consensus and democratically in parallel with what is best for the Club and for the development in Orienteering in Portugal.
What does it mean for the Ori-Estarreja the organization of this 17th edition of The Portugal O'Meeting?
N.L. - When we organize an event of this level we always make the same question, even if it is unconsciously - "What can we do so that Orienteering in Portugal evolves?” This is where all ideas are born for a better event. Looking at the previous editions of POM organized by Ori-Estarreja we realize that we always take Orienteering to new grounds and there is always a qualitative leap, in what concerns the return to the regional economy, and also a quantitative one, both technically and concerning the number of athletes. Therefore it means that this is an opportunity to do more and better for Orienteering in Portugal, especially in spreading it to places where it is less developed.
What are the material and human resources involved in this edition of the event?
N.L. - Well, we have over 100 elements organizing the event, including the elements of the two clubs (Ori-Estarreja and VOCs) and also all the support structures (Firefighters, Military, Scouting, Media...). Both clubs all together have more than 80 elements and are divided into six different teams, having different tasks running interconnected. For an event of this magnitude with almost 2000 athletes everything happens as if it were a so-called “normal” event but numbers multiplied by 4 or 5, which increases the expenses to about 30 thousand euros, especially if we invest heavily in the quality of the event. Note that the financial support given by the state authorities for these expenses and for an event that gives back more than 1.5 Million euros to the local economy is not even 10% of the direct expenses!
Ori-Estarreja shares the organizing responsibilities with the Viseu Orienteering Club - Natura. What do you gain with this partnership?
N.L. - When an orienteering club presents a proposal for organizing an event to a city council that has never heard of this sport there is always a discovery phase concerning orienteering by the local authority and also by the club on its way of functioning. For this event, in 2012, we have joined a POM club with a high technical expertise associated with a club that hasbeen working with these city councils for several years. It is a significant part of an event of such dimension that gets facilitated.
In the aftermath of the recent Absolute National Championship, held in the municipalities of S. Pedro do Sul and Vouzela, the responsible for mapping POM 2012, Tiago Aires, stated that "Viseu has conditions to quickly become the capital of Orienteering in Portugal.” What is your opinion on this matter?
N.L. - I would not say the capital, but because of its location, both the quantity and quality of its grounds and also the opening of these two municipalities, it is a major hub for sure!
The Communication sector of the Portugal O 'Meeting 2012 took on a new breath after the contract with Orievents. Can this be, in your opinion, a good solution for the future of this sport at the level of Communication and Image?
N.L. - Without a doubt! These organizations rely on a voluntary basis and a more than proved fact is that the main elements of the organizations are always engaged in the more technical part and never have availability for this task that should already had had its due attention. Fortunately there was a maecenas, Sotinco, that allowed this structure, led by Fernando Costa, to be feasible and so the results are there for everyone to see. If we want better events, there are structures that need to assume, at least, a semi-professional character.
What do you expect from this POM 2012?
N.L. - I expect a memorable event that allows Orienteering to be seen in a different way by the structures that are able to help us, such as Portuguese Orienteering.
What is your biggest wish?
N.L. - Sun! A wish must always be about something that is not in the hands of the organization! It seems that this wish is likely to be fulfilled and so everything else will be easier for the organization. In addition I also hope that the fantastic medical support structure that is being assembled by the firefighters of Viseu and Sátão will not be used.
[Translated by Luisa Estrela]
PORTUGAL O' MEETING 2012: IOF EVENT ADVISER LUIS SANTOS'S PREVIEW
For the second year in a row, Luis Santos is the IOF Event Adviser of the most important regular event of Foot Orienteering in Portugal. To Portuguese Orienteering Blog he talked about is work besides the organizing team of POM 2012 and ensured that the event has potential to be the best Portugal O’ Meeting ever.
You have been related to three out of the latest five Portugal’O’Meeting editions. I would like you to tell me about those experiences and to establish comparisons between them.
Luís Santos (L.S.) - Despite the huge loads of work connected to these events, they are very special for us and we all know that they are our best “door” to spread the news about the high quality of Portuguese major events among the International Community of Orienteering, so for me it’s a pleasure to be a part of the organizing teams of 2007 (São Pedro do Sul), 2009 (Mora) and 2011 (Alto Alentejo) editions of POM. Although we are talking always of POM, they have all been very different but fully lived experiences. In Orienteering, each event is a singular and unique project and that is a fact for participants and for organizers. I’ll try to resume in a few words my experiences in each of them.
2007, in São Pedro do Sul, brought me amazing terrains and a map that has became one of my favorites (Campo de Anta), but also the bad weather on some days and my mistake of not monitoring the sprint night events. In the results board, what comes to my mind is the overwhelming victory of Thierry Gueorgiou.
In 2009 the load of work was incomparable because I was Event Director with my friend António Rodrigues and it was my club organizing. I remember the drama of tense relantionships of land owners with the 3rd and 4th days at risk, three days before the event and the 2nd day on the morning of the event, our choice of offering different types of terrain. The most striking memory was the OriShow on the football field of Cabeção. We started that event on the brink of disaster, I was so close to cancel it, but then things started very poorly and ended with hundreds of spectators enjoying the exciting finals. It was not important for runners but it remained in my memory.
In 2011, again advising, and first opportunity to work with my friend Fernando Costa. The technical work was far more demanding than it had been in 2007, but I had excellent moments with GD4C organizing team and on the results board, Thierry again with brilliant results on the male Elite with Simone Niggli winning on women Elite. The worst moment was maybe the Closing Ceremony, which is maybe one of the toughest moments for POM organizers after so many days of work and so close to the end, it’s hard to maintain high working levels and focus on the tasks for a smooth and enjoyable Closing Ceremony.
What is the role and importance for Portuguese Orienteering and for our country of an event with such a dimension and projection as Portugal’O’Meeting?
L.S. - In Portugal this event should have seen by media on a different way, because it’s one of the events among all sports that brings to Portugal more foreign competitors. But we lack the means of other sports to reach Portuguese major media. But that visibility exists among other Orienteering countries and I believe we have been working well on the latest years to make of Portugal a major World destination on Winter Foot Orienteering. I have many friends in Spain and I love to participate in Spanish events but it seems to me that in the beginning of this century there was a clear challenge among Portugal and Spain; Portugal seems to take the lead, and now is unimaginable to have Spanish directors to schedule a World Ranking Event to the same days of POM has it happened a few years ago. POM is now holding to numbers of participants thought impossible about 10 years ago, almost always above 1500 since 2007 edition, and that is also reflected on the WRE of the weekend afterwards, on the winter training camps. This level of high organizing standards must be valued but also preserved, creating conditions to avoid a weak POM that could risk in a year the work of several years building a solid image of good events.
What responsibilities and challenges come along with being Adviser of an event like this?
L.S. - I see my duties as someone who is available to help organizers. And only if we feel that Organizers (or someone among its multiple elements) are not working for runners but have other priorities instead of runners (like giving more importance to financial targets or regional politician goals), those are the moments that we start representing and defending runners. I try to be a part of the organizing team and make clear with my work that I can help and not be a controller and an outside element seen as an obstacle. I try not to load on expenses of the Federation and that has been visible in my work in Viseu has I have been able to visit in the terrain all controls in three days working from sun rise till sun nightfall (I haven’t seen all controls of the sprint event but I have seen more than 350 controls in those three days), making the main target of my work on all technical issues of the event on such demanding terrains that force all players on these works to have an high degree of focus and concentration while being on the competition terrain (curiously belonging to a team that worked with me in 2007). The most and better work done on the preparation phase on a event like this, the more secure and calm we’ll be on the event days.
How is the preparation work of your job as Adviser of POM 2012?
L.S. - I got this train already on movement because I was invited to replace my fellow adviser Rui Antunes, although still in time to follow all the course setting procedures. Ori-Estarreja has been doing an exceptional technical work just like they did in 2007. The tasks are taking their course and things seem to be going quite well and only the website could be more dynamic to catch the attention of those who are still in doubt of coming to Viseu. Technical work is now on it’s closing stage and now is the time to process and answer many entries and requests and to close other preparation procedures like start times, spectators information procedures, human resources charts and time tables.
Is it being difficult to connect and get reports from the organizing clubs or relationships with Ori-Estarreja and Clube de Orientação de Viseu has been going smoothly?
L.S. - In POM 2011 there was an unusual role of the organizing team to make three municipalities speak as one and GD4C made it possible to put that kind of risk to the event on it’s advantages because they were really working together and not against each other. In POM 2012 we have two different municipalities and two different organizing clubs but that is working quite well because there’s the local club (Clube de Orientação de Viseu) who use it’s advantages to communicate with local entities and the largest and more experienced club that uses their know-how and experience to the more technical details of a big Orienteering event. My job has been almost totally done with Ori-Estarreja because on the organizing model planned they have responsibility over the four main events, with COV more attached to local entities and the sprint of Viseu. Maybe communication and spreading information could be more effective, and maybe a large municipality as Viseu could have a major role in that kind of tasks, but it is important to highlight the outstanding work on terrain prospection and my friends in Ori-Estarreja will understand that I point out the outstanding role of a poorly known club like COV that has been undertaking an important work on the promotion of Orienteering in a district that is probably the Portuguese district with more potential to discover new terrains to our sport.
What Portugal O’Meeting are we going to find this year?
L.S. - If anyone is in doubt if the event will be at the level of it’s previous editions, I have no doubt in stating that it has the potential to overcame them. Naturally, not everything will go according to what is planned. I use to say that if the sun shines, the organizers can shine too, but if the rain appears, organizers will only be seen has effective, because the idea of the event on participants will never be so positive. If the weather helps (and we are not talking about high mountains, like 2007 terrains), there are good probabilities of an outstanding event in a event that is reaching Top10 world most seen events (taking advantage of being the first big event of the season and being used as a first measurer to evaluate top runners condition for the rest of the season), beautiful areas, mainly in Sátão, and in my opinion, an event that will be increasing it’s quality level from day to day, reaching the 4th that is clearly my favourite competition day. This POM will take Orienteering community to know a city that has been out of our sport but that has a lot to offer, and the sprint and trail orienteering events will be a pleasurable way to do it. Out of curiosity these events will be made on a small part of Urban Viseu map that is probably one of the biggest urban maps of Portugal.
Only three weeks away from Portugal’O’Meeting beginning, is there something in particular that worries you or you continue to sleep beautifully?
L.S. - What should be done at this stage is done. There is still a lot to do, but there’s no need to be worried by advancement. There’s organizing experience by all involved and there’s good working abilities to do it. I confess that on a multi day event, I’m worried with the organizing team regeneration day after day. When the first day will start, there will be players on this project already with high loads of tiredness on their shoulders. It is not easy to reach 4th day still with a smile on the face and the ability to concentrate in doing things well done. The other concern is not in our hands but it creates some anxiety. I speak of the weather, although I know that a bad weather affects mainly those who go for a nice sightseeing walk in the forest and the organizers. For those who are there to compete, it’s not important if it rains or if it’s sunny, they are only concerned with the map and their options.
I would ask you, on a personal note and as an Event Adviser of the most important event of Portuguese Orienteering, to express a vote for this year’s edition.
L.S. - What I want for this POM is that if you're Portuguese and don’t know if you want to go, don’t hesitate. If you like to orienteer, you’ll like this event. If you came from other countries and you’ll have your flights already booked, I’m sure you’ll want to come back again after this experience in Viseu. Those who prospected terrains, those who did the maps and those who set your courses, did a good job to receive you all well. Personally, I just hope to be on a level that is suited to what Portuguese Orienteering needs and to enjoy one of the tasks that give to me most pleasure in Orienteering: Being an Event Adviser.
Everything about POM 2012 at http://www.pom.pt/pt/
VISEU AND SÁTÃO ARE READY TO THE BIG ORIENTEERING PARTY
Upon expiry of the first registration deadline, Portugal O 'Meeting 2012 enters the countdown at a cruising speed. The values in presence guarantee an event of great quality. The expectation now is whether the magic barrier of two thousand participants will be finally overcome.
The first registration deadline for Portugal O' Meeting 2012 finished yesterday at midnight and there are the numbers, indicating that this 17th edition of the event might come to be the most participated ever. There are 1608 registered athletes until now, of which 1084 foreigners, representing 317 clubs. Portugal registers, naturally, the biggest number of entries (524), but countries like Finland, Sweden, Switzerland or Norway also present a strong squad, with over one hundred participants each.
The Men Elite is the one that records up to now the bulk of entries (224), a number still something out of the 279 registrated in the 15th edition of POM, held at Figueira da Foz in 2010. The number of entries in Women Elite is precisely half of the Men Elite, a new absolute maximum reached in this category.
Thierry Gueorgiou, the biggest name
Looking at the values involved, the highlight is the leader of the men's world ranking, Thierry Gueorgiou. Although we are in a very early stage of preparation for the season that has just began, Gueorgiou already shows an excellent run of form and is the main candidate to the victory in this POM. Ahead he will face names such as Daniel Hubmann, Baptiste Rollier or Mathias Muller, all from Switzerland, the Norwegian Olav Lundanes or the winner of the POM 2011, the Ukrainian Oleksandr Kratov. Although they have not made up their registration until now, the organization ensures the presence of Philippe Adamski and François Gonon (that gave France, along with Thierry Gueorgiou, the title of World Champion in the Relay, last year), bringing to eight the number of athletes in this edition of POM that integrate the world top-10.
In the Women Elite, the struggle for victory in the POM promises to be more open. The big star of the event comes from Sweden, is the nº 2 of the world ranking and is Annika Billstam. But she will face the Swedish Lena Eliasson, the Danish Maja Alm, the Czech Eva Jurenikova or Rahel Friedrich, Judith Wyder and Ines Brodmann, all of them from Switzerland, in an unpredictable outcome. Note also the presence of Danish Ida Bobach, Vice-World Champion of Middle Distance, and Simone Niggli (Switzerland), the best orienteers of all time and winner of POM for three times, returning here to competition after a long pause.
Program for all tastes
Portugal O 'Meeting 2012 is a joint organization of Clube de Orientação de Estarreja and Clube de Orientação de Viseu-Natura and it will be held from the 18th until the 21st of February, in the municipalities of Viseu and Sátão. The four days of competition are spread over Long Distance (first and fourth days) and Middle Distance (second and third days), with the particularity of the race of the third day being a World Ranking Event. On the night of the opening day, the center of Viseu will animate with an always spectacular Urban Sprint, while the afternoon of the second day will be dedicated to the Sport for Disability, with the opening stage of the Trail-O National League 2012 - discipline particularly suited to people with reduced mobility - to be held in Parque do Fontelo, and a demonstration of Adapted Orienteering Activity, for people with intellectual disabilities, to be held in the Parque Aquilino Ribeiro. It is still scheduled for the third day of the POM 2012 a lecture open to all, dealing with the physical and mental training and carried out by the national coaches of Switzerland and France, Matthias Niggli and Kenneth Buch, respectively.
But the importance of Portugal O 'Meeting 2012 is not limited to competition. All in all, "an event of this nature will inject in the economy of the country a value greater than 1.5 million euros," according to Antonio Amador, the Event Director. The hotel capacity in the region registers close to 100% rates and the entire local economy, from restaurants to small businesses, feel a strong boost thanks to this event.
Find all about the Portugal O 'Meeting 2012 at http://www.pom.pt/en/