After some less good results in the Portugal O' Meeting, Svetlana Mironova was able to perform quite well during Aguiar da Beira O' Meeting's first stage, achieving a motivating victory. To the Portuguese Orienteering Blog, she talked about her stay in Portugal and shared the plans for a season which climax will be the World Orienteering Championships.
You've been to Spain for some weeks and you're now in Portugal. Why the Southern Europe for starting the season?
Svetlana Mironova (S. M.) - It's usual to head Spain and Portugal this time of the year. It has been like that for the last few years and the reason why is quite easy to explain. In my city, of course, we've lots of snow that's impossible to train there. On the contrary, I like this here, the weather is good, the maps are great, so I move to the Southern part of Europe for some good trainings, trying to improve my shape. I think that Portugal and Spain are the world's best places to do Orienteering in January and February.
How do you assess the season until now?
S. M. - It's the beginning of the season but the feelings are really nice so far. The results give me the motivation I need to keep on going this way. Even if there's still a lot to work, step by step I'm improving my shape.
You've been at Portugal O' Meeting a few days ago and you're now at Aguiar da Beira, where you got a nice victory today. Could you compare the two events?
S. M. - Well, I didn't finished the forest races at the Portugal O' Meeting. In fact, my focus for the POM was in the Sprint and I was also looking forward to a good result in the Middle Distance WRE. But I changed my plans, so there's not to much to compare. As for the Aguiar da Beira O' Meeting, I was really looking forward to this competition, mainly because the maps and, for me, more interesting terrains. I was really motivated to head Aguiar da Beira for the event and I'm not disappointed. I could find a wonderful map and a challenging course, so I'm happy with my choice.
Did you have the victory in your mind at the start for today's Middle Distance?
S. M. - I try not to think about results but in doing my orienteering as best as I can. Most of us are here to train, not to compete, and I didn't do my best today. I did some mistakes, I lost some time, but it was a difficult course and I could see that I still have lots of things to work. The feelings are good and I really love it.
I've heard that the course was more a type of “short” Long Distance than a “classic” Middle Distance. Do you agree?
S. M. - Well, my time was everything but short (laughs). I believe that, without such mistakes, it was possible to cut at least three minutes to my time. But, in my opinion, it was a really good Middle Distance, with some route choices, some really technical legs and the terrain was exactly a Middle Distance one.
What things do you need to work?
S. M. - This year I'm really focused on improving my skills in the Middle Distance. I did some good results in the Long Distance in the last years, so I decided to challenge myself and try a different kind of orienteering. Clean Middle Distance races are a goal for the season.
Seeing you today on top of the podium and then Thierry Gueorgiou on the same place, I remembered a singular moment of your career. How heavy is the WOC gold medal achieved in the Long Distance three years ago, in Italy?
S. M. - Quite heavy, indeed. I have really good memories from that year. It's still a target every year.
Was 2016 a good season?
S. M. - It was a complicated one, with the European Championships quite early in the season. My preparation was good and I was able to push hard in May for the event. I was in a really good shape and I could achieve two medals, an individual one and the other in the Relay, after good performances of my team mates. I didn't reach everything I wanted in the World Championships – I had some health problems before the WOC -, still I could get the gold in the Relay, even if I didn't get an individual medal. Overall I got three medals along the season and it was, finally, my best season ever. But I'm looking for a better one.
Would you tell me about your goals for the current season?
S. M. - This year, I'm looking for the three World Cup rounds, the World Orienteering Championships and the World Games. The World Games will be a main target in a moment when we didn't have the selection races yet. The competition will be hard, there are many athletes looking forward to it, but my target is to be in Poland and do my best. The World Championships will be also a good challenge, as well as the World Cup rounds. Three different events, three completely different terrains, which will be very demanding from an orienteering point of view. I've never been to Latvia, for example, and I'm looking forward to it. In brief, I'll bet in the Long Distance for the World Championships, I'll try to push hard in the Middle Distance to fix different skills and I'll turn back to the Sprint again because I want to reach the ability to run everything quite well.
“Back" to Aguiar da Beira, are we going to see you winning the Long Distance?
S. M. - I'm here to run and than we'll see. It will depend on my orienteering, of course.
Do you have a word to say to Clube de Orientação de Estarreja, ABOM's organiser?
S. M. - We're having a great event in Aguiar da Beira, with a really good organisation. First of all, the terrains, of course, but everything seems quite well. I'm really happy for being here. Thank you so much.