Ivan Sirakov – the first male Bulgarian gold medalist at EYOC

Ivan Sirakov – the first male Bulgarian gold medalist at EYOC

We are starting series of interviews with the best Bulgarian athletes who had participated in EYOC and young European athletes that will run next year in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria. We want to present them to you with some interesting stories like how they started orienteering or their expectations about EYOC 2018 terrains, next year goals and much more.

Ivan Sirakov


Variant 5 (Bulgaria)
Stora Tuna OK (Sweden)


G.K.: How did you start with orienteering?
I.S.: I was attracted as many other kids from school. I was a kind of sports kid and continued trainings with the local club – it was fun. After I won my first race I was even more enthusiastic about it.

G.K.: What is your favorite orienteering discipline and why?
I.S.: Sprint – maybe it’s because of its dynamics and intensity and that I’m best in.

Sirakov winning the sprint at EYOC, 2006

G.K.: When was your first EYOC and how did it go?
I.S.: In 2004 in Austria. Results were quite good for a first EYOC but for sure I could have done it better. (12th place – Long distance, 24th place – Sprint)

G.K.: What is your best result in EYOC competition?
I.S.: 1st place, Sprint, EYOC 2006 Slovenia

G.K.: What is your worst result in EYOC – can you tell us few words about what did go wrong?
I.S.: I’ve done big mistakes in the Relays in 2004 and 2005. This is what I regret the most when I look at it now. I’m pretty sure it’s because I couldn’t handle the pressure at that time when I was youth.

G.K.: What do you think is the most important part of the preparation for EYOC?
I.S.: I think the most important thing for all participants in EYOC is to handle the pressure. Many doesn’t deliver the average performance they can on the Day. And what about the best performance then? So you have to have self-confidence and fight till the end. Of course if you are really looking forward to a top result it’s good to have a training camp in similar terrains.

Ivan is one of the best orienteers in the last few years for the Bulgarian national team at World Orienteering Championships.

G.K.: What do you think about the terrains planned for EYOC 2018 in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria?
I.S.: I think it will be very interesting EYOC – terrains are very challenging and the area is great.

G.K.: What are you doing at the moment and can you share some of your goals?
I.S.: I’m in a training break right now and I’m healing Achilles tendon injury that bothers me since before WOC. My goals are connected with reaching the top places in World champs in the following years.




*If you want to nominate an young athlete from your country for an interview, please send us an email  to grigor.vt(at)gmail.com with your nomitation, some basic information about their results and goals and why to include him or her in our series. Include their contact information (email or facebook profile) so we can send the questions to the chosen ones.