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.
G.K.: How did you start with orienteering?
A.D.: At the age of 6 I started doing sport – acrobatic gymnastics. It built my strength, flexibility and coordination, which later turned out to be very helpful.
When I was 8 years old, my family and I were on a relaxing vacation while my elder sister was taking part in an orienteering competition. We were there to cheer her up, but suddenly my mother came up with the idea that I could run the course of W10 class. I have to admit that I was scared of running alone in the forest, but right after the start signal all worries disappeared and I really enjoyed the race. Moreover, I won the competition, which motivated me further.
Since then, I have never stopped running in the forest and orienteering has become my greatest passion.
G.K.: What is your favorite orienteering discipline and why?
A.D.: Each discipline has its own charm, but maybe the middle distance is my favorite. Its dynamics require quick work with the map, but at the same time it is tricky, so you have to be precise during the whole race.
G.K.: When was your first EYOC and how did it go?
A.D.: My first EYOC was in 2013 in Portugal. I was the youngest there (13 years old) and felt lucky to have the opportunity to compete with the best ones.
The first start was the sprint distance. I didn’t have any expectations of good results because of my age, but surprisingly, with a mistake of 40 seconds, I took 10th place (50 seconds behind the winner).
However, the emotions and the pressure on the next day were overbearing and the long distance didn’t go smoothly.
G.K.: What is your best result in EYOC competition?
A.D.: In 2015 I took 3rd place in the long distance in Romania, but the next year I managed to beat my personal best and became silver medalist in the long distance in Poland. I was even prouder when I realized that these were the first medals ever won for Bulgaria in long distance.
G.K.: What do you think will be the most challenging part of the terrains planned for EYOC 2018 in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria?
A.D.: When I think about the forests in this part of Bulgaria, the first things that come to my mind are steep hills, dense thickets and a great number of stones. These distinctive features of Veliko Tarnovo’s forests make the terrain quite physically demanding.
As to the sprint distance, with this remarkable fortress, the race will be very challenging for sure.
G.K.: What will be the main focus of your preparation for EYOC next year?
A.D.: I think that all three aspects – physical, technical and mental, are equally important and I will try to improve them all simultaneously.
G.K.: What are your goals for next year?
A.D.: My goal is to have clear races with the best route choices, while running at high speed. After that the result will come itself.
*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.