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.
Clube de Orientação do Centro (COC)
G.K.: How did you start with orienteering?
T.L.: I was introduced to orienteering when I was a kid, so my passion for orienteering has grown with me. I started practicing orienteering inside a knapsack on my mother’s back. By the age of 7 I was already going to the forest together with my sister and two friends, all by ourselves and helping each other. The competition at national level came when I was 11 years old and since then never stopped. My parents taught me all the basic things, a lot of technics and their support has always been awesome even because my father continues being my coach, both in orienteering and athletics.
G.K.: What is your favorite orienteering discipline and why?
T.L.: I feel an absolute joy when I run the long distances. It might not be the discipline where I have the best international results but I truly love to run in the forest and among the rocks. The long distance is also the race where you have to give it all both mentally and physically and I like to finish a competition exhausted.
G.K.: When was your first EYOC and how did it go?
T.L.: In 2016 in Poland. My individual results were certainly not the best, I think the pressure destabilized me a lot. Curiously, I performed very well in the 1st leg of the relay finishing in second place. This run was very important to motivate me and left on me the idea that I could achieve big things in the future.
G.K.: What is your best result in EYOC competition?
T.L.: 7th place M16, Sprint, EYOC 2017 Slovakia – but it was far from being a good race.
G.K.: What do you think will be the most challenging part of the terrains planned for EYOC 2018 in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria?
T.L.: I think the sprint race will be very tricky and demanding especially because of the small ruins inside the fortress. Regarding to the long and relay maps I think the biggest challenge for our Portuguese runners will be to
face the steep hills of this continental terrains, as well as the characteristic greens, both features we don’t have in Portugal.
G.K.: What will be the main focus of your preparation for EYOC next year?
T.L.: Taking in consideration my shape at the moment, what I most want to develop is my technique. I feel this is where I can improve more my performance. Also my running speed is something I want to increase.
G.K.: What are your goals for next year?
T.L.: As my first year in M18 class my main focus will be the sprint and so I am aiming for a top 6 in this discipline, a top 20 in the long distance and of course try to perform well again in the relay.
*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.