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?
Y.P.: I heard about orienteering when I was 7 for the first time. My coach was at school as my PE teacher. She told me about that sport and I was very impressed. I immediately wanted to try it but she said I was too young.
3 years later, when I had been going to swimming lessons for a very long time one day I realized I wanted to try something new. I was fed up with doing the same thing every day so I wanted a dynamic sport filled with lots of emotions. After a detailed research, luckily my mum came across an article about orienteering. As soon as she showed it to me I remembered what the school teacher had told me about it. So then I was old enough (at that time my coach only worked with children older than me) and I knew it was the perfect sport for me because I adore being surrounded by nice, warm people and spending time in the nature. Although I was shy I immediately wanted to try it. And that is exactly what I did. The best decision in my life. *so far*
G.K.: What is your favorite orienteering discipline and why?
Y.P.: I cannot choose between sprint distance and long distance. Yes, they are quite different but I love them both.
G.K.: When was your first EYOC and how did it go?
Y.P.: EYOC 2015 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. I did not do my best at the sprint and long distance. However, I managed not to do big mistakes at the relay start. I was in a team with the wonderful girls, who are also great competitors, Borislava Mitkova and Andreya Dyaksova and we won the fifth place.
G.K.: What is your best result in EYOC competition?
Y.P.: 4th place at the sprint distance and 6th at the long distance in 2017.
G.K.: What do you think will be the most challenging part of the terrains planned for EYOC 2018 in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria?
Y.P.: In my opinion, there is a lot of micro relief situated on steep hills and looking for controls, which are placed there, will be the most challenging thing. Also there are a lot of rocks and stones so the runner has to be very concentrated while looking for a control placed on such an object.
G.K.: What will be the main focus of your preparation for EYOC next year?
Y.P.: I will try to have training practices on similar terrains and improve my mentality.
G.K.: What are your goals for next year?
Y.P.: To compete in the JWOC, To do my BEST at the EYOC..
*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.