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woensdag, september 24, 2014

Jec-interview with jwoc-stars

There is only 1,5 weeks left until JEC so we decided to warm everyone up with an interview with the jwoc stars who are also running in JEC. We choose to interview 2 boys and 2 girls, Miri Thrane Odum (Denmark), Sara Hagström, Assar hellström (Sweden) and Jonas Egger (Switzerland). I asked them few questions about their past, future and of course about the JEC that is about to happen. The interview will contain several serious questions and one fun question at the end!

 Sara Hagstrom with jwoc gold

Question: Have you ever been running in Belgium?

Assar: Yes I have been running in Belgium before and it was really fun to be able to add a new country on my collection. Unfortunatly it wasn't one of my best races, it was night orienteering with a lot of stuff on the grounds and very flat. Unfortunately it was one of my worst races ever technically. So I am really looking forward to better terrain, better courses and better performance from myself for JEC.

Miri: I have never been to Belgium before, so I realy look forward to trying to orienteer in a new country. If the terrains are as nice as Belgian-chocolate I think, it will be very good!

Sara & Jonas: I have never been there.

Question: Do you know what to expect from the terrains of JEC? Does it fit your skills?

Sara: I know the terrain is very flat and that will be a huge challange for me. I have sometimes troubles with my compass, mainly because I use a wrist compass and I can't take as good bearings with it as a thumb-compass but on the other hand I am used to my wrist compass and it is never covering my map. But as long as there are enough details to read the map, it shouldn't be a problem for me.

Miri: Looking at the maps from long and relay, some parts are similar to what you find in Denmark, quite flat and the sand dune-details looks similar to some part of Denmark. It seems from the map, that there will be a lot of direction running and that is a lot like Denmark too, so I think it will fit the Danes good. I am looking forward to see how the running in the sand will be! The sprint map looks fun aswell!

Jonas: I heard the terrains will be very fast. Fast is always fun, I wouldn't say fast would fit my orienteering skills but I like new challanges.
wrist compass that Sara Hagström is using
Question: What are your expectations for JEC? When do you consider it a success?

Jonas: I don't know which countries are participating, but it would be nice to finish the season on the podium.

Miri: I won't put a number to when I'm satisfied at JEC. I think when I focus on the right things and keep my mind together I have the capacity both physically and technically to be among the best. Of course I also want revenge from JWOC because I am not satisfied with my performances on middle and long. I will focus on keeping myself engaged with orienteering, and I've been working with how to start my race and how to get back into focus. JEC is a good opportunity to try out something on a championship. It is only 2-3 times a year we have junior championships, so it will be good to compete against all the best juniors once again. It is a very good chance to do the things that went well on JWOC and then learn from the mistakes, do what you didn't manage to do at JWOC.

Assar: JEC will be my last appearance as a junior in the national team and I really want to get a good feeling before I start my senior years as an athlete. I want to make very good races with the feeling that I couldn't have done it better. That is my goal for JEC, but of course it would be really nice to come home with some medals as well.

Sara: When I manage to control my orienteering, when I have been running in the flow. Equally important for me is to have fun in the forest and to meet up with my friends

Assar in action at eyoc!

Question: For some it is your last year as a junior, how do you look back on your junior career? And where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

Assar: In 5 years I could be doing anything and live anywhere, I don't have a clue. But right now after this incredible fun season with JWOC and the good results I accomplished there my biggest dream is to be one of the world's greatest orienteers, a world champion! I really hope that my life turns out so I could make this dream happen and become a reality.

Miri: I have one more year left as junior (thank god!) and I think JWOC in Norway next year will be legendary. But so far I have really enjoyed my junior career, and it’s fun looking few years back to my first JWOC, in Slovakia. Each JWOC-preparation has been different and I have been feeling strong in different things from year to year. My two strongest memories in my junior-time the last three years is, from Slovakia at the longdistance, where it was absolutely awesome terrain and I ran one of my worst longdistances - I missed about 20 minutes, but the terrain was so nice that it was fun anyways. The best memory is from middledistance last year, where I made everything work that day and kept my mind on the right things. I learned a lot from both things. I’m glad I'm not senior yet, the time has gone really fast.

Sara: I have one year left as a junior, I am just 19. But my time as a junior was already very good. I had a lot of oppertunities to gain experience. I think this will be very important for the future. I truly hope that I will become an elite orienteer in 5 years and that I can feel the same happiness towards orienteering as I feel it right now.

Jonas: It is my last year as a junior. I have made some big steps the last years. I was never injured for a longer time and I hope it will continue like this. Then everything is possible and I will try to establish this also in the Elite Class.

Miri running towards gold at middle in jwoc 2013 

Question: Do you have any idols in orienteering? Did they inspire you? 

Sara: I have many orienteers I look up to, but especially Simone Niggli played has always been a big role model and I am really impressed by all the Swedish seniors in the national team.

Miri: I’m inspired of a lot of people, and I think it helps me develop. It’s really interesting to see how other orienteers do it, and I use a lot of what I see and then develop it my own way, to make it fit my way of thinking and training. It’s maybe a cliché but I’m really inspired by Simone and Thierry, their way of orienteering is just a whole other class and I think their level has contributed to raise the level all over for a lot of runners. I’m inspired by some older stars and legends, because their way of living and training are so extreme, compared to how many runners do it today. I’m inspired by my teammates and other runners of my own age in the orienteering world and by other running environments like the track and field groups because they train in another way. If I should name a person near to me, it must be my older brother, Marius. He has been sick with borealis for soon 16 months, but he keeps fighting and focus on what he can do. And seeing him not orienteering, made me realize how fortunate you are when you can run in the forest, doing the most awesome thing in the world. So I'm both motivated and inspired by that, and hope that he soon will be able to run again.
Jonas: Yeah, there are of course some idols. Thierry with his amazing orienteering skills and also Jani Lakanen as the only orienteer who won WOC medals in three decades are great personalities of whom everyone can learn something. I am not naming any Swiss orienteers now because there are just too many to admire ;)

Assar: Of course I admire Thierry, after all those years he has still got it, he is one of the biggest orienteers ever! You can always learn something from looking at his races. Otherwise it is really fun to have one of the best Swedish orienteers in my club (OK Ravinen). It is very nice to train with Gustav Bergman (or Bergwoman ;)) and I have learned a lot from him, not only as an orienteer but also as a friend.

Jonas in action during jec!

Question: You all became prize winning top juniors, what differs you from the other juniors that don't win the prizes. 

Miri : I think I'm good at focusing on the right things and doing something about the things I can actually do something about, and I'm good at accepting changing situations. I think I am good at pushing really hard and 'killing' my legs, both at trainings and competitions. I am good at not letting mistakes disturb my orienteering and getting back in flow after missing. Often I run a lot better after the mistakes and I don't give up. So next step is figure out how I run well without making mistakes! ;)
Jonas: I think I find out how I have to correct my mistakes which I do fast and know my body and how I should train it well. General I would say I train intelligent and effective.

Sara: I think I have a really high “lowest” level on my courses. I don't think I am that much better runner or map-reader then 2 years ago, I just have been better with mental training before big championships, I know how to handle my thoughts.

Assar: It is really hard competition here in Sweden to get selected for the national team. I think one of the main reasons I was in the team was because I am very stable in my results. This year I have made top results in almost every single competition. I maybe didn't win all of them but neither did I do a very bad result.

 Question: Imagine that you will be world champion in 10 years from now and you are re-reading this interview, what would you like to say to yourself? 

Sara to future Sara: I am very impressed by you(myself?) and try to enjoy thinking about the road you have been following from JEC till now(then?)

Assar to future Assar: I am really proud of you darling! I know it is tough that you need to build a new medal cabinet to make room for your woc medal! Say hi to your beautifull girlfriends of yours and I really hope that you are doing your rehab-excercices to keep you out of injuries. But if I know you well, which I do, I know you don't give a damn. Keep in touch brother.

 Miri to future Miri: Congratulations future Miri! You should have eaten more waffles and chocolate while you were at JEC in Belgium! But it was good that you remembered to get your shirt signed by Toon Melis. Remember: Left is always fastest, and orienteering is the best thing you can do. You better win the world masters one day - See you on the other side!

Jonas to future Jonas: Congrats you're awesome and don't forget to look sexy.

 Fun Question for Sara Hägstrom: Does your future husband have to be an orienteer? Sara: I don't think he absolutely has to be an orienteer, but it is for sure a big plus. If he is not an orienteer I will make him orienteer.

Fun Question for Assar Hellstrom: If you win JEC this year, are you gonna kiss the second guy? And who would be your favourite guy then? 

Assar: If I win JEC this year I hope I can kiss the winner in women class, so yes! I will definately kiss her if I win. But Anton Johansson will always be in my heart!

Fun Question for Miri Thrane Odum: How would your perfect orienteering boyfriend look like?

Face of Oscar Sjöberg. Hair of Sonic(you all know who). Body a fusion between Assar Hellström, Jonas Egger and Sara Hagström and mapreading of Simone Niggli.

 Fun question for Jonas Egger: What is that song that the swiss are always singing when someone is on the podium? 

Jonas: hahaha, that's an easy one. "-Name- läng mer ad banane" but no explanation in english!!

After a few more questions about the song. 

Jonas: I can only tell it has to do something with a banana otherwise I will be kicked out of the junior team when I tell this one!

If there is someone who knows the meaning of the pfrase feel free to comment it under this article!

dinsdag, september 16, 2014

Pasquasy and Fabré win Belgian long distance champs

Last weekend Chiny was the place to be for the Belgian orienteers. On saturday a model event took place on relevant terrain and on sunday it was finally the national long distance championships on the program.

The map and terrain were very promising. All participants expected the most technical long distance championships since several years. The organisors also did good work with promoting the event and finally many participants (more than 400) showed up in Chiny. 

Both H21E and D21E had a very technical first part of the race. Actually the courses of both elite classes were exactly the same in the beginning (untill the 5th control). It's interesting to analyse who succeeded to stay calm in the beginning and avoid mistakes in the area full of vegetation details. 
In class H21E Thomas van der Kleij was leading after 5 controls (13'42). He was more than 45 seconds ahead of Sergey Fedatsenka and Michael VanBaelen passed in 3rd spot (1 minute behind). 
In class D21E we even saw bigger mistakes in the same area (and same controls). Miek Fabré passed control 5 as best woman in 21'10, ahead of Aline Hermans (21'58) and Anna Serrallonga (23'49).

The podium in H21E and D21E

After this very demanding area, the courses got less technical and more physically challenging. Fabien Pasquasy made a 3 minutes mistake in the beginning. But despite his injury he moved towards the very top in the ranking during his race. In the end he was 16 seconds faster than Sergey Fedatsenka. Thomas van der Kleij finished in 3rd position and took the silver medal. Francois van der Ouderaa finally took the bronze medal in the Belgian long distance championships.

The top-4 in D21E comparing routechoices.

In class D21E Miek Fabré took another Belgian title. She won the race ahead of her friend (also in the forest) Liesbeth van de Velde and Federica Maggioni (3rd). Aline Hermans (one of the favourits) made 2 big mistakes and finished in 5th position in the end.

In junior class the Belgian long distance champs was the selection race for JEC 2014 (in the north of Belgium). 

Some quotes and opinions from the runners about the national long distance champs in Chiny:

Fabien Pasquasy (1st in H21E): Very emotional win today in Belgium long champs... had to focus on the map instead of my very painful and injured foot (mental effort) # 34 years ago my father almost won the title in the same finish area # very loooong rehab now in front of me.

Sergey Fedatsenka (2nd in H21E): Awesome terrain. Very good course. Despite very messy orienteering I became second just 16 seconds behind the leader. Lost quite a lot (I think about 5 - 6 minutes on the first part control 2,3,4,8,11,13), doesn't matter, I enjoyed the forest and the course very much. On the second part I did a good race with only a small mistake on 24th about 25 seconds.

Michael Van Baelen (6th in H21E): Started easy in the difficult first part and had lots of hesitations but managed to get to the 6th control in 3rd place and without major mistakes. When I wanted to speed up I started making lots of mistakes. After this it was mostly just running without real orienteering which was quite a shame which such a great map. I always had the feeling to have a great shape without being able to push. I guess I'm also still missing some power to the older runners. When Thomas passed me on the uphill to 14 I couldn't even follow for a few meters. In the end I managed to get a good result with a quite poor race but that's mostly because many others failed hard. Podium would have been possible with a completely clean race. Good experience to take with me to the future.

Michel Bastin (7th in H21E): In French: L'objectif principal de ma 2ème moitié de saison, malheureusement je ne peux être satisfait, surtout à cause de ma prestation technique... je paie sans doute le trop peu de CO effectué cette saison. La place de 6ème Belge n'est finalement pas trop mauvaise, mais tout de même à 6' du podium espéré. La stratégie était claire: réduire au minimum les pertes de temps techniques --> assurer un maximum. Je pensais que le podium était jouable avec une bonne course, et c'était bien le cas. Seulement voilà, j'ai commis trop de petites erreurs et une grosse de 5' qui ont définitivement ruiné mes espoirs, au total 11'50 de perdu. À l'analyse des temps intermédiaires, le physique était OK mais ce n'était pas non plus l'état de grâce.

Michael Van Baelen towards the finish after a decent race

Interesting for analysing is 3Drerun from worldofo. All elite runners can upload their routes (for example in gpx file) on this website. This tool makes it possible to compare every single leg between all the runners in mass start replay mode. At the moment Fabien Pasquasy, Francois van der Ouderaa, Desmond Franssen and Christian Bastin have uploaded their routechoices in H21E. In D21E only Anna Serrallonga has uploaded her routes.

Map H21E (Michel Bastin - Desmond Franssen)

woensdag, september 10, 2014

Belgian long champs: starttimes

On sunday the most important individual race of the year will take place in Belgium: the national long distance championships. The race will take place in Chiny. This area has been used in 2002 for a world cup long distance competition.

Extract from the map

The long distance race in 2002 included 15540m (440m climb) for H21E and was won by Pasi Ikonen in 1h24'10. Ikonen was 1 minute faster than Novikov (RUS) and 2 minutes faster than Holger-Hott (NOR). For the Belgian long distance champs the elite runners will have to survive a 14410m course with 265m climbing. The winning time should be around 1h30 on sunday.

Another extract from the map

In women's class the champion was ofcourse Simone Luder in 2002. She completed the 9830m course in 56'09. In the end she was more than 3 minutes faster than the Swedish Grantstedt and the Norwegian Hanne Staff. On sunday the Belgian women will run almost the same distance: 9560m. We are curious who can beat Luders winning time.

This is how the forest will look like and the palce to be for control 101

4 athletes who were representing their country at the world cup in 2002, will be again present in 2014. Olle Karner from Estonia and Fabien Pasquasy from Belgium are not as young as in 2002 anymore, but still they are among the favourits for the victory on sunday. Both will probably fight against Tomas Hendrickx for the victory. Also Michel Bastin was representing Belgium in 2002 and is one of the outsiders on sunday.

The only female runner who was competing in 2002 and again in 2014 is Aline Hermans. At the moment she's in D40 class, but still fighting for the title in D21E. We expect a close fight between her and Miek Fabré next sunday.

The technical information about the long distance championships 2014

The organisation did great work with promoting the event on facebook. The expectations are very high now. Hopefully we'll experience one of the most technical and demanding championships since several years in Chiny.
Also the startlist has been published already. Be carefull it's been updated today and there are many changes compared to the previous startlist.

Results world cup 2002
Map and routechoices 2002 (Men final A - Women final A)
Startlist BK 2014

maandag, september 08, 2014

Belgian relay champs: maps and results

Yesterday KOL won the Belgian relay champs for the 4th in a row in men's class. The Belgian woc relay team was almost 5 minutes faster than TROL. In women's class Co Liege won the relay championships ahead of OMEGA.

The report from the men's race based on some photos:

The mass start at 10h00 in the morning. Finally more than 430 runners were present at the Belgian relay championships.

Aline Hermans in front of the men's leading group at the spectatorscontrol (with Joost Talloen - OMEGA, Desmond Franssen - TROL and Pieter Hendrickx - KOL)

Again the leading group at the spectatorscontrol. At the change over, Desmond Franssen (TROL) was leading ahead of Jeroen Hoekx (HAMOK), Pieter Hendrickx (KOL) and Joost Talloen (OMEGA).

 Tomas Hendrickx (KOL) had the best legtime of all runners. During his race he passed TROL and HAMOK and changed over in first position.

 Jeremy Genar (TROL) came in as 2nd, 2 minutes behind Hendrickx.

Yannick Michiels made a 1 minute mistake towards the 1st control to make the fight for gold a bit more exciting. But finally he easily managed to reach the finish in 1st position. KOL won another gold medal at the Belgian relay championships.

Sergey Fedotsenka (TROL) came in as 2nd, 4min50 down to KOL. 

Despite his injury, Fabien Pasquasy could run away from OMEGA (Evert Leeuws) and HAMOK (Thomas van der Kleij) and took the bronze medal with HOC. 

Thomas van der Kleij could pass Evert Leeuws and finished into 4th spot with HAMOK.

The podium in class H-open: 1. KOL (Pieter Hendrickx - Tomas Hendrickx - Yannick Michiels), 2. TROL (Desmond Franssen - Jeremy Genar - Sergey Fedotsenka), 3. HOC (Tom Drygalski - Johan Tinchant - Fabien Pasquasy).

Report women's race:
In the women's race we saw a good start from Co Liege. Aline Hermans succeeded to finish into 1st spot during the first leg. She finished more than 6 minutes ahead of Saartje Sallaerts (KOL) and Mira Scheir (HAMOK). 

During the 2nd leg the gap between the leaders and the 2nd team got a bit smaller. Stephanie Blockx (Co Liege) came in as 1st, 3 minutes ahead of Sofie Heuninckx (KOL) and 5 minutes ahead of ASUB (Jessica Limpach). 

Fanny Tilkin (Co Liege) started as first one and seemed very confident about the victory at the spectatorscontrol. But in the end it got very exciting. Anna Serrallonga (TROL) and Miek Fabre (OMEGA) were chasing Tilkin and came very close. Co Liege finally crossed the finishline as first only 30 seconds ahead of TROL and OMEGA. But in the final results TROL and KOL were disqualified because one of their runners punched a wrong control. So OMEGA became 2nd and HAMOK 3rd. 

The podium in D-open: 1. Co Liege (Aline Hermans - Stephanie Blockx - Fanny Tilkin), 2. OMEGA (Federica Maggioni - Tine Bosmans - Miek Fabre), 3. HAMOK (Mira Scheir - Elisabeth Schutjes - Greet Oeyen).

Next year the relay championships will already take place in the end of March. TROL will organise the competition in 2015 in Antwerpen (Sint-Annabos).

Map H-open (Desmond Franssen)
Map H-open (Michel Bastin)

dinsdag, september 02, 2014

Preview: Belgian relay champs 2014

On sunday the Belgian relay champs will take place in the south of Belgium. This competition is always one of the most exciting races of the year. It's not only about orienteering, but also about teamspirit, tactics and head to head running. Many athletes and teams talk about this event for several months on forehand.

This time the competition will be organised at Baraque de Fraiture It's the 3rd highest point in the Belgian Ardennes (652m above sealevel). The competition centre will be close to the top at the skicentre. So the participants can expect some tough uphill running during the race.

All teams (140 in total) will start together at 10h00. Pierre Marchal will be the coursesetter. The longest courses (H-open) will measure 7000m and halfway they will pass the spectatorscontrol. Also a speaker will be present, so the spectators will receive all the up-to-date information about the races. The scale of the map will be 1/7500 and the map is updated in the summer of 2014.

Podium in H21E in 2013: 1st KOL (Michiels, Simkens and T. Hendrickx), 2nd HAMOK (Hoekx, Anciaux and T. van der Kleij), 3rd TROL (Franssen W, Genar and Pelckmans)

In class H21elite we can see one team as favourit for the golden medal. KOL won the previous 3 editions and their 3 runners represented the national team at WOC in Italy this year. Based on these facts we logically expect the brothers Hendrickx and Yannick Michiels at the startline of the strongest KOL team. The second team will probably also include some good athletes like for example the new Finnish star Taneli Pantsar, Wouter Hus, Bert Bockx or Sandro Grasso.

Ofcourse some other teams are very motivated to surprise and fight for the victory if KOL can't handle the pressure. The TROLcoach for example has a luxury problem for composing the first team. Sergey Fedatsenka showed some high level performances last summer at Jukola, Belgian 3-days, O-ringen and World university championships. Also Michael Van Baelen showed that he's back in shape after winning the Strumica Open in Macedonia ahead of Aposol Atanasov and Daniel Barkasz. Even Jeremy Genar, the brothers Franssen and Adriaan Pelckmans are ready and prepared to defend the white, red and blue colours from TROL.

As silver medalist in 2013 (and many other editions) HAMOK is also a dangerous outsider. Thomas van der Kleij (performing very strong in similar terrain last sunday), Benjamin Anciaux and Jeroen Hoekx ofcourse spearhead the first team. Dries van der Kleij, Toon Melis and Peter Krampiltz are candidates for the 2nd team.

Also OMEGA should be able to create a strong team with both Wouter and Evert Leeuws, Joost Talloen, Bart Delobel, Tommy Janssens,...  as clubmembers. The question is if the club could motivate its athletes this time and if they will all enter for this relay competition.

The same question counts for many clubs in the south of Belgium. They also have the possibilties to compose some strong teams, but in the past it happened only rarely that they all showed up. This year we at least can expect a strong team from HOC. Fabien Pasquasy, Johan Tinchant and Tom Drygalski are a strong trio. Also ARDOC will be present at the startline with their best team: the brothers Bastin in combination with Michael Hennes.

Co Liege will be the organising team, but their promising junior athletes Tristan Bloemen and Clement Demeuse are expected to compete at the relay. Also ASUB has many possibilities to compose a strong team when we think about Olle Karner, Francois Van der Ouderaa, Jean-Francois Krier, Christophe Bernard, the brothers Gillet, the brothers De Neyer,...

Podium D21E in 2013: 1. OMEGA (Fabre, Vandevelde and Maggioni), 2. KOL (Scheir, Heuninckx and Sallaerts) and 3. Co Liege (Hermans, Tilkin and Blockx)

In class D21E we expect a fight between OMEGA (with for sure Federica Maggioni and Miek Fabre) and Co Liege (with Aline Hermans and Stephanie Blockx). Probably also HAMOK can fight for the podium now. We can expect Greet Oeyen and Mira Scheir in this team. Also TROL will have a stronger team than last year with Helena Pluymers and Anna Serrallonga.

In women's class everything will depend on who will be the 3rd runners in the team and how they will perform. KOL (the silver medalist in 2013) has already published the team: Saartje Sallaerts, Sofie Heuninckx and Tina Linten will defend the blue and yellow colours. These 5 teams in combination with ASUB and ARDOC will probably on top of the resultlists in D-open.