By Jyrki Kiviniitty
First ever Firmasprintti (an open orienteering competition for teams of four from companies and organisations) was held in March 17th in Oulunkylä just 15 minutes north of Helsinki center. There were over 200 participants and 50 teams in the race.
In addition,the event was a start for orienteering sprint cup consisting of ten individual open events organised by four local clubs.
Fastest time of the longer sprint course was set by Gleb Tikhonov (GT) junior world champion for sprint orienteering 2012. We had a short chat with him.
Congrats for the top run yesterday. How was the race and your comment on the course?
GT: For me this was the first sprint race since World Champs last year (I’ve been quite badly injured in autumn), so I had a plan to take it quite easily, but try to do clean orienteering. I quite succeed with this plan, just a bit increasing the speed in the end of the course.
The course itself was nice, not very technically demanding, but quite speedy and with some definitely not obvious routchoices. At least in two-three places the route analysis told completely different things from what I expected – particularly on the second control and on the second to last. After such a long period without city orienteering I felt that my brain is quite slow, so several times I slowed down to make the decision on the next control.
What brought you to Helsinki? Can we see you in forthcoming events?
GT: Currently I am conducting my doctoral research here, in Helsinki University, Department of Biosciences. I’ve been around for a bit more than 1.5 years, so I participate in orienteering events from time to time. Especially when they happen to be held that close to my home, as it was yesterday – just 18 minutes by running.
What are your plans, focus and goals for this season?
GT: The major goal is to keep healthy through the whole season! Another big goal is to qualify for national team to World Champs in Sweden and show decent results in EOC and WOC. And of course the big relays – Jukola and 10Mila are of high importance as well! Not that easy to get to the first team for Jukola in such a strong club as Turun Metsänkävijät.
Anything else you would like to share with our audience?
GT: Hah, just one small thing may be – if there is someone, interested in doing some trainings together – I would be glad to discuss the possibilities (especially in North-East Helsinki districts), as frankly speaking ,I am direly missing some company.
Thank you for the chat and all the best with the research work and the comming orienteering season!