Athlete of the Month – June 2011

Name: Tove Alexandersson
Country: Sweden
Discipline: Foot and ski orienteering
Career highlight in foot orienteering: Two times Junior World Orienteering Champion in middle distance (2009, 2010)
Career highlights in ski orienteering:
World Ski Orienteering Champion in sprint distance (2011), four times Junior World Ski Orienteering Champion (2009, 2010, 2011, 2011)

Tove Alexandersson was voted with a huge majority to Athlete of June. And no wonder: Tove has one year left as a junior, but she is already a World Champion in ski orienteering.

This summer Tove has a chance to win her third middle distance Junior World Championships gold medal in a row. “The most important thing for me is to do well at the Junior World Orienteering Championships races in Poland, but of course it would be a lot of fun to take a third win”, she says.

The 18-year-old Swede has been studying in an orienteering line in Sandviken for the past years. Now that she finishes high school she will return to her home town, Borlänge, in the middle of Sweden.

Young talent

Tove won her first Junior World Orienteering Championships gold in Middle distance during her first year as junior and now on 22 March she became Sprint World Champion in ski orienteering.  “This winter season was so much fun that I feel more motivated than ever about ski orienteering! Foot orienteering is still my number one focus, but I will certainly also aim for more success in winter.”

Fighting for a spot in the senior national team

The promising young Swede has taken part in many senior activities this year keeping in mind the World Orienteering Championships in Savoie, France, in August. Tove was fourth and sixth in the two Swedish qualification races. “I think it will be very difficult for me to get into the Swedish national team but I will do my best to make it,” she promises. “We have a lot of talented girls so it’s a tough battle. Tove is taking part in that and her young age isn’t regarded as an obstacle,” says Håkan Carlsson, coach for the Swedish national team.

The secret to Tove’s success

Tove aims at being the best senior orienteer in the world and she is ready to do what is necessary in order to reach this goal. “First of all, I am extremely motivated and also confident that I can become better. Also I feel I have found a way of training that is working very well.”

Replies to Søren Saxtorph

Athlete of April, trail orienteer Søren Saxtorph, asked Tove the following two questions:

Do you use mental training as part of your training programme?

“I practise quite a lot of mental training and have a coach who helps me with that.”

What do you do in your final preparations for a competition?

“I don’t do that many special things before a competition. I just try to get into the right mode and stay focused.”

Athlete of July

Tove also has a question for the coming athlete of the month, the Norwegian orienteer and World Champion Olav Lundanes: What is your favourite thing to do when you not training or doing something related to orienteering?

Text and photos: Erik Borg

Previous Athletes’ of the Month

February 2011 Olga Novikova (KAZ)
March 2011 Olli-Markus Taivainen (FIN)
April 2011 Emily Benham (GBR)
May 2011 Søren Saxtorph (DEN)

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