Liisa Anttila: “One day the sun will shine on me”

Posted on | March 1, 2007 | Category: News

For twenty minutes, on Tuesday, Liisa Anttila had her best day since 1998 as an athlete. But it became her worst day as an athlete. Now she is optimistic again. There are two races left in Russia.

The Finn finished the mass start in the gold position, but she was missing a punch from one control at the end of the second big loop.

– I remember punching the control and thought why should this happen me. I have had so much bad luck, but I can say that I was the best in the world on the long distance even if I didn’t get a prize or a medal for it, says Liisa who also says that it was very fair of Tatiana Vlasova to say that she had seen her close to the control.

The 32 year old Finn has, for about ten years, been one of the best athletes in the world in both ski orienteering and foot orienteering. Her bronze on the sprint was her 11th medal at a World Championship. She is a World Champion in relay in both disciplines and an individual World Champion at long distance in ski orienteering in Austria in 1998.

– For a while Tuesday was my best day since 1998. It’s something special to be an individual world champion, even if I also like relays. I had had a very good race. I skied well, orienteered well and I had won. It was also good to have such a result after Monday when I lost 20-25 seconds in the labyrinth, but was only three seconds from gold, she says.

In the World Championships in Finland two years ago she lost her ski when she was in a tense battle for the gold on the very last part of the last leg.

Never giving up

The Finn had a really big smile after the race. She said then that she could think about retiring because her goal has been not to stop before she was back at the top again. Anyway she said that the Finnish national coach in orienteering, Janne Salmi, could hear some good news: She will aim for Ukraine where the World Championships in foot orienteering are being held in August this year.

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Liisa Anttila was the main focus just after the race. Tuesday was set to be the best day since 1998 as an elite athlete for her. To be an individual world champion is the biggest thrill for Liisa.

The multi-talent, who was earlier studying languages and is now a part-time student in marketing lives in Tampere, the host city for the World Championships in 2001, has spent a lot of time with injuries.

– I don’t like running in indoor water very much, at least if I have to do it every day because of injuries. I think I have been running more in water than any other athlete and at times I have thought of giving up, but I also thought of not ending my career before being back again among the best, she says.

The good months

The months since September have been unusual for Liisa. She has been without injuries. She hasn’t had such a prolonged injury-free period for many years.

– I have, at least, not had any serious injuries. There have been some small things and I do still have to think a little about what I am doing. I still make use of indoor water and run once a week. It is good training even if I don’t like it, she says.

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Liisa Anttila is now looking forward again. She is experienced in getting over bad times.

All the injuries have made Liisa better able to manage tough times.

– What happened to me Tuesday is the worst thing that has happened to me in my sporting life because I felt that I hadn’t done anything wrong, but I am experienced in getting over difficulties and there are two races left in these championships and one day the sun will also shine on me, smiles Liisa.

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