An injury got Edgars back to the forest

Posted on | July 17, 2012 | Category: Arena

The first ever Latvian winner at a World Championships in orienteering ended up again with map and compass because he couldn’t run on the roads.

 The 27-year-old athlete is from eastern Latvia originally and grew up in an orienteering family, but he wasn’t so eager to orienteer. “It was first when I became 17 years old and had a good race I started to train seriously for orienteering”, he says. “So I have not done the sport seriously from 11-12 years of age like a lot of my competitors”.

 “I wasn’t aiming so high”

 Before these championships he wanted to achieve as good a result as he had done earlier. His best was a ninth place on Middle distance in WOC in the Czech Republic in 2008, but from 2008 to 2011 orienteering wasn’t the main sport in his life. The Latvian went hard into track and field and had a goal of running the marathon in the Olympics, but last year he got an injury that meant he couldn’t run on roads.

 “Then I started to do more orienteering again”, he says.

 On today’s Middle distance course he had a terrific race. “It was very steady. I didn’t make any mistakes”, he says.

 – How is it to win?

 “It’s a kind of a dream, but I need some time to realise it. I hadn’t expected to do it”.

 More time for sport

 Since February he has also had much better conditions for doing sport. Before that he has either been studying or working alongside his sport. “Now I am doing it full time, and I have been training very well for the last year and haven’t had any sickness”.

 He has two coaches who help him in his Finnish club Turun Metsänkävjät, and now as in the last few years he is living in Riga.

 Only limited preparation

 While many of the national teams had a lot of training camps in Switzerland, Edgars has only been in similar terrain in a camp at the time of the World Cup races held in Switzerland a short while ago. “It was a four day long training camp”, he says.

 A tired Gueorgiou

 Thierry Gueorgiou was maybe the biggest favourite, but he ended fourth, beaten by 30 seconds. The Frenchman had a great race and the technical quality was like it has been when he has been winning the Middle, but this time he wasn’t in the shape he has had in earlier championships, due to an injury suffered in the European Championships. “He also felt tired after the qualification”, says Kenneth Buch, France’s national coach.


The winner Edgars Bertuks

Photo: Erik Borg

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