World championships in orienteering 2015 are history. We got both new and young medalists as well as more experienced champions, congratulations to everyone! Next year the WOC will be organized in Sweden close to Gothenburg. Then there will be once again both new talents and old faces fighting for the medals.
Will Sara Hagström, junior world champion this year, be one of them? Read Sara’s thoughts about the highlights of her junior years and feelings changing to seniors.
Highlights as junior
One of the highlights from my time as junior are when I was 17 years old and selected for JWOC in Slovakia. I almost didn’t know what the championships was and I wansn’t so prepared while some people in the team had prepared themselves for over a year. It was lika a whole new world was opening for me! The first training outside the nordic contries had iI’ve been running only a month before the selection, so I was really a “blueberry” in international orienteering. This new international world was full of new people to meet, new viewes of how to think orienteering (inspired from the other juniors), new maps to run on, new challenges and more serious competitions than I ever could imagine. This feeling that the junior orienteeing world had so much more to experience is one of the highlights!
Another highlight is from EYOC relay in Portugal 2013 when I had one of those rare days when I felt like i was unstoppable, the course felt so easy, everything was clear and I could run as fast as I wanted. I passed through team by team, and in the last loop I reached the teams in the top. I continued doing what I had done the whole course, orienteer right and run fast, and in the finish my teammates Felicia and Johanna met me to run to the gold medal together!
My last highlight from the junior time is the feeling that orienteering never stops beeing fun, instead, the fun is increasing for every training and competition! At O-Ringen this summer, I made a terrible race the first day with over 10 min mistakes, but despite that I crossed the finish line with a smile on my face. A tecnically and physically demanding course that made me realize once again that I have so much left to learn and that I have the the chanse to get so much better. I was already looking forward to the next day!
Next stage: senior-class
Soon it’s time for me to move on from the junior-class to a new stage in my orienteering life, the senior-class. Sometimes when I think of it I feel a bit worried: longer courses, older and more experienced competitiors, more seriousness among the runners and harder to even qualify for a competition. But when I think of the happiness that I had when I finished on the first day of O-Ringen, despite the long, demanding course and the terrible performance, the worries disappears. The summary from the past years shows that the happiness and the feeling that I have potential for development is the engine of my orienteering.
So, why not let the story repeat itself? Why not let the first year as a senior, just as it was as a junior, be a door-opening year full of new experiences and inspiration, and a fight towards one of the blue and yellow spots for WOC 2016? The challenge of the senior orineteering world is in front of me and I’m more than motivated!