Face to face with Thierry Gueorgiou, 14 times World Champion in orienteering.
“WMOC 2022: Foresta Umbra in Gargano is a really fantastic area, and actually I was really surprised to find that type of terrain that south.”
PWT Italy: Your Italian friends are happy to hear from you again and it’s great to see you as the new head coach of the Finnish National Team. What are the main goal(s) you have set for this new challenge?
TG: Of course, I have quite a strong connection with Finland due to all my elite years with Kalevan rasti, as I represented that club for 18 years (2000-2017). Right now, it just feels right to have a chance to give something back, and my motivation is pretty enormous. My coaching contract is ending in 2025 which will be a year to remember for Finnish orienteering, with the World Championships organised in Kuopio. So, for sure, it is a natural goal, and I think about it every day, but I just don´t want to wait that long before we see some progress with the Finnish team results. And as I have said from day 1, my aim is to make the Finns proud of their national team.
PWT Italy: As you might know, in July 2022 we will organize the World Master Orienteering Championships in Gargano, Puglia. You’ve been training in the area between 2009 and 2010, what are your best memories from those trainings?
TG: It is a really fantastic area, and actually I was really surprised to find that type of terrain that south, and that close from the coast. Usually most of the terrains are not that enjoyable due to dense greens, but this place is like a dream island with some of the best sprint maps in the whole world, and the very enjoyable Foresta Umbra.
PWT Italy: Based on your experience, how do you think one should prepare to better master the tricky terrains of Foresta Umbra?
TG:You should definitely have some respect for the task, as even though the runnability remains good, the visibility is changing all the time, and it is very easy to lose direction. Thus, I would put some focus on compass training.
PWT Italy: Do you recall some other special moments from your races at MOC in Italy? (MOC Championships 2008, your victory in Matera in 2013)
Some other fun facts or memories from your MOC performances?
TG: Matera’s experience is just unbeatable, and I rank it as the best sprint area I have been navigating in. It is so intense that it is way more challenging than any middle distance course. But I must say the feeling around those races has always been the best, and Italian people have been really nice.
PWT Italy: We are glad that you come back to Italy in March 2022 for the MOC Camp and MOC Championships as the head coach of the Finnish National Team, why did you choose Italy and the MOC week?
TG: Well, it is very important we constantly look for good matching to get out of our comfort zone in our road toward World Championships. We have tried to build up a program for our team where we try to find good sprint competitions with other national teams, so we can learn quicker and get closer and closer from the bests. So that´s what we are traveling to MOC, but we can´t put aside that this part of Italy is pretty enjoyable in March too!
Foresta Umbra (Gargano – Puglia) will host the forest races of WMOC 2022
MOC Sprint Camp & MOC Championship 2022
-Info and entries HERE
Next entry deadline 28 February 2022
World Masters Orienteering Championships 2022
-Enter now HERE
Next entry deadline 15 February 2022