Categorical! So we can target the victory of Michele Cera that earned him the world title in PreO in the Open Class at WTOC 2015. After a first day when, alone, he assumed the command of the standings, Cera knew in the decisive day how to manage his race and, with a clean course, hit a star-studded competition. At the time of celebration, the Portuguese Orienteering Blog spoke to him, sharing, here and now, the most important moments of this conversation.
When you arrived in Croatia to compete in the World Championships, somehow it was in your idea that you could come to celebrate the world title in PreO?
Michael Cera (M.C.) - I don't know. When I came to Croatia, my main goal was to make the best possible. I think I got a very good result on the first day of PreO, with only one mistake, while all other opponents have two or more wrong answers. On the second day I felt quite nervous but I ended up over it and do it again a good race, a clean race.
Did you have your course always controlled or there was some doubts here and there?
M.C. - There were two or three controls which I couldn't answer with absolute conviction. The seventh control, for example, those with three flags very close, was one of them. Another was precisely the last control, number 26, although there I still had plenty of time to manage and I ended up using it to ensure that my answer would be correct.
As for the competition itself, what is your opinion?
M.C. - The organizers of this WTOC in Croatia did a great job. The courses were challenging and fair, free from complaints. It was a clean event. The maps were of high quality and also the issue of zero tolerance was clear and evident. It is a good sign as to what is intended for the future of the discipline.
What about TempO? Does the 15th place pleases you?
M.C. - When I looked to my time [430 seconds], I confess I was waiting for something better. But I improved two positions compared to my result last year and I feel that I must not be too disappointed.
How do you assess the competition results in respect of the said “smaller” countries? Portugal, for example?
M.C. - Portugal achieved excellent results, but also Slovakia, among others. It is very good for the future of this discipline that new nations could emerge to animate the competition and fight for the best places. Sweden, meanwhile, goes home without any medal. But I think the question is not that Sweden have lowered level; there, instead, some countries that have grown immense.
What are your plans for the future?
M.C. - I will continue doing Trail Orienteering, it's all I know. This result is a great motivation to me.