Grigory Medvedev is one of the most talented MTB orienteers of the new wave. His enormous consistency throughout the season, along with some outstanding results, place him, currently, in the World top 10 and it's on him that attentions are focused in the page turning for a new season. To the Portuguese Orienteering Blog, Medvedev analyses the now ended year and designes 2017 with the gold in sight.
I would start by asking you to present yourself. Who is Grigory Medvedev?
Grigory Medvedev (G. M.) - I was born in Moscow and I still live there. But I've been living for several years in the Czech Republic and in South Africa when I was a kid. I study Engineering in Bauman Moscow State Technical University. I like to travel, try new activities and I'm learning how to play guitar.
How did you meet Orienteering?
G. M. - I started orienteering at the age of 8. My parents just took me to the sports school to the Chess section, but I accidentally noticed some kids running outside with maps. This kind of activity seemed more interesting than Chess and I began training regularly. I did both FootO and SkiO. When I was 14 years old, I tried MTBO for the first time. It was a very exciting experience and gradually MTB Orienteering became my main discipline.
What do you see in MTB Orienteering that makes it so special?
G. M. - I like MTBO because of the high speed. If you want to be good in MTB Orienteering you must be really fast, both physically and mentally!
Have you a training routine? How is, in your case, a typical week?
G. M. - I try to do different trainings and not to have a training routine, because routine means that you are not excited any more. I participate in FootO and SkiO competitions as much as possible and I also compete in MTB XC races.
What do you like the most: Long Distance or Sprint? Why?
G. M. - I’ve always liked Sprint because of its high speed and fast orienteering. But I feel now strong enough for the Long Distance too. Long Distance demands stability, you must be concentrated for about two hours. So, I like both distances.
After some impressive results in the Junior World MTB Orienteering Championships – Sprint World Champion in 2010 and 2012 – it was a big surprise to see you in the podium of the World MTBO Championships 2014, in your second year in the Elite. Do you still remember the feelings around that bronze medal?
G. M. - Yes, I remember that race quite well. I realized then that Sprint was my only chance for top results and I did a good race, but the medal was a surprise, even for me. Still, this is my only Elite medal so far.
During the World MTB Orienteering Championships 2016, in Portugal, you managed to get the 7th place in the Long Distance and the 9th place in the Sprint. Are you happy with your results?
G. M. - I'm disappointed with my results in the WMTBOC 2016. I felt that I was well prepared but I couldn't keep calm and made too many mistakes.
How do you evaluate the Portuguese competition overall?
G. M. - I liked the event. Good organisation, interesting terrain and courses. Just the Sprint distance was quite easy and the quarantine was too long in such hot weather conditions.
You ended the season in Lithuania with three great races, reaching the podium day after day. Consequently, you got the 7th place in the World Cup 2016 overall and you're now the 8th placed in the IOF World Ranking. Did you expect it?
G. M. - Yes, I ended the season in a good way. I didn’t expect three podiums there but I'm satisfied that I saved a top ten ranking place, which was one of my goals for the season.
Would you like to mention other moments of the season?
G. M. - Besides the good end of the season, with the three races in Lithuania, I would mention the victory in WRE Sprint in Åhus (Sweden) and the overall winning in the MTBO training camp there. The worst was the Middle Distance in Portugal.
And what about the best map?
G. M. - I liked the Lithuanian maps a lot.
Talking about your team mate Anton Foliforov, how do you see him? Is he the best MTBO athlete ever? What does he has that you don’t?
G. M. - Anton is, definitely, the strongest MTBO athlete now. He trains a lot and he's really focused on every race. I wish I had his confidence and calmness.
For the last seven years, the Russian Relay team has been composed by Anton Foliforov, Ruslan Gritsan and Valeriy Gluhov. Are you ready to replace one of them already in 2017?
G. M. - I feel ready for the Relay team, but my teammates are also strong and we'll have to wait until 2017 to get an answer to this question.
In the meanwhile, what are your plans for the winter season?
G. M. - My plans are to compete in several SkiO races and to train a lot to be in good shape for the next MTBO season.
Have you some goals already designed for the next season? Would you like to share the biggest one?
G. M. - My biggest goal is, of course, a gold medal in the World MTB Orienteering Championships.