Virkiän naisten ryhmä vahvistuu nuorilla latvialaissuunnistajilla
SuunnistusJulkaistu: 12.01.2023 19.35

Virkiän naisten ryhmä vahvistuu nuorilla latvialaissuunnistajilla

Virkiän naisten ryhmä saa ensi kaudelle mainiot vahvistukset, kun latvialaiset nuorten EM- ja MM-kisoissakin maataan edustaneet Laura Berke ja Leonarda Baltina liittyvät Virkiän väreihin. D20-sarjaan siirtyvillä naisilla on taskuissaan useita kotimaansa mestaruusmitaleita ja hyviä viestisuorituksia nuorten arvokisoissa. Viime kaudella Laura voitti Latvian mestaruuskisoissa hopeaa, minkä lisäksi Hämeenlinnan SM-viestistä lähti mukaan D18-sarjan SM-kultaa KS:n väreissä. Leonarda otti puolestaan maan mestaruuskisoista 4 kultaa ja oli nuorten EM-kisoissa W18-sarjan avausosuuden nopein.

Paitsi kisoja ja hyviä viestisuorituksia Virkiän paidassa, Laura ja Leonarda odottavat seuran leirejä ja kehittymistä Virkiän lupaavassa naisten ryhmässä. Virkiän kilparyhmään he pääsevätkin tutustumaan jo helmikuun alussa sprinttileirillä Turussa.

Toivotimme Lauran ja Leonardan tervetulleiksi Virkiään muutaman haastattelukysymyksen kera.

- Welcome to Lapuan Virkiä! How has your year started, and could you tell us little bit about yourself?

Laura: The year has started great! This year will be my first ear in Junior class (20). So, sadly, no more EYOC. Since September I have had a lot of changes in my life - I moved to a different city, now I live in Sigulda, Latvia. And I changed my school to online school, so I can be more focused on training. And I have a new foreign club!

My best individual results are 1st (2021) and 2nd (2022) place in Baltic Orienteering championship. In relay I have a 5th place in EYOC relay, 1st place in Baltic Orienteering championship and 1st place in Finnish relay championship. I have a lot of medals from Latvian championships and still from 2020 I'm very proud of my 5th place in Finnish sprint championship.

Leonarda: This year has started great! My name is Leonarda Baltiņa and I live in Latvia, near Cesis. Here I run for the club Meridians and it is one of the biggest and the best clubs in Latvia. I study online, so it is easier to manage my trainings. Last season I had great progress - got 4 gold medals in Latvian championships, went to my last EYOC (7th place in relay, but I ran the first leg and came out 1st), also went to my second JWOC (both sprint and forest, in forest relay we finished 9th).

- What are you waiting the most in Lapuan Virkiä and women’s team?

Laura: I can't wait to meet everybody and have trainings together so we can all help each other get better and improve our orienteering skills. I can't wait to achieve great results at Jukola and Viestiliiga with Lapuan Virkiä women's team, so some day we can step on the podium together!

Leonarda: I’m excited to join Lapuan Virkiä and I’m looking forward to many races, especially relays. Even more than that I can’t wait to make new friends and develop my orienteering skills even more.

- Finally, how about your strengths and what are you focusing to develop in future?

Laura: I have always had as a strength my speed and endurance. The technical part of orienteering has always been my weakness, but I have always worked very hard to get better at it and especially in the past year I have seen that it has gotten a lot better. I would say that reading the map in a fast speed is the number one thing I really need to develop. Also as an athlete I have understood that you really have to trust and believe yourself. And that's also a top priority for development.

Leonarda: My strengths are endurance, independence and confidence. My orienteering is great, but not perfect and there are some things I should work on. Mostly I want to work on my orienteering in very detailed and difficult terrains (like the ones with many rocks and small landforms).