Who is Who
José Fernandes

José Fernandes, M45, POR

[This photo, used to promote WMOC 2008, was taken by Filipe Reinoite in a competition organized by Portuguese club COC.]

You are this WMOC's face. How do you feel looking at your picture on the poster?
To be in the WMOC's promotion poster is for sure a great satisfaction and, at the beginning, a great surprise. But the face of this event it's not me, but all the orienteering Portuguese family. I would like to participate in the WMOC in other functions, but because I'm working in Spain I can't do it. I'll run and I'll try to do my best. About the picture on the poster, I remember perfectly that it was shot in a COC event, but I couldn't see the photographer. It has been a subject of many jokes among my orienteering friends.

Considering our bad results abroad, you had an auspicious debut in Austria 2006. How did you live the atmosphere there?
It was completely new to me, because I've never been in an event of such magnitude. Maybe because I was there to learn, I didn't feel the pressure. As the terrains suit my characteristics, I managed to get into the A Final, though the qualifying races didn't work out so well to me.

What are the main titles in your career?
Long Distance National Champion and Middle and Long Distance Iberian Champion.

Without modesty, please tell us how was it to win to the super champion Jörgen Mårtensson at POM 2007 (February, S. Pedro do Sul).
That victory was more symbolic than anything else to me. However, I have to admit that was the most delicious victory that I've experienced, because those were four days of exciting and beautiful struggle, just till the last hundred meters. The power and concentration that I gathered to face the race from the second day on, came from my family and friends. I confess that when I finished the race, I didn't thought about me, but in the joy that I gave to everybody that supported me on those days and that you materialized in a breath-taking hug as soon as I crossed the finish line.

What was your best score in athletics?
I was never a federate athlete before I came to orienteering. I just won some amateur races when I was young and I ran the half-marathon a little below the 1h15mn.

How did you improve with Albano João (also M45) as your coach?
Albano is my first coach, before him I did my own training programs. He has been my coach for two years, just after I won the Iberian title and, since then, he never failed me with a train program every week, which I try to fulfill carefully. The great improvement that I've been through since Albano coaches me could be confirmed by the results that I have achieved lately. This season I'm following a train program whose objectives started by a good result in the Iberian Championship and to be in shape for the POM and the WMOC.

Is running at home an advantage? What will be a good result for you?
To run at home is always an advantage. To achieve a place at A Final would be a good result for me.

Who are the candidates in your class?
Mårtensson is always a strong candidate, and, attending to the terrain characteristics, there is a great Finish legion from which could come out several candidates.

Portugal will have the first WMOC with a Sprint race. What do you think about it?
I think that would bring more visibility and emotion to the event. That's not my favorite race, but I believe it to be the one in which the Portuguese athletes would have more possibilities to show themselves.

What is your date of birth and where do you live?
I was born in November 8, 1959, in Campo do Gerês, and nowadays I live in Braga, but I still visit my beautiful village almost every week.

What are your job and hobbies?
I'm Management Technician in the mechanical area, in power production centers. Nowadays, my spare time is almost all devoted to orienteering, practicing or working in my club's events.

How did you discover orienteering?
It was in 1995, by the hand of José Carlos Pires, who was my master for several years.

What were the best events you have attended?
The best one was without shadow of a doubt the WMOC 2006 in Austria. After that, I liked also very much POM organized by GD4Caminhos in 2003 and POM in 2007. I mentioned these ones, but in general I liked the great majority of races that I've been in.

Do you remember your best or your funniest race?
The funniest race was in 1995, in the second time that I had an orienteering map in my hands, near Crestuma dam; I ran a pair race with my wife and we achieved an honorable second place.

Who are your heroes in this sport?
I don't like the word heroes very much, but there were two athletes that in different ways made a big influence in my way of running and in the way I conduct myself in orienteering. One of them was Dinis Costa, by his way of understanding the terrain and deciding in function of it, without going after the compass as the majority of the Portuguese athletes do nowadays. The other one was Jörgen Mårtensson by his total commitment towards orienteering and by his past in sports.

Try to give an image of Portuguese orienteering to foreigner readers.
Orienteering in Portugal is having a big and fast development if we analyze our dimension and our number of participants, especially in the organization area. In my opinion, that development is based on the efforts that the Federation and the clubs are putting on the training of technicians in several areas. Nowadays, almost all weekends from September of a year till June of the next year are occupied with regional and national events. To provide good conditions to the athletes is the major concern of the organizers.

What do you feel about Portuguese terrains, maps and courses?
In general, the Portuguese terrains don't offer great technical difficulties, except some terrains in the north. Nowadays, there are already in Portugal several cartographers with very good work done. I believe that the worst part is the courses, because they are very easy, and that's totally unjustified with the creation on the B rankings. The main gap that we must fulfill is to raise the technical difficulty of the courses.

Do you see any reasons to foreigner people come again?
Attractive races, low costs and nice people in a nice and relaxed environment. I wish everybody a pleasant staying. I hope they could fraternize with the Portuguese people and enjoy our hospitality. Experience our tasty delicacies and enjoy one of the nicest weathers on earth.

(Interview by Manuel Dias. Questions and answers by e-mail. Received on 2007 Dec 1st. Translation by Susana Pedro and Paulo Pereiros.)

[2008-06-20] Carlos Monteiro, WMOC Event Director

[2008-06-20] Dieter Wolf, M55, SUI

[2008-06-19] Timo Teinila, WMOC speaker

[2008-06-19] Jorge Simões, WMOC Event Director assistant

[2008-06-18] Blair Trewin, M35, AUS

[2008-06-18] Mariett Matias, WMOC Media responsible

[2008-06-17] David May, WMOC Senior Event Advisor

[2008-06-16] Gottfried Tobler, M60, AUT

[2008-06-16] Tuulikki Salmenkylä, W45, FIN

[2008-06-16] Arvo Majoinen, M80, FIN

[2008-06-14] Fernando Costa, WMOC Marketing responsible

[2008-06-13] Sarah Dunn, W40, GBR

[2008-06-12] Santos Sousa, WMOC planner

[2008-06-11] Sigurd Daehli, M55, NOR

[2008-06-10] Alexandre Reis, WMOC mapper and planner

[2008-06-09] Nick Duca, M40, CAN

[2008-06-07] Tiago Aires, WMOC mapper and planner

[2008-06-06] Irina Stepanova, W55, RUS

[2008-06-05] Luís Sérgio, WMOC mapper

[2008-06-04] Ari Kattainen, M50, FIN

[2008-06-03] Rui Antunes, WMOC Mapping coordinator

[2008-06-02] Jon Musgrave, M45, GBR

[2008-05-31] Jacinto Eleutério, WMOC Course coordinator

[2008-05-30] Rune Carlsson, M70, SWE

[2008-05-29] Åke Jacobson, IOF President

[2008-05-29] Augusto Almeida, POF President

[2008-05-28] Jurate Uleviciene, W55, LIT

[2008-05-26] Vladimir Ioffe, M70, ISR

[2008-05-23] José Fernandes, M45, POR

[2008-05-21] Ezio Paris, M55, ITA

[2008-05-19] Gabriella Györffy, W40, HUN

[2008-05-16] Alberto Minguez, M40, ESP

[2008-05-14] Tomas Zdrahal, M55, CZE

[2008-05-12] Paulo Becker, M45, BRA

[2008-05-09] Ingrid Roll, W70, NOR

[2008-05-07] Jerzy Parzewski, M55, POL

[2008-05-05] Hugh Moore, M60, AUS

[2008-05-02] Martin Checkley, M55, GBR

[2008-04-30] Etienne Bousser, M60, FRA

[2008-04-28] Andreas Grote, M40, SUI

[2008-04-24] Liudmila Labutina, W65, RUS

[2008-04-22] Freddy Sillien, M60, BEL

[2008-04-17] Tomislav Kaniski, M35, CRO

[2008-04-14] Eero Tuuteri, M85, FIN

[2008-04-10] Lena Nordahl, W80, SWE

[2008-04-07] Albano João, M45, POR

[2008-04-03] Tom A. Karlsen, M55, NOR

[2008-03-31] Kayoko Sakai, W55, JPN

[2008-03-27] Finn Arildsen, M45, DEN

[2008-03-24] Anne Nurmi, W45, FIN

[2008-03-20] Peo Bengtsson, M75, SWE

[2008-03-17] Alida Abola, W50, LAT

[2008-03-13] Matti Railimo, M60, FIN

[2008-03-10] Cornelia Eckardt, W35, GER

[2008-03-06] Joaquim Sousa, M35, POR

[2008-03-03] Birgitta Olsson, W75, SWE

[2008-02-20] J. Salmenkylä, M75, FIN

[2008-02-18] Torid Kvaal, W65, NOR

[2008-02-15] Mykola Bozhko, M55, UKR

[2008-02-13] Pavlina Brautigam, W45, USA

[2008-02-11] Ferran Santoyo, M35, ESP

[2008-02-08] Sole Nieminen, W80, FIN

[2008-02-06] Stefano Galletti, M40, ITA

[2008-02-04] Gillian Ingham, W50, NZL

[2008-02-01] Jörgen Mårtensson, M45, SWE

[2008-01-30] Tom Hiltebrand, M50, SUI

[2008-01-28] Baiba Ozola, W40, LAT

[2008-01-25] Eddie Harwood, M55, GBR

[2008-01-23] Marje Viirmann, W45, EST

[2008-01-21] Alexander Afonyushkin, M40, RUS

[2008-01-18] Paulina Majova, W55, SVK

[2008-01-16] Björn Linnersjö, M65, SWE

[2008-01-15] Lillian Røss, W85, NOR

[2008-01-10] Tapio Peippo, M55, FIN

[2008-01-07] Elizabeth Brown, W90, GBR

[2008-01-04] Erkki Luntamo, M90, FIN

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