Who is Who
Björn Linnersjö

Björn Linnersjö, M65, SWE

[Björn Linnersjö (on the right side) and Anders Buhré, photographed at WMOC 2007 Finland (with their "A Final" bibs) where they won the gold and silver medals. After this interview has been published, Buhré also entered WMOC 2008 Portugal, so we may foresee a new Swedish duel in Marinha Grande sand dunes.]

In the last WMOC you got the gold medal in M65. How were your races in Kuusamo? Did you like the terrain and the atmosphere in the competition centre? Four people were within 2 min. of each other in the Final. Does it mean that you did not have an easy victory?
I was very concentrated but was just about 90% pleased with my races. I had totally about 4 min lost in the three races and I'm most satisfied with the Q2-race because I started first that day. But of course the final race was the one I'm happiest for! I was not expecting to win the gold medal. Anders Buhré, who was second, and I have had many fights during 50 years of time back home in Sweden. The terrain in Ruka area is not at all similar to the terrain in Blekinge, my home county. But Ruka and Kuusamo was very nice places and the hotels perfect. In the final race I was very happy to see that I have run so fast that I could see the two competitors who had started next before me, in the middle of the race at control 6. I understood I'd done well so far. I was very tired at the finish! Two men where still "out there", but at least a bronze medal was clear! When the time was out for them and the gold medal was mine I just exploded whit joy!

Do you think you are able to repeat the 1st place in Portugal? Who else is in a favourite position to win, among people who have already entered the WMOC?
I'll do my very best to defend my gold but it will be difficult because there are so many good orienteers in the M65-class. I can't point out any who is better than another but Rune Rådeström is my favourite. He is new in the M65 and "younger" than me!

Next summer WMOC will have, for the first time, a Sprint Race (Qualifying and Final). Do you like this new situation? Personally, does it suit your abilities and skills?
The sprint-OL is not my favourite kind of orienteering but I'll start and hope for the best!

If I read correctly the results in Oxtract, between March and October 2007, you ran in Sweden 34 races and won 32. How was it possible?
The year 2007 is perhaps my best so far. No injuries and good training during the winter is the answer for my good results. I won 40 of 63 races totally and was second in 16.

Please indicate other highlights of your sporting career.
I've won the 5-days-OL in Sweden for 9 times. I've run OL in many countries and got many friends all over the world. I've been team captain for the Swedish armed forces in the CISM many times, but not when it was arranged in Portugal!

I didn't find your name in the top positions in World Masters since 2003 till 2006. Didn't you go to these events?
No I've not participated in WMOC since year 2000 in New Zealand and 2001 in Lithuania.

You have been in Tiomila 2006 in the same team with Birgitta Olsson, who also will have an interview in this column. What can you tell us about this mythic relay?
10-mila is a big event with many classes. In the open class most of the relay is during the night with very difficult OL. You sleep in tents, if you can sleep. A lot of teams participate and it is thrilling when the top teams are coming into the changingover area. I think you must have taken place to understand what it is like!
I personally have run 17 times in 10-mila.

Have you participated in other relays? Please, choose the best and try to tell us about the atmosphere and your performance there.
I´ve participated in "Jukola" and many other relays. For about three weeks ago my team was winning in the "Smålandskavlen" in class M180 (Three persons age together must be at least 180 year).

What is your date of birth and where do you live?
I was born in 26/12/1942 and live together with my wife, who of course also is orienteering, and our 4 cats, in Kristianopel. This is a small place outside of Karlskrona, in the SO part of Sweden.

How did you discover orienteering and for how long have you practiced it?
I took part in a scool-OL in 1958. I was second and "sold for OL". Since then I´ve run 2155 events and have all maps filed.

Have you practiced any different sport before?
Yes, swimming and wrestling.

What do you enjoy most in orienteering?
A new place to visit every time and to meet friends, and to solve problems.

Which have been the best events in which you have participated?
The Swedish 5-days is special to me. Since 1965 I´ve participated in 40 5-days and visited 2177 controls!
To camp together with your club during a week and to keep your focus all the time is super!

Have you ever competed in Portugal? Did you like the maps?
No, but I look forward to it! I was in Murcia in Spain, perhaps it is similar (?).

Where else have you been doing orienteering outside your country? Do you have any special memories from an orienteering travel?
I have been orienteering in 31 countries. In 1978 I was taken part in "Höst-Öst" with Peo Bengtsson. We were visiting many of the former east european countries behind "the Iron Curtain", memories for life!

What kind of terrain do you prefer to do orienteering? Technical? Physical?
I like difficult terrain with lots of technical problems.

How often do you use the compass in a race? Can you exemplify?
I use it as complement all the time. To go exact in the right direction and to have the map in the correct direction.

Do you remember your best (perfect) race, or the worse?
I have still not made the perfect race!!!!!!!!!! When I do I´ll retire!
One of the worse was the first stage in 5-days 1988, I had 46 min to the first control, the same time as the winner totally on that stage!

Which was your best season (year)? Can you remember any results of that season?
This season 2007! I remember all 2155 race I´ve done but of course WMOC in Finland was the best!

What is the secret to be a winner?
Concentration all the time, and of course fighting to the finish line!

What kind of training do you use to do? How many hours in a week?
Slow running in forest with a map. In OL-season 3 hours, in other time 4-5 hours.

Do you have any special care with what you eat? Which is your favourite food? And what do you never eat or drink?
In the morning always porridge and honey. One pint of lager every day. Favourite is all kind of food but most "lasagne".

Do you have orienteers in your family?
My two daughters (37 and 31 years old) and my wife W55.

What is or was your job?
I'm retired navy officer since 2000. Now I'm restoring an old farming house (1807).

What are your hobbies besides orienteering?
Trottinghorses. Gardening.

What do you expect from WMOC 2008?
Nice and warm weather and fast running terrain.

Can you give any message to the thousands of people who will come to Portugal to participate with you in this event?

(Interview by Manuel Dias. Questions and answers by e-mail. Received on 2007 Nov. 27th. Picture subtitle updated on 2008 Apr. 2nd.)

[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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