Who is Who
Alexander Afonyushkin

Alexander Afonyushkin, M40, RUS

Your World Masters results in the last four years were excellent: 19th in Italy 2004, 1st in Canada 2005, 3rd in Austria 2006, 17th in Finland 2007. What are you aiming for Portugal 2008?
My aim for Portugal is to win the first place, but I'd be glad to be in the third of leaders.

Who else is favourite to win your class?
I think it wouldn't be correct to name any of the sportsmen, as there would be a lot of worthy competitors, who would fight for the first place.

What is your date of birth and where do you live?
I was born on the 10th of September in 1965. I live in the town of Ramenskoye, 40 km from Moscow.

Please, indicate the highlights of your sporting career before coming to Masters.
Before coming to Masters, I hadn't been training for 10 years. During my professional career (before 1992) I was the 3rd on the USSR championship and the 1st on the Russian Federation championship.

How did you discover orienteering and for how long have you practiced it?
I've been practicing orienteering since 1978 to 1992, and since 2002 until now.

What do you enjoy most in orienteering?
It's difficult to express it in words...it is a possibility to meet my friends, to visit different places, to get positive emotions.... it's my lifestyle.

Which events have you enjoyed the most?
The most endorsable event was the WMOC in Austria in 2006, because I had strong competitors and my family and many of my friends supported me. I also remember the WMOC in Canada, as it was my first success and there were not only orienteering competitions represented and it was interesting to take part in World Masters Games.

Which was your best season?
My best season was the year 2005. First I won the Spanish championship, then the WMOC in Canada (1st place) and I also won Kainuu orienteering week in Finland and had a good results in Russian competitions. I managed to do all this due to the carefully planned schedule of trainings, persistence and luck.

What kind of terrain do you prefer to do orienteering? Technical? Physical?
When I was young I preferred more technical terrain, and now it doesn't matter for me, though I like technical terrains more.

What kind of training do you use to do?
Unfortunately, the area I live in cannot let me to train technically, I try to use every opportunity to go training abroad. In winter I try to go to Spain to the training camp that is organized by Mr. Sterner. In spring and summer I take part in Russian and Finland competitions.

Do you have any special program of training to WMOC'08?
I follow my trainer's advices and recommendations, and now I start preparing to the WMOC in Portugal.

What do you think about orienteering in Russia?
I think that the opportunity of taking part in competitions and holding training camps abroad gave a stimulus to the development of Russian orienteering. Young orienteers didn't have such an opportunity 20 years ago, that's why I think we have a good prospect.

How many national races do you have each year? Do you have any special multi-day event?
I don't have a chance to take part in most of national races, but every year I go to St Petersburg to take part in the multi-day events. I also try to have 1-2 multi-day events somewhere abroad.

Which event will be the most important in Russia during 2008?
I think that the most important start of 2008 in Russia is "The Russian azimuth". This mass competition is held in many Russian cities. Last year, about 200 000 people were registered in 70 cities. Of course this competition is more for amateurs and enthusiasts of orienteering, but it's very important for our sport.

Some of best Russian athletes (Khramov, Novikov, Efimov) also run in Military WOC. The same as in Switzerland. Do you think that orienteering in your country is still quite dependent on military support?
It's difficult to say about Russian orienteering being supported by army, as it's more a hobby for me, so I don't know all the refinements. I used to run for army in H21E and I don't think something's changed.

What is your job? How can you coordinate your professional and sporting life?
I'm a businessman. Our company deals with sales of goods.It's very difficult to coordinate my professional and sport life, but I try to find time for training 4-5 times a week.

Do you have orienteers in your family?
Unfortunately, none of my two daughters takes part in orienteering, but they both support me very much. My wife also takes part in competitions. Though when she was young she ran better than me, now it's difficult for her to combine teaching at school and sport.

Does your family and friends support your sporting ambitions?
I think my success is not only my merit, but it's also my wife's support, my trainer Kudryashov's help and my friends' help from Saint Petersburg and Finland.

Do you have any special care with what you eat?
I don't have any special preferences in meal; I think it's always possible to find something to your taste.

What are your hobbies besides orienteering?
Orienteering is my hobby and it occupies all my free time.

What are your favourite websites?
www.wmoc2008.fpo.pt for this year

Can you give any message to the thousands of people that will come to Portugal to participate with you in this event?
In my opinion, WMOC is not just a competition, it's an opportunity for many orienteers to do what they couldn't do while they were young - to take part in a real world orienteering championship! Taking part in WMOC is meeting friends, when you rejoice at their success, it's new countries and new impression! I'd like to wish all orienteers strong health and vivacity for many years. And sport longevity, as Erkki Luntamo from Finland has!
[Erkki was the first being interviewed to this page.]

(Interview by Manuel Dias. Questions and answers by e-mail. Received on 2007 Nov. 6th.)

[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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