event :: Bulgaria Cup


Nikolov wins sprint finish - photo Georgi Dimitrov

The biggest Bulgarian O-event was held on 1st-3rd July at the seaside of The Black sea. Primorsko, the nice sea resort, was the meeting place of the best Bulgarian orienteers, both young and masters. The event centre was the International Youth Centre, and in the competition were registered more than 800 competitors from 9 countries. The ambassador of Great Britain in Bulgaria, HM Jeremy Hill, also took place in Bulgaria (BG) Cup. As the major newspapers in Bulgaria wrote, "Mr.Hill changed his official suit with running equipment, got his compass with him and went in the forest".

The attention was concentrated on Kiril Nikolov, also known as 'Disl'. After his great wins in Sweden he was expected to show what he can do in Bulgaria.

1st July:
The first day was the hottest, really hot - 35 degrees C. The map was a combination between complex park, dense forest, and sand dunes (at the end of the courses). It was extremely hard to run 2-3 km in the sand, especially the last part of your course. Kiril Nikolov won in M21E, with 2:07 advantage over 2nd placed Milko Sakarov. He ran the 6,4km course for 33:25. Surprisingly, the members of this year WOC team Nikolay Dimitrov and Ivo Kamenarov were quite far down from the leader.

In W21E class Natalia Dimitrova from Academic Varna team won over Lyudmila Gotseva (Mladost OK) by 7 seconds.

In junior classes Ivo Danailov, Mladost OK, took the M20 title, and the european youth champion in ski-O Stanimir Belomazhev, Sever, the M18 title.

2nd July:
The long distance were given early starts in the morning, to take advantage of the low temperatures (25-30C). The second day of Bulgaria Cup was also WRE.
Last years winner, Nikolay Dimitrov, came back in the game. He
won the second day, flying on the 12 km course,
his time was 1:09:03, which means that the elite runners speeds were near 5.40 min/km. The terrain was very
fast. Even though half map was dense forest, it was very flat. There were very difficult controls on the courses, for exaple a little fox hole in the middle of nowhere, with nothing within a 300m radius. As the scandinavians, who have run on such Bulgarian terrain said "it's easier to find a knoll in group of 100 knolls, than hole 1m x 1m in flat Bulgarian terrain".

With the high speed also came the big mistakes, so the competition went
unpredictably. Kiril Nikolov, also running for the swedish Stora Tuna IK, lost his 2 minutes from the 1st day. 2nd place again was Milko Sakarov (Academic Varna), who started 32 secs back from day 2 winner Nikolay Dimitrov in the chasing start on the last day. Kiril Nikolov was about to
start 1:16 behind the leader. We were all expecting great fight on the last day.

In the W21 class Natalia Dimitrova,
Eleonora Nikolova and the EYOC2003 winner Antonia Grigorova started within a short interval. The winner of the BG Park Cup 2005, Lyudmila Gotseva, was 2 minutes down on them, but she also had a chance to win.

Competition in the junior classes the 2nd day also was also looking good. Ivo Danailov and Zdravko Taralov were going great until the second last control, where they both lost 7-8 minutes 400 m before the finish line. Georgi Doganov won and so started 1st in the last day. Surprisingly, Veselin Minev "The Medal" won the M18, beating the whole EYOC team. Her hegemony in W18 showed Zlatimira Zhecheva. She was also member of the EYOC 2005 team.

3rd July:
The situation in the last day was different. The hot sun was replaced by clouds, so the chasing start was more tough. The difference between the runners was short, so it made for interesting viewing. Coursesetters made it spectator friendly by putting the last 4-5 controls in a big meadow, with a swamp in the middle, which could be seen by all.

In M18 it was fantastic when in the end of the meadow we saw Stanimir Belomazhev, Ivan Sirakov - or as we call him "Bogle", and Vesko Minev came all together. In the finish sprint Stanimir won. Ivo Danailov also took his win in M20 by more than 10 minutes.

After the finish of all other groups it was the start of the elites. Surprisingly, it started raining. That was the signal that we should wait for a more interesting finish. All of us were waiting in the rain, when in the end of the meadow Kiril Nikolov showed up, leading by just a few meters from Milko Sakarov and Nikolay Dimitrov. They were running extremely fast in the last kilometer. The commentator was yelling, the excitement started to grow. We all saw how "Disl" won 10 m ahead of 2nd. Milko Sakarov was in front of Dimitrov all the time, but in the last 3-4 meters Nikolay got him, so they finished together.

In W21E Natalia Dimitrova won
with Eleonora Nikolova in 2nd.

Mr. Hill also had some good runs. He didn't start in the 1st day, but he managed to make 5th and 4th time in M50 in the other days. His daughter, Tessa, also showed that British orienteering is at a good level,
having the best time in W18 on the last day.

The 29th Bulgaria Cup was perfectly organised. The terrain was liked by almost everybody, and the combination of fast but technical courses was everything that is wanted in such a competition. Next year's Bulgaria Cup will be held in the same place, the event center is the same, but the terrain will be different. I hope you'll join us then.

Ivo Danailov, Orienteering Club MLADOST - Blagoevgrad


Day 2 terrain - photo Georgi Dimitrov

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