Pre-EOC chat - Sarah Rollins


Hi Sarah, thanks for chatting to us. So how has your preparation been going for EOC? has your winter & spring training gone to plan?

Winter training has gone really well. I was totally wiped out by the illness that I had at the British. I kept willing myself to be better which was why I started the JK long race, but I totally wasn't ready and in all didn't train for 2 weeks. Since then I have almost been a little scared of training. I have been really careful not to overdo it and I think that probably I have rested up more for EOC than perhaps I would have done which is a positive thing.

With Heather now retired you are now the most experienced of the women's team and many would say the biggest hope of a women's medal, do feel any extra pressure or even think of it in that way?

You say I am the most experienced but I would argue that this is not the case. I have been to every WOC and World Cup since 2001 but there are girls in the team who were a big part of the Junior Squad way before I even took up orienteering. So for example it is great to have Jenny back in the team who has worked hard this winter I hear and who is a great technical orienteer. Equally Rachel, who has had injury problems in the past, is also back in the team, with rock solid technical skill. I think I acknowledge that as the only female front runner, I may be perceived as the biggest medal hope for the women, but I think that we are all running so much better this year. If you look at the National results so far this year (JK), I have been outclassed in all but the sprint by the other girls, so I don't think there is such a great difference between us. I would probably add that I tend to underperform at domestic races (a habit I am trying to break!) but there is no doubt that all the girls have worked harder this year to get into the team and that we all have our podium goals and dreams.

Many are commenting on how so many of the men have stepped up a level this year, do you think the same is true for the women? how do you think the squad compares to previous years?

The men are certainly strong this year and it was tough to get into that team. I definately think the girls have stepped up a level as well this year. We still don't have the depth which the men are obviously now starting to show, but I have certainly trained really hard this winter and therefore the other girls must have done so as well. The girl's team doesn't have a 'star' like we have had for years and years and which the men still have, but this can be a good thing. Maybe someone/some of us, will step up to the mark??

What are the aims for EOC? How do you feel the team as a whole will fair?

My goals/dreams are top 6 in the spint and middle and top 10 in the long. Achieving any of these results will be tough but I would settle for three solid performances that I can be proud of and the results will follow naturally rather than concentrating on the results. As a whole, I think that the girl's relay team have the potential to achieve a top 6, the men's team a top 3. I think that several of the guy's also have the potential for top 6's or higher. Individually for the girls I think there is also potential for several top 10s/6's but we shall have to wait and see....

...and beyond EOC what are the plans for yourself? Is WOC the big goal of the year?

Naturally WOC is the biggest goal this year. The terrain suits me and the sprint is in a park which again plays to my strengths. I think that the year will be a great one for the British Team and I am so happy to be a part of that. Let the good times roll.....!

Indeed! Thing certainly do look good for British orienteering at the moment. From all of us here at Nopesport, the best of luck in Estonia


Sarah speaking to Nopesport

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