Milena Todorova presented himself sensationally at the Biathlon World Championships for Women and Men at the Italian Winter Center Antholz-Anterselva. The girl from Troyan arrived at him after winning the medal in all three individual disciplines – silver and 2 bronze at the Planet Girls ‘and Boys’ Championships in Lenzerheide (Schweiz).
At Antholz-Anterselva, Milena improved with each race her strongest ranking in women. In the sprint, she finished 27th, advanced to 18th in the pursuit, and 17th in long discipline. The great results got Todorova into the mass start. The top 30 biathletes in the world were driving the elite discipline at the moment. And one of them was a Bulgarian. Milena was 28th.
Before her, a massive start to the World Cup had last been driven by Pavlina Filipova in 2009. Then she also recorded a 13th place. Milena’s 17th position is the best Bulgarian result since then – both in the world and in the World Cup. This definitely gives hope to the fans in Bulgaria for the return of the strong years of the Bulgarian women’s biathlon.
24 Hours contacted Milena at Munich Airport to congratulate her on her strong performance and to ask her some questions.
– Hello, Milena, congratulations on your World Cup presentation. Did you expect similar results from the world?
– Thanks for the congratulations. Frankly, no. In my opinion, no one expected such a thing. Neither coach Mikhail Klechorov nor anyone else. It definitely came as a surprise. Before the world training we trained in Austria. There, we emphasized heavier and longer workouts. Their goal is to last functionally for the rest of the season. No time for speed training before the world. That’s why my coach warned me that it would be difficult for me. In the first start – sprint, I was with a back number. I saw the girls before me make mistakes in shooting and I realized that this gave me a chance to advance in the ranking.
– Did the good result in the sprint give you extra confidence?
– I was just pleased with the ranking. It was the highest for me in women so far. I was aware that I was lucky enough to achieve it. The wind in Antholz-Anterselva is a little bit special and that has its meaning. Overall I can say that I was very calm at this World Cup. I was mentally relieved, which obviously worked well for me. The track there is heavy but nice. I also like the high altitude of the route.
“You must have received many congratulations.
– Yes, relatives, friends and teammates in national have congratulated me. As did our Federation President Ekaterina Dafovska. She supported us along the route.
“She was one of the few, even May, the only non-medalist and favorite to receive attention from the International Biathlon Federation during the event with your picture on her twitter account. It was noted that you are a World Girl Medalist. You seem to be getting attention. Does that feel like a championship?
– Yes, even a few biathletes came to talk to me and greet me. For example, American Susan Dunkley, Swiss sisters Selina and Eliza Gasparin, a Canadian. They also congratulated me on the presentation of the World for Girls. They had clearly been following him. I was also greeted by several IBU staff who work for the organization.
– How did you feel when you realized that you were getting into a mass start – the discipline in which the top 30 biathletes in the world are currently participating?
– I was very pleased. It is a privilege to be among the best. However, I was not relaxed in this race, I was worried and it affected the result. I did not start shooting and from then on I went back with 2 other girls. There was no one in front of us and so there was nothing to happen until the end of the discipline.
– Does your friend Vladimir Iliev advise you before the mass start? He has experience in it.
“We talked, but he didn’t tell me anything special.
– What do you have until the end of the season?
– Now we are going with the national team of the European Championship for Women and Men in Belarus. Then I will participate in the World Cup in the Czech Republic. My season ends with the European girls and young people in Austria.
– What did Ekaterina Dafovska tell you about the world?
– Greet me, she was very pleased. But she was definitely surprised by what happened.
– The fans in Bulgaria already see in you the new Dafovska for the Bulgarian biathlon. Could these expectations be a burden to you in any way?
“No, I’m happy that’s the way things are.” I hope that I will really be able to achieve its results.