By Caoilte de Barra
On day 4 of the 2021 IMMAF World Championships in Abu Dhabi, one of Poland’s female contingent secured their sole medal of the tournament. The team always have strong representatives, Magdalena Czaban being one of the most notable athletes. Unfortunately, the Poland team was hit hard due to Covid before the event and lost a significant number of athletes and coaches. This meant that their prime medal candidates were lost from the off.
The experienced Paulina Wiśniewska kept their medal hopes alive following two impressive performances in the Flyweight division. In her first IMMAF competition, the Polish fighter picked up a first-round TKO finish and a decision victory to secure a place in the semi-final. Unfortunately, a place in the final was not meant to be as she lost out to Brazil’s Juliana Perea.
Speaking on behalf of Poland, Bartek explained what happened in regards to losing half of the team.
“The day we’ve received test results was the worst we have yet had. In a few minutes we understood that all those people, which we believe, had a chance to fight for gold medals, now can’t get on the plane. Months of hard training in their clubs, during training camps with our coaches both with sacrificing their jobs and their free time. They did everything they could to show how much the World Championships meant to them. Those who had negative results also didn’t feel good as one side had to leave their teammates and from the other, for a few hours, there was a chance we would cancel our Abu Dhabi mission. This for sure had them out of balance.”
“To be honest this isn’t our tournament and we were sure it was going to be – so we are now focusing on preparing for the European Championships and creating procedures that will allow us to avoid such situations in the future. From the Economic side, it’s also a big hit for our federation, but mostly we want our athletes to get back on the proper way of thinking. We will do everything we can to bring those faces back at the next IMMAF tournament.”
With the event now over, the focus for Poland is on the next IMMAF event. The Polish flyweight has been nothing short of exciting during her stay in Abu Dhabi, which will be capped by her bronze medal.
Despite all the difficulties Poland has gone through with this competition, they were still impressive. It will be exciting to see both Wiśniewska and the whole team return to action again at the next event.