By Caoilte de Barra
Poland’s Magdalena Czaban has been one of the standout athletes coming through the IMMAF ranks in recent years winning two European gold medals and one junior world, all in the atomweight division. Her only loss in IMMAF came at the 2020 Oceania Championships final against Bezan Mahmudi.
Unfortunately, the national team stalwart was unable to travel to the World Championships earlier this year and was gutted once she found out.
“When I found out that I would not be able to take part in the World Championships, at the beginning I couldn’t believe it. However, when a few days passed, and I was watching the fights from home, I realized that it was gone. During the tournament, it was very hard for me because I knew that I had a chance of winning a medal. It took some time to understand that this was not my last time in the IMMAF competition, and I will have the opportunity to do even better at the next world championships.”
Czaban is now hoping to continue her reign over the division by adding a third European gold medal. However, this time it will be up at strawweight, a division she has competed in at a national level. Ahead of the championships, she explained her decision to move up a division.
“Together with the coaches, we decided to compete in the higher category for several reasons. The most important thing was that we are looking for new challenges, and one of them is to test me in the heavier girls category. In the atomweight division, I have already won two gold medals, so this is a good time to start in another weight category. However, at the upcoming world championships, I intend to start in my natural category.”
Despite her long list of accolades, Atomóka doesn’t get ahead of herself in terms of expectations and is focused on getting prepared for when she moves onto the pro ranks.
“I never think before a competition that I have a great chance to win. Of course, I always aim to win a gold medal, but I focus on each fight during the tournament. If my disposition allows me to win a gold medal, then I will be wondering what to do next. Entering pro, I want to be as well prepared as possible.”
In the build-up to the European Championships, the reigning atomweight European champion has been travelling to train with other athletes in a similar weight division. She has trained with former foe Jenna Horto and explained the benefit of travelling to train.
“I know that travelling is very important in a fighter’s life. For me, this is a great way to train with girls in my weight. Unfortunately, I don’t have such an opportunity in my Town. Changing the environment is very important, especially when monotony sets in.
“I go to Sweden to train in a friendly club. I always bring from there a lot of knowledge and a new look at various aspects of this sport. I chose Finland due to the fact that Jena Horto trains there. I am glad that IMMAF allows me to not only fight with the best amateurs but also to make friends for longer. Thanks to this, we have the opportunity to help each other in the further stages of our career.”
Magdalena Czaban is aiming to create history by winning a hat trick of European gold medals, with the third coming at a new division. She is one of eleven athletes on the Poland team for the competition looking to top the podium. The full Poland team can be found here.
Watch the 2022 IMMAF European Championships live and exclusively from Bella Italia Efa Village in Lignano Sabbiadoro (Italy) from 27 September and 1 October 2022 at immaf.tv with the tournament draw taking place on 26 September.