The Polish Nationals by David Shead

The Polish Nationals by David Shead

I have been going to The Polish National Championships on and off since the end of the 1990’s I think, and it has always been a good and well run championships.

But it just keeps getting better and better, the venue (castle of Gniew) was fantastic (I think Igor might have been looking at the beautiful palace the Italians had used and thought if they can use a palace I will use a castle) a very large very beautiful castle steeped in history 5 storeys high with a Modern glass roof over the central courtyard where the competition was held (you can see some photos on the arm power web site) and coming from a country that likes their castles I can tell you this was a very nice place indeed.


Having a good venue is only the start, good organisation is crucial and Igor is the best, of course having Marcin Mielniczuk (the EAF technical director) to run things for you is a massive help and the competition was floorless, but to see what I mean you need to look deeper to see why things are so good.

The first thing you might notice is there are a lot of referees, in fact 30 yes 30 that’s more than we get at most EAF and WAF championships, all in correct uniform and very well trained looking very professional, and I didn’t see any major mistakes the hole championships, a credit to their head referee Monica Duma, This will also show at the European Championships as their will be more Referees from Poland than any other country.


But why do you get so many referees here? Well that’s when we need to look deeper into the infrastructure Igor has built in Poland .

There are 24 clubs competing at the championships, 24 clubs that have to bring at least 1 referee each, and all the athlete’s have to compete in their club

Uniforms to, again making it all look very professional, like a serous sports event should.

This is only part of the infrastructure Igor has built in Poland but I will stop here as I think you can see what I mean, but don’t get me wrong there are other countries doing really well to (read some of my right ups on the EAF site) its just Igor is always one step ahead of the rest.


Now the wrestling was good and very competitive but I want to talk about two of their disabled wrestlers, Maciej Gralak and Patryk waterle.

these two are good, and of course they win the disabled class, but they also enter the senior classes! I know I don’t need to tell you that armwrestlers are serious athletes that compete at the top of the sporting world like Voevoda (winning 2 Olympic medals) Samuelsson (worlds strongest man) Gary Goodrich (boxing and ultimate fight champion) as just 3 examples.   

 I know many of you will have seen Maciej win many medals even at the European and world Championships and he did here to placing well with

 his right and winning with his left. Well done Maciej.

I also want to tell you about Patryk’s match in the final of the right hand senior 55kg class, Patryk has to be carried to the table by his coach as he cant walk, the referee sets them up and they go into a hard match for about 5 seconds but Patryk is pulling so hard he is lifting himself of the ground and makes an elbow foul, before the referee sets them up again his coach comes out and ties one of his legs to the table to stop him lifting, its not often after 27 years I see something I have not seen before but I hadn’t seen this (many years ago I was the one who put it in the rules that a referee may give tolerances’ to a disabled puller and this is just that type of thing) But unfortunately Patryk made another elbow foul so came 2nd with his right BUT the next day he won with his left, fantastic Patryk !!!


 So all in all a great competition well done to Igor and his team.


David Shead

EAF Assistant Director of Referees