Minsk 2019: 14 medals for Poland
On the last day of the II European Games in Minsk the Polish delegation improved its standing in the medal table by winning two bronze discs, one of them thanks to Arkadiusz Kułynycz, a classic style wrestler, second after Daniel Staniszewski’s performance in the omnium category of track cycling.
Kułynycz began his participation in the games back on Saturday, when he won with the Romanian Viorel Burduja, going on to loose in the quarterfinals to the Ukrainian Zhan Beleniuk. Despite this, he received a chance to fight in the repechage on Sunday. After winning with the Armenian Maksim Manukyan, the Pole went on to fight for bronze, defeating the Belarusian Radzik Kuliyeva.
Unfortunately, Rafał Płowiec, fighting in the “130” category, lost the play-offs to the Ukrainian Mykola Kuczmi, thereby ending his participation in the tournament.
Daniel Staniszewski finished the efforts of Polish track cyclists with a successful performance in omnium. After three categories he stood at third place, managing to secure the bronze medal with his performance in the closing race, thereby setting the balance of Polish delegation’s achievement at 14 medals- 3 of the gold, 1 silver and 10 bronze. It gave us the 22nd place in the medal table, topped by Russia- 109 (44-23-42), Belarus- 69 (24-16-29) and Ukraine- 51(16-17-18). In the table, Poland was followed, amongst others, by Sweden, Turkey, Romania and Austria.
On Sunday, the cycling track noted also the fourth place of Krzysztof Maksel in keirin. The same place was won on a neighbouring Arena MIŃSK by Gabriela Janik, the Polish gymnast, in the finals of the jump competition. The Polish held the third place throughout the competition, but the last jump of the Teja Belak brought the Slovenian to the top of the table, pushing the Polish out of the podium.
On the last day of the games we counted on a successful start of our karateist Dorota Banaszczyk in the category below 55kg. The Polish won her first fight (with the Belarusian Irina Szarychina), but in two superseding ones (with the German Jana Bitsch and Jennifer Warling of Luxembourg) managed to secure only a draw, which gave her third place in the group; a score not giving her a chance to continue participating in the competition. It’s a pity, as we definitely counted on more; indeed Banaszczyk is the current world champion.
In the evening, on the DINAMO stadium in Minsk, an effective closing ceremony of the II European Games took place. Guests of the ceremony included heads of state of a few countries and the head of the IOC Thomas Bach. Full of praise for the athletes and their training officers, as well as organisers of the event, volunteers and fans were: the President of Belarus Aleksandr Łukaszenko and the President of the European Olympic Committees Janez Kocijancić. The latter spoke out the sacramental statement about the end of the meeting of 4000 athletes from the 50 counters of the Old Continent
Photo: Szymon Sikora, Tomasz Piechal