Muaythai is at The World Games for the first time this year and Team Poland have the extra-special honour of being the host country for the event in Wroclaw.
More than 3,000 athletes from 31 sports and 111 countries will take part in the biggest sport event ever staged in Poland for The World Games 2017, under the patronage of the IOC. And in muaythai Poland has one entrant in each of the 11 weight divisions, so 11 chances to claim a medal in front of their home crowd.
Rafal Szlachta, head of the Polish Muaythai Federation and also Vice-President of IFMA said: ‘There is a big pressure on the athletes now, you can feel it when you talk to them. There is a lot of advertising and promotion here for The World Games, they want to try hard and do their best for Poland’
He added: ‘For our team we are very aware this is the first time muaythai is at The World Games, and it is a great honour for us to be the host team. But of course the closer we get to the Games, the bigger the pressure!’
Rafal said the two head coaches have done a great job preparing the athletes and he is confident they will win medals in front of their friends and family. He said: ‘We beleive that we can compete to the best of our ability, and hopefully bring home some medals also.’
In the three women’s divisions, the muaythai athletes are: in 51 kg – Gabriela Kuzawińska, in 54 kg – Natalia Leciejewska and in 60 kg – Marta Gusztab
In the eight male divisions, the Polish athletes are: in 54 kg – Przemysław Kmiecik, in 57 kg – Mateusz Kucharski, in 63,5 kg – Oskar Siegert, in 67 kg – Mateusz Janik, in 71 kg – Jakub Rajewski, in 75 kg – Dawid Mirkowski, in 81 kg – Rafał Korczak and in the 91 kg division is Łukasz Radosz.
These athletes have competed at every IFMA qualifying event for The World Games 2017 to maximise their experience and skills. For example Gabriela Kuzawinska claimed bronze at the World Championships this year to the delight of her team and manager.
Natalia Leciejewska says:
You can follow Muaythai Team Poland at Polski Związek Muaythai