Kowalski – “I can’t wait for the World Cup”

Posted on | April 29, 2016 | Category: News, Newsletter

Wojciech Kowalski is the best ranked Polish runner before the start of the World Cup this weekend. He’s ready to fight among the best, and is very much looking forward to it.

– I’m ready. I can’t wait for the World Cup in Poland, he smiles.
For Kowalski, the event is very important, both in terms of doing well and the fact that it is held in Poland.

Verdenscup Prestebakke i Halden Onsdag 3. juni 2015 wojciech kowalski

– I was a spectator last time the World Cup was held in Poland. It was held in Krakow 18 years ago. I saw all the orienteering stars, and this really built up my orienteering motivation. This time I could be a part of the best myself. Maybe at this World Cup we will also see the next generation of stars, he says.
Kowalski performed well at the Military World Champs in South Korea last autumn, and has spent the past few months with high motivation.
– Winter time went well. There has been almost no snow in Wroclaw. I have been able to run in neighbourhood forests all the time. I started running competitions in February to be ready for early WC and EOC.

Very much home ground
Wojciech Kowalski is born in Wroclaw and has been living there, or just outside the town, all his life. Three years ago, he moved out of the city to a village just 15 kilometres from the city. Sports combines with family life.
– I have a nice family, he says proudly.
Central in the family are of course the two kids – four-year-old Zofia and seven-year-old Antoni.

Have a favourite
The 33-year-old athlete will run all races at the World Cup in Poland. His favourite is middle distance, and he really knows what kind of orienteering is coming.
– The terrain around Wroclaw is completely flat. We have only one mountain, 30 kilometres from the city, which goes from 200 meters to 718 meters above sea level. The terrain close to the top is steep and stony – a bit like it was in WOC 2011 in France. Fortunately, we will run in the lower parts of the mountain, where we can expect fast orienteering in continental terrain.
What’s your goal for the season?
– I am focused on the World Cup in Poland and the European Champs. My second goal is the Military World Champs in November.

Full time for ten years
Since 2006, Kowalski has been in the army and has also been a full time orienteer.
– I’m a soldier in a sport unit. So for the last ten years I have had excellent conditions. I have time for training and rest.
He spends a lot of time on camps and competitions.

His Polish club is Slask Wroclaw and he also competes for Norwegian IL Tyrving alongside his activity in the Polish national teams, both civil and military.
– It gives me a lot of possibilities.
What kind of goal is World Games in Wroclaw next year for you?
– It is similar to the Olympic Games. It could be more interesting than the World Champs, especially considering that I have taken part in WOC 12 times and never in the World Games.

Expects a lot
dae717ec-57fc-4ce1-8f5b-b77adc5a23b8Kowalski thinks the Polish orienteers can do better than they have for years, and has big confidence in his team mates, for example Iwona Wicha.,
– She was 16 at the sprint at WOC in 2015, but many others can also do very well. Can we find better conditions than a World Cup on home ground?

The same street
Kowalski knows the leader for the coming event very well. Event director Wojciech Dwojak and Kowalski grew up in the same street – a street that is on the training map “Gadow Maly – wschod”.
– We started orienteering in the same school group. Since then, we have kept together almost all our orienteering life. Last year, he finished his professional career and this year he is organising a World Cup Round. He really loves this sport! I think the World Cup might be an even bigger challenge for him than for me.

Wojciech Kowalski is a big Polish hope. He is very well prepared, and runs in terrain he really knows how to do well in.

Text and photo: Erik Borg

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