The European Games in Bielsko-Biała wowed competitors and fans. – The spectacularity of the fights was great, and the atmosphere was wonderful,” assessed the head of the Polish karate organization. – The sports level was extremely high, and the fans were amazing, the athletes said.
On June 22 and 23 in Bielsko-Biała we watched the best karate athletes in Europe. Many of them won medals at the world’s biggest events. The athletes themselves spoke about the high sporting level of the Krakow – Malopolska 2023 European Games. Their fights were usually very exciting. Sometimes the outcome of the rivalry was decided in the last seconds.
– These were very difficult competitions. They had a high level. I am very happy. I thank my family, compatriots and the organizers of this tournament, which was very good,” assessed Andrii Zaplitnyi (UKR), who became the gold medalist in the men’s up to 75 kg category.
– I’m happy and proud, because this is one of the biggest tournaments in Europe with medalists of the most important events,” stated Andelo Kvesic (CRO). The athlete from Croatia won the competition in the men’s over 84 kg category.
– The level of competition was very high. I was here for the first time and there was some stress. European competitions are always difficult and you always run into difficult opponents. These are the best athletes on the continent. These Games were very important to us and we wanted to show that on the tatami. I’m very happy with what we presented here together,” said Paola Garcia Lozano (ESP), who won the gold medal for Spain in the kata competition.
The athlete from Bielsko-Biala spoke of an almost family atmosphere. No wonder, since it was not the first time that Anna Kowalska trained and even performed at competitions in the Bielsko-Biała hall. – I felt very good here. It’s a nice experience,” she stressed.
– I wish for myself and other karatekas that as many great fans come to the competitions as today. It motivates and carried me away to fight for a medal. When you see such great fans, there is someone to do it for,” said Michal Babos (POL), who won the bronze medal in the up to 84 kg category.
– It was a great opportunity to meet top athletes from around the world and see what their passion is like. We are also athletes, so it’s great fun for us and an opportunity to gain experience. There is a great atmosphere, you can meet a lot of great people. The organization is at a high level, we were given all the necessary equipment,” said the volunteers from Wroclaw.
Interestingly, the volunteers were also citizens of Japan, the homeland of karate, who live in Poland. – We don’t train karate, nevertheless we decided to take part in the volunteering, because karate is a sport that originated in our country. The fights were very exciting and interesting,” said the Japanese.
The medals were deserved not only by the athletes, but also by the fans. The stands were cheerful and very loud. The athletes appreciated this great support and thanked the fans after their fights. We are pleased with the praise for the organization and the opinion that everything was buttoned up to the last button. I already recall these Games with a tear in my eye. We showed the beauty of professional sport,” summed up Paweł Połtorzecki, president of the Polish Karate Union of the Polish Sports Association, who is glad that Bielsko-Biała became the European capital of karate for two days.