Men compete today (26.06) into two elimination groups. The morning is scheduled for the board and the swimming pool. The afternoon will be decisive for places in the semi-finals of the laser run (15.30).
The best of the Poles, Łukasz Gutkowski, is 19th on the world ranking list. The absolute champion in the sport, Joseph Choong (1st) from Great Britain, is competing in Krakow.
Gutkowski started his pentathlon adventure with running, which is rare as most athletes come from swimming. – I ran at the Warsaw University of Physical Education, competed in “Athletics Thursdays”, attended a swimming class, although I was a poor swimmer, and at competitions I was always closing the results tables. It was only when two-competition competitions appeared – swimming and running – that I improved my poor position from swimming with a strong run,” he admitted in an interview on the website of the Polish Modern Pentathlon Association.
– Another competition I tried was shooting, for which – as it later turned out – I had an aptitude. In addition, I had the foundations of fencing; my older brother was a fencer and it was thanks to him that I “licked” this discipline in my young years, which later brought me freedom in this competition. Slowly emerging achievements in the quadruple sculls category left no choice but to try the last element, which was horse riding,” adds Gutkowski.
The European Games Krakow – Malopolska 2023, which additionally have the rank of European championships and Olympic qualification, are sufficient motivation for the highest effort.
– I am very happy that these competitions will be held here. I have always been “helped by the walls” and I hope it will be the same this time. There will be a fight for the Olympic qualification, which will be won by the top eight. For us Europeans, this is definitely the most important event of the season and the level will certainly be very high. I am planning my entire training plan for this competition. I also got an Olympic pass for Tokyo at the European Championships, and I think that it is the best solution for an athlete if he knows a year in advance that he is going to the Olympics and can arrange his preparation cycle with a calm head. There is a lot to fight for – stressed the two-time European under-24 champion.
In the first event of the 200m freestyle swim, the 25-year-old from the Polish Pentathlon club CWKS Legia Warsaw achieved a time of 2 minutes four seconds and 68 hundredths. He was fifth in his heat. Competing alongside him were Marek Grycz (21st), Kamil Kasperczak (68th) and Daniel Ławrynowicz (85th).