Four female athletes and five male athletes have been included in the white and red national team for the Krakow – Malopolska 2023 European Games in kickboxing.
There will be three men’s and three women’s competitions each in this discipline. There will be three weight categories in full contact and point fighting, and two in light contact. The elimination fights are scheduled for 30 June and 1 July, and all finals on 2 July.
In order to qualify for the Polish team for the European Games, one had to take places 1-8 during the European Championships held last November in Antalya, Turkey. A maximum of 16 representatives from one country could get to the Games. A total of 128 athletes will compete for medals. Nine Polish representatives succeeded in this challenge.
Anna Knobel (up to 50 kg category), Monika Puzio-Nieszporek (60 kg), Albert Mederski (63 kg) and Krystian Rzepka (79 kg) will compete in the light contact formula. And in full contact Kinga Szlachcic (60 kg), Karolina Juja (70 kg), Oskar Sobański (63.5 kg), Jakub Pokusa (75 kg) and Robert Krasoń (86 kg). Of this group at the European Championships, Pokusa did best, winning the bronze medal. The others took fifth places, and only Juja was ninth, but she was in the national team.
The Polish representatives are already titled athletes on the international arena. Knobel (Beniaminek Starogard Gdański) is, among others, the bronze medallist of the 2021 World Championships (light contact), and last year she was also third in the World Cup in Budapest. Puzio-Nieszporek (SMOK Kraków) is in turn the world champion from two years ago. Rzepka (LUKS Zamek Kurzętnik) stood on the lowest step of the podium in Lido de Jesolo. In 2019, he was European champion and bronze medallist at the junior world championships.
Mederski (MUKS Olimpia Nowe Miasto Lubawskie) was ninth at the tournament in Italy. Juja (KKS Sporty Walki Poznań) was third at the World Cup in Budapest and fifth at the world championships. Her clubmate Pokusa, on the other hand, is world vice-champion (2021), European championship bronze medallist (2018) and world championship bronze medallist (2017). Sobanski was sixth at the World Cup in Hungary and third at the European junior championships (2021). Krasoń (Piotrków Trybunalski) won the European championships title in 2018. Szlachcic (SKF Boxing Zielona Góra) started with kickboxing – she was European junior champion in 2013. She then set her sights on boxing, but also returned to kickboxing. Last year she won the Polish championship and the European championships in Antalya were her first appearance at a major international event.