Artur Gac, Interia: It’s hard to say that training a pro can be fun, but if it is difficult to train, then in the conditions that you currently find in Qatar.
Anita Wadarchik, 3-time Olympic Champion and 4-time World Champion: – exactly. This is a big plus. Especially now, when it is winter in Poland, and I can stay in Qatar in great conditions, both in terms of sports facilities and weather. Preparations for the next season have begun in Doha.
After all, in the Persian Gulf country, you have the right to feel at home.
– I can safely say that I know Qatar well. I always have a free Friday for practice, then it’s time to rejuvenate and we always try to go somewhere. It is better to go to a new place, inhabiting your head as much as possible from monotony and hard work, because we train twice a day. When it comes to Doha itself, I really feel at home. I already know what to expect. Most of all, I got to know the Arab culture very well, so I know what I can and should not do. I remember at first, when I first came here in 2016, I had a huge shock. You had to come to terms with different things. Like, for example, the fact that I can’t get into gym training with a T-shirt. Besides, I need to cover my knees. It’s normal for me now. First of all, I am very happy that I can train here in peace. It’s always fun, because I often remember the beginnings of my training camps in the Polish national team, when I spent the months of December and January in training camps in Spice. I remember 2004 and 2005 when it was minus 10-15 degrees Celsius and you had to go out and throw. I remember at the time I was able to make 20 throws max, my body was really cold. Now I feel comfortable being able to do a lot of training, and that brings us to Qatar.
It’s a symptom of what I remembered. You get used to the best and the best, but you still remember that many years ago you had to craft a model in completely different conditions.
– Don’t forget that (laughs). But it also shaped my character and the courage not to give up when conditions aren’t ideal. In retrospect, there are both advantages and disadvantages to the conditions in which I had to train years ago. It’s much nicer now, especially since it’s not too hot in Qatar right now. Now we only have 28 degrees, which may sound strange to fans. Thanks to this, when I go to the viewport now, I can spend three hours in the sun and everything is fine. However, already in March, April and May, when the temperature here rises by more than 40 “streaks”, there will be no such rest. However, the most important thing is that here in the winter, I draw energy from the sun and everything is going well.
How long in this “throw”, will you stay in Qatar?
– We have started the eighth week of training camp, and we will return to Poland on December 19. On this occasion, the memories came back, we talked to our physiotherapist about how we were here a year ago. At that time, Qatar was still closed, but we were allowed to come to the training camp. The plan was identical to go home for Christmas. On the other hand, the epidemic prevented us and we stayed here until February 10, so I spent more than three months in this country. Now, if I don’t come back for Christmas again, I’ll probably be sorry (laughs). The pain was less then, because the Tokyo Olympics were on the horizon, so it was easier to accept such events. I’m already looking forward to Christmas, especially since I’m getting to meet my family and friends. I do not tolerate surprises with sudden restrictions, especially since arrival is a matter of literally a few days.
Are you hosting guests or visiting relatives?
– This time I am traveling with my father to my brother and his family to England. So, in fact, I will only come to Poland for three days. During this time, in Warsaw, I will be doing my standard physiological and medical examinations. I’m going to have two more courses and then get on a plane to the British Isles. The most important thing is that he spends this time with the people closest to me.
I can’t ignore the issue of your health, until I remember the heroic struggle you took to build great shape for the Tokyo Olympics. What is your knee position and general body condition?
– With health, everything is fine. I can say I feel great. Dr. Robert Omegelski has been with us for a week of training camp and we both know I don’t have knee problems. You could say I forgot my injury. Not only that, but even some exercises that I couldn’t do before my injury, I can now do it without any problems. The doctor keeps saying that my treated knees are now younger and I hope they stay that way. On the other hand, I am under the care of a doctor all the time and we do a preventive examination of my body, which is constantly subjected to significant loads.
I would like to bring up the main topic, although we have already asked you about it at the Olympics and right after the gold medal in Tokyo. Nothing changes, the next target that leads you is the Olympics in Paris in 2024?
– Yes, nothing has changed since Tokyo. It’s still the plan. Only here remains the question of health. If all is well, Paris will give me as much as possible. On the way there are also world and European championships. So, as always, we have a long-term plan and short-term assumptions, and I hope they all come true.
The short-term goals are specifically the World Cup and the European Nations Cup?
“I know it sounds weird, but it is.” However, I am completely exhausted, whenever the World Cup is held in the United States. So in a country the most dangerous competitors today. I know Americans and their mentality, so I know they will definitely want to show themselves at their best and will do whatever it takes to fight for medals. For me, competing with them in their country is a motivating factor.
I don’t think you need a better motivation.
– Once, with my psychiatrist, Dr. Nikodim Chukovsky, we analyzed my beginnings in terms of preparations for the Olympics in Paris and the World Championships in Eugene. And the doctor tells me this: see Anita, you had one of the most dangerous competitors, the German Betty Heidler. At the World Cup in Berlin, in her stadium, in her hometown, I won. Tatiana Lysenko enjoyed herself at the World Cup in Russia, but was disqualified years later. Moreover, in Beijing, you can also beat the local representative. So there is another world power in front of me that must be defeated on its own soil (laughs).
So you could say that Anita Włodarczyk is a one-man unit that breaks up the powers.
– (laughs) Exactly. This is our plan. In addition, I always love to have such great and motivating stories. So we deal with the following challenges with a psychologist.
In Tokyo, I led the three of you, after all, the final hammer throw took place on August 3.
– In the US, my starts were on July 15-17, so I should do some research and see what I associate these dates with. I think something will come to mind.
Finally: The grand conclusion of the inaugural Interia Public Referendum “As Sportu 2021” is now underway. In the deciding match, you and chess player Jan-Krzysztof Duda spin around for victory. Do you expect such competition?
– I would never have imagined it, but it is only the decision of netizens. I certainly do not underestimate such athletes, because everyone has their own sports discipline and supporters. Overall, I think it’s a great initiative. I am happy to be in the final. Thanks to all the fans who voted for me online, and let the fun continue!
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