Sydney - Polish Olympic Medals - Shooting - Kayak - weightlifting - walk - 2000 (I)
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Sydney Olympic Games were successful for Polish olympic team although they were disappointing in the beginning and in the end of the games. We received 14 medals 6-5-3, three less than in Atlanta. Our team was located on the 14th position among the nations.
Check also the articles about Poles in Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games 2002 and about Polish achievements in Athens.
For the first medal Polish fans have to wait almost five days! Some people were already very annoyed with our medal achievements (zero) at this point.
The first two medals, gold and silver were received on Tuesday, 19th of September. Gold was won by Renata Mauer-Rozanska in shooting, 3-position (in Atlanta she won bronze in this competition). Renata was shooting well in the beginning then she had a couple of poorer scores (below 10) after she was distracted by one of the camera-journalists whose cellular phone rang just before her shot. Renata was tied with two other competitors from Russia and Germany in qualifying rounds (after firing from the prone, kneeling and standing positions) but she was the only one with a shooting score 10 or better in the standing final. During the last olympic games in Atlanta Renata also won the first gold medal for Poland (as a matter of fact it was the first gold medal of that olympic games) but in 10-metre air riffle.
Our second and silver medal was won in Canoe/Kayak slalom by Kolomanski & Staniszewski. We had two teams in this slalom. After first round our other team, Mordarski & Wojs were on the third position. Kolomanski and Staniszewski rode too slow and careful and ended up sixth. But in the second round Kolomanski and Staniszewski did a very good job and were only surpassed by Slovaks and French teams. But French had problems with passing through one of the gates and where disqualified so the Poles took a second place.
The next two medals, also gold and silver were won two days later on Thurdsay, September 21. Agata Wrobel, 19, Junior World Champion weightlifter in category super-heavy weigh was expected to fight for medal. The only competitor, as usual was Chinese Ding Meiyuan. When the other women already finished their competitions these two women were just starting. The new world records were also achieved. Ding Meiyuan created a new world record totaling 300kg (135kg-165kg), Wrobel totalled 295kg (132.5kg-162.5kg.
The unquestionable hero of the Polish team was Robert Korzeniowski. Korzeniowski won two gold medals - in 20 and 50 km walk (21 and 29 September respectively) . Korzeniowski's favorite distance is 50-km, he won already gold in Atlanta. The walk for 20-km for him was a training and warm-up before "his" competition. Korzeniowski was really good and finished the walk as a second just a few steps behind Bernardo Segura from Mexico. But Segura was informed later, while being congratulated by a president of Mexico, about his disqualification for an infraction in the final 400 metres- under the rules the judge does not have to show the third warning (a red card) until the athlete has finished. So, Korzeniowski won the gold. In 50-km walk Korzeniowski had no competitor. Korzeniowski stated that he was additionally motivated by his anger after receiving a warning from a judge, the same judge he receives warnings all the time. He finished over a minute earlier than the second walker from Latvia and became an olumpic champion again.
Click for part II of the articleI recommend a following book by Dorling Kindersley Publishing: The Olympic Games: Athens 1896-Sydney 2000
Copyright by Jagoda Urban-Klaehn, written on October 1st, 2000 (article #7)
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