Polish Nationals draw record crowds in Wroclaw

Polish Nationals draw record crowds in Wroclaw

Over 750 people watched the Polish Nationals finals live on Saturday in the town square of the Polish city of Wrocław,  a new record for any squash event staged in the country,  and 600 more people followed the event online via livestreaming!

Crowd at Plac SolnyEleven months ago Wrocław and the Hasta La Vista club hosted the World Junior Championships 2013, but then failed to successfully conclude negotiations with the City Hall and the all-glass court had to be put inside the club, which was already the biggest in this part of Europe.

“This time around we were able to change that and erect a glass court in the very heart of our city,”  said a jubilant Marek Wojnarski, the tournament’s director.

The tournament started on the 28th of May, but the glass court appeared in the town square 5 days earlier which allowed the Hasta La Vista Club to promote squash on a bigger scale than ever before.

Friday- quarterfinals at the town squareBy Thursday worries about the sudden change of weather arose. This meant that Thursday’s matches on the glass court had to be called off and played indoors. Luckily on Friday and Saturday the temperatures were more squash friendly and the people of Wrocław were treated to a great spectacle.

Many turned out to support Magdalena Kamińska, the home-favourite, who dispatched 7-time Polish Champion, Dominika Witkowska in the semis. A seemingly nervous Kamińska, previously a silver and three time bronze medalist, almost let her chance slip when she went  5:1 down to Anna Jurkun in the fifth, but roared on by the partizan crowd, she managed to mount a comeback and win 11:7.

Marcin Karwowski looks on as Przemys_aw Atras lets his racket fall out of his handThe tournament ended with a 70-minute battle between the defending Champion Marcin Karwowski and the surprise finalist, 4th seed Przemek Atras. The effort they both put in after playing five-game semifinals eight hours earlier was incredible. The fourth game alone lasted 28 minutes. In the end it was Karwowski who took it, winning his third title at the age of just twenty three.

The women’s even saw a new winner as Magdalena Kamińska beat Anna Jurkun to the title.

Women’s final: [3] Magdalena Kamińska 3-2 [2] Anna Jurkun  11:7, 3:11, 7:11, 11:6, 11:7 (42m)
Men’s final: [3] Marcin Karwowski 3-2 [4] Przemysław Atras  11:7, 6:11, 12:10, 16:18, 11:7 (70m)

Events like these and the constant growth of the sport in Poland make an interesting new market for investors who would like to stage a PSA event here. The love for the sport is and appetites to watch even better players live is ever growing.

Adrian Fulneczek

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