By John Lohn
ASTON, Pennsylvania, USA, August 16. DURING the past month, the swimming world has been treated to some high-quality performances, the majority of which were uncorked at the World Championships in Montreal. Of course, the United States and Australia reaffirmed their status as power nations in the sport. Simultaneously, several other nations demonstrated excellence.
Although already known for its butterfly phenom, Otylia Jedrzejczak, Poland has used the last few weeks to showcase a number of other top-flight athletes. At the World Champs, the country accumulated four medals. Meanwhile, Poland has also enjoyed a solid showing at the World University Games in Izmir, Turkey. Here’s a look at the Polish arsenal and its recent accomplishments.
Otylia Jedrzejczak: The inarguable star of Polish swimming, Jedrzejczak was dynamite at last summer’s Olympic Games in Athens, claiming gold in the 200 butterfly and silver in the 100 fly and 400 freestyle. Well, Jedrzejczak hasn’t hit a wall in the time since Greece, evident in her efforts in Montreal and Turkey.
At the World Champs, Jedrzejczak established a world record in the 200 fly, posting a mark of 2:05.61, and also secured a bronze medal in the 100 fly. For good measure, Jedrzejczak has won the 200 free (1:58.49) and 100 fly (58.74) at the World University Games. Her time in the 200 free was faster than the winning effort achieved in Montreal.
Pawel Korzeniowski: During the World Championships, the 200 butterfly on the male side was considered one of the most wide-open events of the competition. Korzeniowski took advantage of the opening and cooked up a 1:55.02 mark to collect gold. He repeated that first-place showing at the World University Games, behind another solid time (1:56.52).
Przemyslaw Stanczyk: In World University Games action, Stanczyk topped the competition in the 800 freestyle, thanks to a swim of 7:57.00. He also picked up fifth in the 400 free (3:52.42), just weeks after leaving the World Championships with a fourth-place showing in the 800 free (7:50.83).
Bart Kizierowski: A longtime staple on the international sprinting scene, Kizierowski earned a position on the medal podium at the World Champs, due to a third-place performance in the 50 freestyle. The veteran, who had the fastest prelim time, picked up his bronze medal with a one-lap mark of 21.94.
Lukasz Drzewinski: Seventh in the 800 freestyle at the World Championships, Drzewinski posted a third-place effort and a pair of fourth-place finishes at the World University Games. The bronze medal arrived in the 200 fly (1:58.13) while the fourth-place marks were snared in the 400 and 800 free distances.
Slawomir Kuczko: After finishing fifth at the World Champs in the 200 breaststroke, Kuczko prevailed at the World University Games with a swim of 2:12.35.
Mateusz Sawrymowicz: Adding power and depth to Poland’s distance-freestyle stash, Sawrymowicz cracked the 15-minute barrier in the 1,500 free at the World Champs, where he clocked in at 14:59.38.
Katarzyna Baranowska: Baranowska finished fifth at the World Champs in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:14.39.
Paulina Barzycka: An Olympic finalist in the 200 free, Barzycka was sixth in the event at the World Championships with a performance of 1:59.34.
Katarzyna Dulian: Registering a mark of 2:27.85, Dulian claimed fifth place at the World Champs in the 200 breaststroke.