Anna Kiełbasińska: I could start a family, and I’m still here

Anna Kiełbasińska had a unique year last year – first in Tokyo she was in the 4x400m relay, which was happy with the Olympic vice championship. She did a great job in the first team in the semi-finals. In August, she set life records in Switzerland for 200 m (22.76 s) and 400 m (50.38), and a month later – also for 100 m (11.30). The result for one lap is the second in the history of Polish athletics – only Irena Szewińska ran faster!

It was also good in the indoor season this year, as in February she ran 200m in 51.10 in Ostrava – this is also her best result of her indoor career. And it gives high hopes of great results in the open stadium – including in the context of the July World Championship in Eugene and the August European Championship in Berlin.

Andrzej Grupa, Interia: If you didn’t suffer from injuries, you showed great results right away. So the first question: how is the health at the beginning of the season?

Anna Kiełbasińska: Good today although there are old aches and degenerations because I have 18 years of racing behind me and this body already hurts. It lets you know that there is too much of everything. At this level, however, we’re navigating the fine line between injury and high form. It’s part of the sport. We do our best to avoid injuries. We don’t want them, but today I say that everything is fine and one workout can change a lot. Because we always risk being the best. But if you don’t take a risk, you don’t drink champagne.

The season begins, and in a dozen days of the Polish Championship. Last year they were crucial in qualifying for the national team at the Olympics. What does qualifying for the team for the World Cup look like this year?

– Probably similar. However, it should be borne in mind that there has been a mixed relay run for two years now, taking a larger number of reserve players so that in the mixes we can, for example, run qualifying matches in a different setup, similar to our 4x400m. It’s hard to say how it will be because we are just getting started, we are going into the season. The results and the sport level will be decisive, there is not more to say about it. I think the names will repeat, although sometimes someone new will appear. As of today, we can give a total of these eight names to the composition.

– The Polish Championship can certainly decide who will run individually in Eugene and what the contours of the first line-up will be. It is difficult to talk about these rules, in any case it is a bit strange that how the Polish Championship from the beginning of June can determine the composition of the European Championship in August? It’s two months and anything can go wrong and that. So I think decisions will be made all the time by the coaches because everyone wants the best.

You will be satisfied with running one lap in less than 51 seconds, is there a dream for something more?

– Of course it is. If I hadn’t dreamed, why should I train? In fact, I was able to finish my career last year because the Olympic medal is every athlete’s dream. I always set myself a higher goal with each new season, I just want more. I could start a family now, and yet I’m still here. For me, the challenge is something that seems unlikely or even impossible to someone else. And I’m not interested in what others think, I want to try, because if I don’t try, I certainly won’t. And if I try, maybe that’s what I’ll do.

And this is a secret, what is this dream for this year?

– You said it yourself (laughs). My personal best from last season is 50.38. I’d like to get at least 39 hundredths off it.

In Pozna you walk an unusual distance of 300 meters on Fridays. Is it such a start with a grain of salt, training?

– I don’t treat any performance like that, I’m a competitor who loves competition, I always try to run as best I can. I have an extra exciting goal and I will definitely take this race seriously. Just like the one at 100 m, which I will also perform in. Very often during training we combine these distances: the first 300, a one-minute break and another hundred. In Pozna it will be the other way around: first a hundred and then 300 m, but this is also a nice solution. Sprint will give me energy and I hope it will warm me up. I would like to spin my personal best of 36 seconds.

– On Friday I expect nice weather, and if the weather is nice also nice results. It’s hard to define myself exactly because this is my first start. It was fine in the hall, but a long time has passed since the hall. I trained a lot, with the trainer we paid attention to endurance, in this I made progress. The speed is, although these aren’t the fastest speeds we plan to achieve yet. When we’re in top form, we’re aiming for the World Cup and the European Championship, not the first run of the season.

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