Paweł Abratkiewicz: The best evaluation is the results

“The union activists started talking to me a year ago. There was a great desire on both sides to work in Poland. However, I was still tied to a contract with the Russian Federation at the time. I have always said that we will come back to the subject” – the trainer told PAP.

SEE ALSO: Paweł Abratkiewicz is the new head coach of the skating team

Abratkiewicz said he initially planned to work in Russia for just four years – until the Sochi Olympics (2014). This was a total of 12 years. The employers were satisfied with the tasks performed, which was confirmed by the players themselves. His students always brought medals from the championship. The best proof of this is the achievements of Olga Fatkulin, the silver medalist of the 500 m of the Sochi Olympics and Natalia Voronina, the bronze medalist of the 5,000 m in Pyongchang (2018).

“The Russians planned to renew the contract with me. In the situation that arose in Ukraine, we came to the conclusion that it would be better to end cooperation. Moral reasons prevailed” – he explained the reasons for the divorce.

The Polish coach often contacted the sports director of the federation where he worked, Wiktoria Gogotowa, who admitted that all Russian sports would lose due to sanctions. There have already been voices in Russia that this could culminate in a four-year ban on international starts. This prospect for local athletes does not seem very promising.

“I have not had the opportunity to talk to the Russian players themselves about the situation in Ukraine. Besides, not many people want to take a public position there. Everyone is aware of the checking of correspondence or tapping of telephone conversations. media also has a targeted propaganda message” – added Abratkiewicz, who returned to Poland on February 21, three days before the Russian aggression. He later tried to return to work, but his communication options were severely limited.

The trainer applauded that the World Cup competition will be held twice in Tomaszów Mazowiecki next season. First it will take place on February 10-12, 2023 and a week later in the final edition.

“This is an award for the Polish trade union, which has received high marks for previous events,” he emphasized.

Abratkiewicz has noticed for some time that Arena Lodowa is a perfect base for starts and training, not only for seniors, but also for younger age groups. “Many groups of children and young people from clubs near Warsaw, such as Grodzisk Mazowiecki or Słomczyna, come to Tomaszów Mazowiecki. This certainly helps in training and getting better results. The skating hall is completely different from outside. It gives more comfort from work “- he said.

The completion of the second ice rink in the country – in Zakopane – will create new opportunities. The facility’s location at an elevation of nearly 1000 m above sea level looks promising in terms of future results. This should also encourage the youngest to go ice skating.

“Almost everyone skates in the Netherlands. A dozen (semi-)covered facilities create incredible opportunities. Of course, not everyone there will become a competitive athlete later on, but there is plenty to choose from. There the sports machine in this discipline is expanded to a considerable size. for equipment, and – so you can train on roller skating rinks in the summer. The Dutch are in it. The massiveness and the whole background that goes with it is really impressive “- admitted Abratkiewicz.

The Polish trainer is interested in technical innovations. Work on the so-called flaps, which were first introduced in 1997 – a year before the Olympic Games in Nagano. The founders were the Dutch, who introduced a movable heel in the shoe. This allowed the rebound to be extended.

“We never really know when something new will come out. I remember the general skepticism when the Dutch girls started to get excellent results and win thanks to the flaps. Whoever stayed on the old skates could not count on success” – he concluded .


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