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Record crowds watch Polish national finals

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Open-air glass court attracts 750 to Wroclaw town square
By ADRIAN FULNECZEK – Squash Mad Reporter

Squash action thrills the crowds  in Wroclaw
Squash action thrills the crowds in Wroclaw

A crowd of 750 people watched the Polish Nationals finals live on Saturday, in the Polish city of Wrocław’s town square, setting a new record for any squash event staged in the country (with 600 more people following the event online via live streaming).

Some 11 months ago, Wrocław and the Hasta La Vista club hosted the World Junior Championships 2013, but then failed to succesfully conclude negotiations with the City Hall and the all-glass court had to be put inside the club (which, by the way was already back then 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 director.

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

By 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 seven-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.

The tournament ended with a 70-minute battle between the defending Champion, Marcin Karwowski and the surprise finalist, fourth seed Przemek Atras.

The effort they both put in (after playing five-game long semi-finals 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 23.

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.

Polish National Championships, Wroclaw

Women’s final:
[3] Magdalena Kamińska 3-2 Anna Jurkun [2] (11-7, 3-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7) [42minutes]

Men’s final:
[3] Marcin Karwowski 3-2 Przemysław Atras [4] (11-7, 6-11, 12-10, 16-18, 11-7) [70minutes]

Pictures courtesy of hastalavista.pl

 

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