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London 2012 – another poor Olympics for Poland

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 13.08.2012 06:49
  • London 2012 – another poor Olympics for Poland. Audio report by Danuta Isler.
As the host nation, Team GB, celebrates its best medal haul in modern Olympic history, Poland can boast winning just ten medals at London 2012. With audio report by Danuta Isler.

A fireworks display ends London 2012: photo - EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

The Games closed on Sunday evening with a theatrical music spectacular, which featured George Michael, Take That and a reforming of the Spice Girls.

Then the Olympics were officially closed as the flame was extinguished for another four years.

London 2012 was a disappointment for Poland, with Polish athletes bringing back home just two gold, two silver and six bronze – the same number as in Beijing in 2008 and Athens in 2004 – though Poland won three golds at those games.

London 2012's medals were the slimmest pickings at an Olympic Games for Poland since Melbourne 1956, when Poland won one gold, four silver and four bronze.

Poland's highest medal winning haul came at the boycott-disrupted Games in Moscow in 1980 when they brought home 32 medals, six more than in Montreal in 1976 when the, then communist, country won seven gold, six silver and 13 bronze.

Secretary general of the Polish Olympic Committee Adam Krzesiński has described the result of the Polish team as being “far below expectations”.

In an interview for the Polish Press Agency, he said that there were far too many highly disappointing performances, particularly from the hammer throw hopeful Paweł Fajdek, tennis player Agnieszka Radwanska and the fencers, who all came back to Poland without medals.

“Unfortunately, we have become stuck at the same level [as four and eight years ago],” Poland's Olympic chief said.

“Germany spends four times as much as we do [on funding sport at an elite level] but I do not believe there is a problem [at that level]. Worse, is our funding for children and young people's sport at local level,” Krzesiński said.

Citing the organizational structure of British sport as an example, (Team GB won 65 medals, with 29 golds, 17 silver and 19 bronze - its biggest haul since 1908) Adam Krzesinski argued that in Poland there is no coherent development strategy in various sports federations and disciplines.

Poland two gold medalists are Adrian Zielinski in the weightlifting and Tomasz Majewski in the men’s shot put, who became the first shot putter to successfully defend his title from a previous Games since 1956.

Majewski is now the seventh Polish athlete to have two Olympic gold medals to his credit. (pg/mk)

This article was ammended at 08.50

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