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Cwalina and Bochat showing what they can do at the 2019 European Games (Photo: Badminton Photo)
Adam Cwalina: I am still able to give something they can use in the future
Date: 9/19/2019 1:54 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
For our Badminton Europe exclusive, we spoke to Poland’s experienced doubles player Adam Cwalina. A double Grand Prix and incredibly thirty-four-time international title winner, it is fair to say Cwalina has had a glittering career, but we talk about his next big challenges.

We are currently around mid-way through the Olympic qualification year. We asked Cwalina how he feels his preparation is going and whether he trains differently to reach peak performance for Tokyo 2020.

-These qualifications are more diverse for me than London or Rio. We start (with Miłosz Bochat) in a worse position than we wanted, but we are very motivated. Bochat suffered an injury during the European Games in Minsk. Since then, Poland has been waiting for his recovery and the next tournament he can make his comeback in, Cwalina said.

-I hope we can still have some good results this year. To be honest it’s hard to say where we are with the preparation. I am doing everything to keep my level and to avoid injuries, as it is not easy in my age, he added.

The performance level at the European Games, despite the unfortunate injury in the final group match, looked good for Cwalina and Bochat, playing three games against Denmark’s Astrup and Skaarup Rasmussen. There was also a strong final appearance in Slovenia with Pawel Pietryja. Cwalina explained what he can take from these performances.

-Yes, it ended badly for us because we had to give up the match against the Italian pair. But despite this, our game looked good. We played at a high level in two matches. Milosz Bochat still has many good years of playing ahead, so I hope that such lessons on the court will give him a lot in the future.

Commenting on the final appearance in Slovenia, Cwalina said:

-I played one tournament with Paweł Pietryja and I think it was rather an episode in our career. At this point, I focus on myself, to prepare myself for the season, and give younger players as much as I can during training.

I always feel support from them
It can be said that Cwalina is the last player standing from the 'golden-era' of Polish badminton, which culminated in a brilliant silver medal in the 2010 European Men’s Team Championships in front of a home crowd in Warsaw. Cwalina therefore brings a lot of experience to the squad. We asked if this is a different kind of pressure for him having younger players looking up to him.

-Yes, it's true. All players with whom I previously trained and played in tournaments at this moment are on the other side. They are coaches in national teams or building own projects or academies. I believe that I am still able to give my younger friends something they can use in the future. Tips or settings that are taught only when you spend enough hours on the court. I try to tell them as much as possible at training and tournaments.

This week Cwalina will be playing in the Polish International. A home tournament he has had great success at before. Cwalina’s partners for men’s doubles and mixed doubles standout. 

-I want to play in front of supporters in Poland. I always feel support from them, and I believe that this time it will be the same. This year I will play doubles with Scotland’s Jack Macgregor and mixed with Czech Republic’s Betka Basova.

-Some of these combinations may be strange but to be honest I was not 100% ready before the entry list closed for Polish International and coaches didn’t want to block any of the Polish players. I believed I can give 100% in Bierun and hope I will not disappoint, he shared with us.

European sparring
Lastly, prior to Tokyo 2020, another big event is beginning in the next few days in the form of the Rugby World Cup. Players have been training hard to prepare for the unique conditions there. In Badminton, we asked Cwalina how can you prepare for certain conditions in the hall of a big tournament like the Olympics.

-I think all players from Europe will gather in one place and will practice and spar with each other just like before the Olympic games. This is how it looks. Before the games in Rio de Janeiro, together with Przemek Wacha, we were invited to Birmingham where we had the opportunity to play some good matches at the National Indoor Arena where All England is played. I think that before the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the English or Danish Association will organize such a camp again, he said.
 

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