WORLD GAMES: SMALL DELEGATIONS, MAJOR GOALS
Austria, Switzerland, Poland, and Hungary arrived at the World Cup venue and, although their presence is not numerous like those other delegations like Colombia, Italy, the United States, or France, their participation is very important for sports in general.
On this occasion, these European countries came to the World Championships with only one athlete and one or two companions, unlike the large delegations that reached 50 people, including junior and senior athletes in both branches, coaching staff, medical and administrative teams.
Competing in these world championships is important for both sports and skaters. It encourages other athletes to try speed skating as a high-performance discipline, and it allows skaters to achieve personal and sporting goals in the short and long term.
Mateusz Kania, from Poland, aspires to be in the first 16 places in the long distance to qualify for the next World Games to be held in Birmingham, United States, in 2022.
That is why the expectations and dreams to fulfill of these small delegations are just as important as those of the countries where this sport has a greater structure and the expected results are medals, as expressed by Dominika Gardi, the senior skater from Hungary who participates for the seventh time in a World Cup and aims for this event to earn a place for the World Games long-distance events.
This Saturday, when the curtain of Ibagué Mundial 2021 opens in the Municipal Sports Park, the 62 places available for the World Games next year will be disputed, to which a maximum of four representatives per country will be able to qualify.
For his part, Christian Kromoser, the Austrian doctor and skater, expressed his happiness to skate in Colombia, a country where he had prepared for several months. “I am focused on circuit tests, mainly the points test and the marathon.”
Other small teams that will participate in the World Cup are Paraguay, Panama, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic with two representatives each.