The 2023 Virtus World and European Championship officially opened today in Ciechanów, Poland. Athletes from all the participating teams took part in a march at the Family Park of Entertainment and Education in Gołotczyźna. The opening ceremony was graced by notable attendees, including Jan Andrzej Kaluszkiewicz, Starost of the Ciechanów County, and Dariusz Mosakowski, President of Sprawni-Razem.
While addressing the crowd, Dariusz Mosakowski’s emphasized the importance of overcoming personal challenges and limitations. After the opening ceremony, the competition kicked off with the short course races.
Polish women cleaned the podium in short course
In the Women’s 2Km Cross Country final, the host nation athletes showcased their remarkable prowess in front of the home crowd and secured an impressive clean sweep of the podium. Barbara BIEGANOWSKA-ZAJĄC, the four time Paralympic Champion and multiple time Virtus champion, once again stood out as the gold medalist (7:23sec), putting on a stellar performance that earned her the highest honor. Her fellow countrywomen, Anna BODZIONY (7:32sec)and Monika YROBEK (7:33sec), also delivered outstanding performances, claiming the silver and bronze medals, respectively. This display of Polish dominance underscored their strength and skill in cross country running, leaving a lasting impression on the competition.
In the 4km Cross Country event, the gold medal went to Cristiano Pereira, demonstrating his exceptional abilities on the challenging course. He outpaced his competitors, which included France’s Gaël Geffroy and Poland’s Daniel Pek, to claim the coveted top spot. Pereira’s impressive victory in this event highlighted his endurance and determination, earning him a well-deserved gold medal and recognition as a formidable cross country runner.
The II2 Mixed 2km race unfolded as a thrilling and closely contested battle between two Spanish runners, Mikel Garcia AGUIRREZABAL and Jose Nicolas Castaño CASTRO. Both athletes displayed remarkable speed and determination throughout the race, making it a captivating competition. In the end, Mikel Garcia AGUIRREZABAL emerged as the victor, securing the gold medal with an impressive performance. Jose Nicolas Castaño CASTRO’s remarkable efforts earned him the silver medal, a testament to his skill and competitive spirit. Jason David from France secured the bronze, adding to the intense competition and showcasing the diverse talent of athletes in the race. This exciting race displayed the true essence of sportsmanship and determination at the championship.
The long course races are scheduled for tomorrow, and live results can be accessed here.