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Poland Sweeps Podium and Ukraine Earns Inspirational Victory

Ukraine and Poland win Speed at the 2022 European Championships in Munich, Germany

Speed climbing wrapped at the European Championships in Munich this week with astounding results from the Polish National Team. Not only did Aleksandra Miroslaw show her dominance in the field, but her teammates Aleksandra Kalucka and sister Natalia Kalucka also clinched the remaining podium positions. Furthermore, Ukraine Speeder Danyil Boldyrev secured what became one of the most inspiring victories of the European Championships.

Aleksandra Kalucka, Aleksandra Miroslaw, and Natalia Kalucka sweep the podium for Poland at the 2022 European Championships in Munich
Left to right: Aleksandra Kalucka, Aleksandra Miroslaw, and Natalia Kalucka sweep the podium for Poland – photo by Dimitris Tosidis

Poland Sweeps the Podium

Miroslaw set and reset the world record three times in the last 12 months. She earned gold at each of her last year’s World Cup participations and even competed in last summer’s Olympic Games. In Munich this week, she continued to show her skill by running a 6.922 to secure gold.

Silver medalist Aleksandra Kalucka approached her teammate’s pace with a 7.085 second run. Miroslaw’s world record currently stands at a blistering 6.53 seconds, but her teammates have made progress toward that pace. Although Miroslaw has not competed since the second of the last two Salt Lake City World Cups, she retains her lead in the field.

“I was prepared for this for the whole year,” said Miroslaw. “I was always expecting that my championship competition would be the best one. Sometimes it is not very good, like last year’s world championship, but I know that I took a lesson (from that) and I wanted to win here this European title.”

The Kalucka sisters also showed increased consistency over the last year. Although they have not yet beaten Miroslaw, the pair have become staples of World Cup finals. They each showed themselves to be near indomitable athletes compared with the rest of the field.

Poland's Aleksandra Miroslaw prepares to win gold at European Championships
Aleksandra Miroslaw by Jan Virt

Natalia Kalucka said, “I’m really happy because this year was really hard for me and I’m very proud of myself and my sister. I like competing with my sister.”

Their progress and their performance this week leaves Speed fans to wonder how far they might push in the 2023 season. With the recent return of China’s National Team adding further depth to the field, the upcoming events will require even Miroslaw to consider the strength of her competition.

China’s Lijuan Deng won the last World Cups in Chamonix and Villars with a 6.55-second run and a 6.87-second run respectively. Miroslaw did not compete at either event.

Ukraine Wins the Men’s Field

While Poland’s sweep of the podium impressed, Ukraine’s Danyil Boldyrev’s victory was perhaps the most inspiring final of the entire European Championships.

Marcin Dzienski, Danyil Boldyrev, and Guillaume Moro take the podium at the 2022 European Speed Championships in Munich
Left to right: Marcin Dzienski, Danyil Boldyrev, and Guillaume Moro take the podium at the 2022 European Speed Championships in Munich – photo by Dimitris Tosidis

“I was ready for my win, I never give up,” said Boldyrev. “This morning I woke up at 05.00 o’clock. I wasn’t nervous, I just woke up because I felt so ready.”

Boldyrev continued, I took about five cold showers today before competition. I was like ‘come on, you can do it, you need focus for your good rounds and your gold medal’. It was a good day.”

Boldyrev won by over 0.6 seconds, outpacing silver medalist and former European Champion Marcin Dzienski. Boldyrev reflected on his victory and said, “I was very emotional because I really felt the support of the audience. Sometimes, you just have to do what you feel in your heart. You need to do what you feel like doing. Maybe it looked strange, but after climbing my heart just told me to do this.” 

Dzienski raced again to take on Spain’s Erik Noya Cardona. Dzienski won silver with a 5.452 to Noya’s 5.513-second run. Noya raced once more, taking another narrow defeat, and fourth position to bronze medalist Guillaume Moro. The French athlete took bronze with a 5.551-second pace to Noya’s 5.658.

Marcin Dzienksi at the 2022 European Championships
Marcin Dzienksi by Dimitris Tosidis

According to a press release by the IFSC, the pair embraced following the run emphasising the respect and camaraderie between climbing’s competing athletes.

Moro said, “Climbing is really a big family, and it made me happy to compete with him. I don’t think he bears a grudge against me, it’s really a good feeling.” 

Moro reflected on his medal stating, “I’ve won some world cup medals, but this is my first European championship medal, and it brings me real pleasure. 

“I had lots of emotions. Descending the wall, I felt all the emotions rise. It makes up for all the hard work I’ve done.”

Guillaume Moro waves at the 2022 European Championships
Guillaume Moro by Dimitris Tosidis

Featured image of Danyil Boldyrev by Dimitris Tosidis