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Four important questions and four answers. Among the athletes invited to the interviews are many well-known personalities of our sport. Today – Dariusz Groch! ()

PeSzy: Hello Darek! Four questions to you. Let's begin with the fights you lost - you expected to win but lost. The opponent surprised you and you couldn't win. Which ones do you find the most memorable? And about the wins too; which ones came easier than you expected?

Darek Groch: The fights you lose stay in your memory the longest. Let's start with 2012, and if I'm not wrong my first tournament duel with Rafał Woźny. I disregared him in the first fight, at least that's what I thought because I lost in the finals again, and then there were no excuses. From the lost fights I also remember clearly the one with Karol Myszkiewicz at Poland Championships in 2016. Back then I knew it was going to be a close duel, and close it was but by the end of it, when I already thought I was controlling the opponent's hand, I gave away the centre of the table because I was counting I could rest a little on my losing side since I felt really confident in that angle. Unfortunately Karol took off from there and I couldn't save the situation from that moment onwards.

About the quick wins that I didn't expect, it was during the qualifiers duel at the World Championships with Eduardo Tiette (Brazil) when I beat him very quickly on the right arm. Here comes the rule that two hands aren't equal because a month earlier Eduardo won with Dawid Bartosiewicz during Vendetta with whom I, on the right arm, have never won. In 2013, the duel for the World Championships semi-finals entry with Khetagie Dzitiev was a pleasant surprise for me, though before I started I already had a foul and a reprimand for a false start.

The adrenaline rush I got was also from my shoulder which cracked in the previous fight, resulting in my arm aching as if I was constantly being electrocuted. After one of the many “Ready Go” commands, the Russian's arm landed on the pillow allowing me to advance to the semi-finals.

PeSzy: What is your mindset towards spectators cheering – does it help or distract you?

Darek Groch: Despite the fact that I always try to approach the table with a clear mind and no distractions, the fans' cheers are important to me and I feel like it always adds a few percent of power that might be crucial during even fights.

PeSzy: How much longer? Not to mention any numbers, but you already are a senior athlete within the sport. Have you ever considered giving up this while armwrestling and picking up something else?

Darek Groch: Whenever people ask me how much longer... I imagine myself as a grandpa who starts in categories with much younger athletes and wins with them, like for example Creazy George, a competitor from Canada who at 70 wins with 20- and 30-year-olds. Armwrestling still gives me lots of satisfaction and I can't remember a moment when I wanted to quit it.

PeSzy: Can you see any “eras” of armwrestling from the perspective of your experience?

Darek Groch: I feel like this is a very broad topic but for me and for the development of armwrestling in Poland, the key person is Igor Mazurenko. If it wasn't for Igor, professional armwresling in Poland would either not exist or be at its earliest stages of development. Igor set the standards for organisation and conducting competition very high, and they were later on repeated all around the world – though with different results.

PeSzy: Thank you very much and see you on March 12th in the Gniew Castle! at the 21st Polish Armwrestling Championships

Darek Groch: See you!

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