I watched the 1st Teresin Championships. I’m already all in for the idea to rebrand it as the Open International Teresin Championships because the place and time are very convenient. One of the categories particularly caught my attention. Let me explain. ()
For the sake of formality - I present the heroes of the story: Sławek Malas: multiple medalist of international events, has been competing for many years. Paweł Gawenda: One of the leading athletes in Poland. Already known to you as a portrait artist.
Teresin: A small town near Warsaw.
Seniors, 85kg, left arm. Artur Krupa with gold, that’s not surprising. Then, the third place – Sławek Malas. Is this surprising? Sławek is not very outspoken, he’s rather shy so I didn’t ask him to give any comments on this start. The runner-up, though, Paweł Gawenda, was incredibly happy. I would dare say happier than the event rank should suggest. Really! I wil try to explain in the interview with Paweł.
PeSzy: Paweł, you look as if you’ve just become the World Champion and these were just local championships. The competition was pretty decent but not to this extent… Where does all this happiness come from?
Paweł Gawenda: It’s my first time ever that I’ve won with Sławek Malas. That’s why I’m so happy!
PeSzy: When did you first fight Sławek?
Paweł: In Suwałki, in 2018. There was a tournament there and some Vendettas, too. I remember talking to Darek Wiśniewski and he told me they were looking for an opponent for Sławek Malas. I remember I was in pretty good shape with my left arm back then, or at least relatively, and I knew Sławek as a legend of Polish armwrestling so I thought – maybe… me?
PeSzy: That’s quite arrogant of you...
Paweł: I knew back then that I couldn’t win but I wanted to check how strong the top wrestler of the lighter categories might be.
PeSzy: As far as I remember, you didn’t make an impact at the table then…
Paweł: Not really. I remember a lot, I remember the stress and adrenaline. I also remember that those were the times when I wasn’t really mentally ready for fighting. I would take up opponents thinking: “Just don’t lose too quickly” or worrying about making a fool out of myself. I gave my all in that fight but Sławek crushed me very easily. The first rounds ended in seconds and he played with me a little in the last two.