On November 12, the first stage of qualifying for the basic composition of the Cross Baltic Challenge took place. The purpose of CBC 2018 is to sail from Poland to Sweden in July 2018. Hania Sokołowska, Michał Jakubowski and Marcin Bogucki will definitely be in the main team of the relay team. Marta Otto and Marcin Zięba secured the place on the boat.
18 people were invited to the Cross Baltic Challenge project, based on a cyclic swimming test held among the players of Kuźnia Triathlonu. We invited to this unique project 4 ladies and 10 men with the best times. In addition, we gave out two wild cards for women and men. Let’s remind that in the end there will be 6 people in the relay (2 women and 4 men), and three people will be on the ship as a reserve (2 men and 1 woman).
The next qualifying step for the XBC 2018 relay is the swimming test at 1500m. On November 12, the first of these tests took place, during which we distributed 3 slots to the main team, and 2 slots to the "reserve bench", but the space on the ship is provided for them. In April everyone will have one more chance for the so-called overtime. The 1500m test will be held again in which we will give away the remaining three slots and one place in the reserve.
15 competitors took part in the 1500m test. On Friday, November 10, 2017, Magdalena Żołnowska, Grzegorz Orłowski and Bartosz Strojek joined the test in the morning at the WUM swimming pool. The remaining composition of the XBC 2018 team joined the test on Sunday morning also at the swimming pool of the Medical University of Warsaw. Below you can see a summary of times from this event:
The clear favorites of the test were Hanna Sokołowska and Michał Jakubowski. Behind their backs there was a very even fight for the remaining places. It was hard to forecast the results of this competition. Previously, no one raced for such a long distance at the pool. As predicted, Michał and Hania swiftly passed the test, taking the passes to the basic composition of the Cross Baltic Challenge. Behind them there was a fierce fight for the remaining slots. For men, Jakub Niedźwiadek and Marcin Zięba fought directly. They sailed side by side throughout the entire distance. Marcin Zięba came out victorious from this fight in the last meters, reaching 11 seconds ahead of Kuba. 20 seconds before them took off Marcin Bogucki, who fought for a place in the basic line-up. In a correspondence duel, he won with Marcin Zięba only for 7 seconds. Thus, the second place on the ship in the basic lineup went to Marcin Bogucki, and Marcin Zięba had to settle for the reserve.
For ladies the second slot was a reserve – the main favorite was Marta Otto who won the place on the boat (reserve), but the big surprise was the pace imposed by Kasia Jonio. She was only 43 seconds after Marta Otto and certainly during the April test will fight for the place in the basic composition. Below we present the full results of the test:
Starting from the nearest Friday, we are starting dedicated trainings for the Cross Baltic Challenge group – we add one swimming training session to one week’s schedule and one training session in the gym with general development exercises. In total, our players will swim 4 times a week, and practice in the room 2 times.
There will be another test at 1500m in April. Then we will also know the final composition of the relay race, which in July 2018 will set off from Poland to Sweden. Follow our website and social media, where we will be reporting our preparations.
A big thank you to Piotr Tyburski for documenting our struggles.