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14 July 2015 | in Universiade 2015, Summer FISU World University Games, Athletics

First and Last Universiade



GWANGJU – In the waiting area before the medal ceremony for the women’s 4x400m relay – Monika Szczensa, Malgorzata Holub, Joanna Linkiewicz and Justyna Swiety with ‘Polska’ emblazoned in white on their backs are jittery with excitement. In a few minutes they will receive their gold medals. It is the last time the entire team will compete together at a Universiade. For Szczesna it is the first and last time she will stand on the podium at the Universiade. The 400m specialist is 28 years old and in her final year of eligibility.

“This year is very special because at the Prague Indoor Championships we had a bronze medal and next in the Bahamas we won silver and today we have a gold medal,” said Szczensa. “My first Universiade and my last, I’m very happy and I feel very good.”

Team Poland powered through the driving rain to capture the gold in the 4x400m relay with a time of 3:31:98, “The weather was bad but I’m glad that we were able to do it. I feel fantastic because the atmosphere is perfect - people were cheering us and this helped us.”

When she’s not on the track Szczensa studies physical education in Katowice. For over ten years Szczensa has trained for the 100, 200 and 400 metres events. In Gwangju she closes her Universiade chapter with a gold medal.

“I feel really good because we have the gold medal and it is an amazing feeling to be on the podium.”


Megan McPhaden (CAN) FISU Young Reporter