On October 8, the World Championships Down Syndrome ended in Funchal, Madeira. During World Championships of people with Down syndrome, the Poles won two medals: silver and bronze.
At the championships in Funchal, Poland was represented by five players, medalists of the XXV Athletics Championships of Poland and the European Championships. In Portugal, they competed in running competitions as well as long jumps and throwing competitions. They return to Poland with two medals – silver and brown.
In Funchal, the female medalists of the 2017 European Championships have not failed. Magdalena Dąbrowska managed to win a bronze medal in the 400 m race, which she finished with time 1:45.93, giving way only to the Mexican (1:29.26) and the Italian – the latter broke the European record (1:37.80). Magdalena also qualified for the final of 100 and 200 m, taking 5th place in both races.
Zofia Dzięcioł, gold medalist of the 400 m race during the European Championships, was the best player from the old continent at the distance of 800 m in Funchal (4:34.14), second only to the Brazilian player (4:17.65).
The third Polish competitor, Zuzanna Szymańska, making her debut in shooting competitions (shot put, javelin throw and discus throw) was the best shot putter, improving her personal record and taking the 6th place. Zuzanna also started in athletics triathlon, in which she obtained 785 points. In the same competition, in the men’s category, Mikołaj Woźniak and Dominik Ulatowski took part. Mikołaj ranked in the top 10, scoring 1564 points, and Dominik – 1347.
The boys also started in the long jump and in the running competitions at distances of 200, 400 and 800 m. The obtained results gave them life records, which placed them in the second ten of the world ranking. The competition was fierce. All the best players in the ranking took part in the championships – including world record holder Hector Arce Garcia from Costa Rica and Nicolas Virapin from France. The Poles had an occasion to gain invaluable experience of being a part of the group of the best world athletes with the same disability.
Athletics of persons with Down syndrome develops from year to year. This year, the participation record in terms of the number of countries was broken. The competition was attended by representatives of 16 countries from five continents: South America, Africa, Asia, Australia and Oceania and Europe. Another important competition for this group of athletes – the European Championships – will be held in 2019 in Finland. Fundacja Sportu Osób Niepełnosprawnych Intelektualnie is planning to expand the Polish national team for the next year’s event.
The participation of the Polish national team in the world championship in Funchal was possible thanks to many people who contributed to the costs of preparation and travel via zrzutka.pl and thanks to the support of the PZU Foundation, SAE OiZ and KAN Trademark – the owner of the TATUUM brand. Outfits for the team were provided by 4F.
The organizers of the World Cup for persons with Down syndrome are: Sports Union for Athletes with Down Syndrome (SU-DS) in collaboration with the Portuguese Sports Association for Intellectual Development (ANDDI-Portugal), International Athletic Association for Persons with Down Syndrome (IAADS), International Basketball Association for Down Syndrome (IBA 21) and the International Table Tennis Association for Down Syndrome (ITTADS).