Poland’s Pluta looks ahead to crucial 2019 season

12/02/2019

Poland’s Grzegorz Pluta is entering the new year full of optimism after enjoying his best ever World Cup season in 2018.

By Jarrel De Matas | For IWAS

Poland’s Grzegorz Pluta is entering the new year full of optimism after enjoying his best ever World Cup season in 2018.

The wheelchair fencer won golds in the men’s sabre category B in Warsaw, Poland, and Pisa, Italy, before ending the season with another win in Kyoto, Japan.

Now in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, for the first International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing World Cup of 2019, Pluta is the world ranked No.3.

Pluta may be considered a fencing veteran with more than 10 years competitive experience, but he shows no signs of slowing down.

“In Kyoto it was a very important victory because it assured me that the training I am doing, the introduction of new elements to the training translate into good results,” he said.

But the Warsaw native is not complacent with his ranking: “I’m happy about this [the ranking], but I do not pay much attention because there are many good players and the ranking does not matter much to me.”

Pluta acknowledges the challenge posed by his opponents and knows he has to maintain his good run of form if he is to ensure qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Speaking about his plans for 2019 Pluta said: “I would like to get the highest places that will satisfy me and ultimately allow me to qualify for Tokyo. I know that this is a difficult task because my colleagues from the fencing boards have the same plans and are very good players.”

Pluta is consolidating his performance in 2018 with an intensive training programme including a 12-day camp preparing him for the Sharjah World Cup.

He hopes to translate his hard work into good results: “I introduced several new elements to my fencing training, [I] worked on speed and mental preparation."

Pluta also has his sights set on the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Championships in South Korea which he hopes will help him gauge what, if anything needs to be changed in his training.

He said: “If the results are satisfactory, I will stay with the training I’m doing now, if not I will be looking for new solutions and new ideas for training.”

The 2019 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Sharjah is taking place as part of the IWAS World Games from 10-16 February. Alongside fencing six other sports are being contested – athletics, swimming, table tennis, badminton, archery and shooting.

Results are available at the IWAS website as well as live coverage on IWAS Twitter and Instagram.

The 2019 IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Championships will take place in Cheongju, South Korea, from 17-23 September.