We were waiting for this tournament, nervously biting our nails. After being excluded two weeks ago in Vojens, Bartosz Zmarzlik became nervous and tense. His self-confidence disappeared somewhere, and fear crept into his heart that what he had worked so hard for this year, he might now lose because of one stupid mistake (because he was the one who put on the wrong outfit without a sponsor’s advertisement) and the malice of the world speedway authorities. Because let’s face it, excluding someone because of what they wear is absurd.
Due to that decision, Zmarzlik’s advantage decreased to 6 points
That ill-fated Grand Prix made us all suddenly forget how Zmarzlik had suppressed the Swede Fredrik Lindgren, who was trying to follow him, on the track in previous tournaments. We forgot that the Pole, even if he was slower, was able to reach new heights and show his rivals who was the boss. He seemed to get tired, sometimes he even lost points, but at the end he was in the final and usually dealt the cards.
However, it must also be added that our fears were justified. Because after all before Vojens, Zmarzlik had a 24-point advantage over Lindgren, and due to the decision of the competition jury, which expelled the Pole from the Danish tournament, his advantage decreased to 6 points. And so it began.
The last time we were so afraid for Zmarzlik was in the 2019 Grand Prix Final
And although we spent the entire two weeks asking ourselves whether 6 points advantage was a lot or a little, we did not find any intelligent answer. Maybe apart from one resulting from the regulations and the scoring system, which clearly states that the first player gets 20 points, and the fourth player adds 14 points. This made us realize that even if Zmarzlik reaches the final and Lindgren is waiting there, the Pole will have to fight for gold.
The last time we were so worried about Zmarzlik was in the 2019 season, when he arrived in the final round in Toruń, having a 9-point advantage over Leon Madsen. After that tournament, it was reduced to two, because Leon was pressing, attacking and going crazy on the track, and Zmarzlik was on the defensive and only when he was pushed to the wall did he do something extra and defended the gold.
This gold puts him among the legends
Fortunately, now everything has a happy ending. In the main round, Zmarzlik put his rival in the corner, because he again won a direct duel with him, and in the remaining rounds he diligently collected points needed for the semi-finals, from time to time he showed that he was fast, but above all, he built self-confidence. The fight for gold supposedly lasted until the very final, but Zmarzlik was so strong in Toruń that there was no doubt that he would do it.
Zmarzlik’s fourth gold medal puts him in line with competitors such as Hans Nielsen, Barry Briggs and Greg Hancock. Every respectable speedway fan knows these gentlemen and what they have achieved in speedway. He knows that standing next to them is a great honor for Zmarzlik. Another thing is that our Bartek aims higher. He wants to be next to Tony Rickardsson and Ivan Mauger. For this he needs six gold medals. On the way there is also 5-time gold medalist Ove Fundin. In other words, nothing but legends.
Zmarzlik overturned a green table in Toruń
And it must be added that Zmarzlik, who has won 7 medals in 8 years (4 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze), may soon become as much a legend as the above-mentioned. Mainly because his hunger for success is enormous. Bartosz’s mother says that his son would like to win everything, because every race in which he sees the back of at least one of his rivals is a reason for his anger.
The Pole’s chance for further gold medals is even greater because there is no rival on the horizon that could harm him in such a normal competition (Lindgren has climbed to great heights, and if it were not for Zmarzlik’s exclusion in Vojens, he would not have had a chance against him). This year was not normal. A green table was set up in Vojens, where activists (Armando Castagna, Phil Morris, Tony Olsson, Craig Ackroyd and Hanne Thomsen) tried to distribute cards. Fortunately, Zmarzlik knocked over the green table in Toruń.