Polish sailors are poised to climb atop the medal podium in several sailing events at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
With a population of approximately 38 million, Poland has developed into an unlikely Olympic sailing powerhouse.
The Polish Olympic Sailing team is lead by Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ
, who won gold at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games in Finn. The combination of KUSZNIEREWICZ's success in Finn throughout the late 1990s and his Olympic victory sparked a broader interest in sailing in Poland.
KUSZNIEREWICZ will compete in Beijing in Star alongside team mate Dominik ZYCKI
. The duo won the 2008 Star Worlds in Miami and come into Beijing as the world #1 ranked Star team.
Poland is also ranked #1 in Beijing in RS:X Men and #2 in RS:X Women.
has been atop the world RS:X Men rankings since May 2007, with the exception of February 2008, when he briefly slipped to #2. Since August 2006, MIARCZYNSKI has finished in the top three at all but one regatta - the Semaine Olympique Francaise in April 2007.
leads Poland in RS:X Women. KLEPACKA, the world #2, has been ranked among the top ten RS:X Women sailors since February 2007. After winning the ISAF Youth Worlds four times from 2001-2004, she won the 2007 RS:X Women's Worlds and was the first sailor in her classification to qualify for Beijing 2008.
The only NOC to have more sailors at the top of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings
than Poland, is Australia. Nathan WILMOT
and Malcolm PAGE
in 470 Men, Darren BUNDOCK
and Glenn ASHBY
in Tornado, and Tom SLINGSBY
in Laser, are all ranked #1 in the world.