ZMARZLIK: BECOMING A DAD TOPPED SPEEDWAY GP WINS

PAUL BURBIDGE

Double world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik admits becoming a father surpassed winning five FIM Speedway Grand Prix rounds as his highlight of 2021.

The Polish icon raced to an astonishing five Speedway GP victories from 11 rounds last season on his way to World Championship silver, as he fell just three points short of a third straight world title. Zmarzlik also picked up his first Polish Championship and FIM Speedway of Nations silver.

But asked his highlight of last year, all of those achievements failed to top the list for a proud father, who welcomed son Antek into the world along with his partner Sandra last March.

Zmarzlik told Przeglad Sportowy: “Personally, the most important moment was the birth of my son Antek.

“My family is most important to me, and the thought that not only my fiancée, but also my son is waiting for me at home, drives me on even more. When I go to a competition, I already miss my family. As you can see, my new duties did not affect my form in any particular way.”

Zmarzlik could win his third Speedway GP world title in four years this season, but asked about his goals for 2022, the Gorzow and Lejonen star admits he is never one to make bold statements before the action begins.

He added: “I don’t like to talk too much about specific goals. I like to just pursue my dreams calmly, and I still have a lot of them. I am one of those people who would rather talk little and do a lot.

“Those who know me and those who surround me know that I always give 100 percent, no matter what the competition is. This is my character and I like to learn from good results. As in previous years, I will try to fight for victory in all the tournaments in which I will take part.”

Even with two Speedway GP World Championship medals to his name, Zmarzlik insists his desire to chase the sport’s biggest prizes still burns bright.

The 26-year-old added: “I have a lot of motivation; if one day I run out of it, I will say right away and I will end my career.

“I am still hungry for success and I would say that the motivation is still at the same, highest level. I am positively motivated by every success, both small and big. They drive me to work harder. I am writing my history in the world of sports so I would like to leave a mark.”

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