'For five days I felt extremely bad, even terrible' - former Ipswich Witches speedway star wins Covid battle

Ipswich Witches Pressday 2003.EVENING STAR FIRST USE.Jarek Hampel

Former Witches ace Jarek Hampel - Credit: Stephen Waller

Former Ipswich Witches ace Jaroslaw Hampel is back on track after suffering badly from Covid-19.

The Polish rider,  38, tested positive for coronavirus, along with team mate Grigorii Laguta, forcing the postponement of his Polish club Lublin’s season-opening home match with Częstochowa.

Peterborough V Ipswich Witches. Jarek Hampel contemplates his next move. Picture STEPHEN WALLER. S

Jarek Hampel in Witches colours - endured a tough Covid battle - Credit: Stephen Waller

And while a number of people who pick up the virus do not develop symptoms, Hampel admits he suffered badly for a number of days. 

“I was not asymptomatic. On the contrary, the symptoms were strong. The only plus was, in fact, that this bad condition passed relatively quickly," Hampel, who first rode for the Witches in 2000, told the Speedway GP website.

“For five days I felt extremely bad, even terrible, and then I got better and better. After 10 days, I basically forgot about the virus.

Ipswich Witches v Coventry Bees - Foxhall Stadium 10/7/08; Jarek Hampel leads the way in heat 5 from

Jarek Hampel - leading the way for the Witches - Credit: Stephen Waller

"But now I feel fine. Everything is fine after my illness.”

Hampel admits his time off the bike has been far from helpful as riders use these crucial weeks to test equipment ahead of a busy season.

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He added: “There are some concerns, because I lost almost two weeks at the very beginning of the season, i.e. in the most critical period. That's when everyone rides and tests the equipment and there are really many engines to test."

Hampel was back in Polish league action last weekend, scoring nine points for his side Lublin in their defeat at Gorzow.

After three successful seasons with Ipswich between 2000 and 2003, Hampel returned to the Witches for a short spell in 2008.

Hampel is a former World under-21 champion and Grand Prix racer.

The fast-starting Pole proved a popular rider at Foxhall during his time at the club.

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