Octawia Nowacka, the first Polish woman to win an Olympic modern pentathlon medal when she won bronze at Rio 2016, has her sights set on the European Games in Krakow ©Getty Images

Poland’s Oktawia Nowacka has claimed that this year's  European Games modern pentathlon on home soil in Krakow could be her most important competition before the the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. 

A total of eight of the 36 places in the women’s competition at Paris 2024 are available through qualifying at the European Games.

"This will be the first chance to get a direct Olympic qualification, so this is the target event I am preparing for," the 32-year-old Nowacka said.

Nowacka won team gold at the 2015 World Championships in Berlin and the following year at Rio 2016 became the first Polish woman to win an Olympic medal when she took bronze.

Last September Nowacka, a corporal in the Polish military won, silver in the women’s relay at the 2022 European Championships with Natalia Dominiak at Székesfehérvár, in Hungary but has suffered injuries since then and has not yet competed internationally so far in 2023.

Nowacka has been training at the Olympic Preparation Complex at Spala in Central Poland and Cetniewo on the Baltic coast and in the Polish lake district at Walcz.

"Health is that’s the most important thing for me, because I know that if I’m fit, I won’t have to worry about results,” Nowacka said.

“For now, I’m struggling a bit with my injury, I hope to heal quickly and get back to full training. After the Games, I will set myself further goals,”

The European Games modern pentathlon competition is set to take place at the Academy of Physical Education in Krakow, beginning on June 25 and concluding on July 1, and will have the status of European Championships.