Polish stars ready to shine

Polish stars ready to shine
Getty Images

Several of Poland's top athletes will compete in the 61st Kusocinski Memorial in Szczecin on Sunday.

Eight days after breaking the hammer world record, Anita Wlodarczyk will receive quite a reception when her name is announced at the 61st Kusocinski Memorial in Szczecin on Sunday.

But she will not be alone in receiving big support from the home crowd.

Wlodarczyk, who threw 81.08m in Cetniewo, is one of three Polish field eventers competing who are No. 1 in the world this year.

Pawel Fajdek, who will be aiming to defend his hammer world crown in Beijing in two weeks, and discus star Piotr Malachowski, the 2010 European champion, are both top of the lists too and they will be looking for victories at this European Athletics Outdoor Classic Meeting

As Wlodarczyk was securing her place in history as the first woman to break 80 metres, Malachowski delivered his best throw of the season with 68.29m in Cetniewo while Fajdek’s leading hammer mark of 83.12m came at the start of July in Szekesfehervar.

The trio will carry some of Europe’s biggest hopes for golden success in Beijing and this meeting will give them arguably their last big test before the championships.

Wlodarczyk will face Germany’s Betty Heidler, fellow Pole Joanna Fiodorow and Martina Hrasnova, of Slovakia, while Fajdek is up against Russia’s Sergey Litvinov, Marcel Lomnicky, of Slovakia, and Nick Miller, whose 77.55m last month broke the British record.

Malachowski meets Polish teammate Robert Urbanek and Gerd Kanter, Estonia’s 2008 Olympic champion. 

But the home attention will not be just in the field events because Poland’s top three 800m men all clash in what should be a fascinating race, with Adam Kszczot, the European champion, second on this year’s European rankings (1:43.45), Marcin Lewandowski (1:43.72) in third and Artur Kuciapski (1:45.21) in sixth.

Britain's European bronze medallist Will Sharman is favourite for the 110m hurdles and Denisa Rosolova, of the Czech Republic, will be the one to beat in the 400m hurdles.