He was smiling, he was celebrating, he was pointing to the camera with delight. There was simply no hiding how happy Marcin Lewandowski was on Saturday (10) afternoon as he beat his great Polish rival Adam Kszczot in a thrilling 800m at the 63rd Janusz Kusocinski Memorial in Szczecin.
In Amsterdam last summer, they were separated by 0.36 as Kszczot retained his European title from Lewandowski but this time, the silver medallist came out on top. It was also a reverse of the outcome at the IAAF Diamond League in Rome on Thursday night where Kszczot achieved a superb win with Lewandowski fifth.
Lewandowski was in control at the front and though Kszczot made his bid for glory with 120 metres left, moving out wide, the European indoor 1500m champion held on to win in 1:47.06 with Kszczot second in 1:47.55.
The race was one of the big moments on a glorious day for the home crowd as Poland’s athletes did not disappoint.
Wlodarczyk and Fajdek remain unbeaten in 2017
Anita Wlodarczyk is determined to win her third world title to go alongside her three European crowns this summer and she is going about it the right way by dominating the hammer in the only way she knows.
Her victory came with her third best throw of the year, achieved in the first round of the competition. Wlodarczyk reached out to a distance of 77.07m - backed up with marks of 77.00m and 76.48m - to win by nearly three metres ahead of Azerbaijan’s Hanna Skydan with 74.12m.
Poland’s Pawel Fajdek was equally impressive in the men’s hammer which he won with 80.53m from teammate Wojciech Nowicki (76.19m) while reigning Olympic champion Dilshod Nazarov from Tajikistan had to settle for fourth with 75.57m.
Fajdek, the defending world champion who failed to qualify for last year’s Olympic final, has now broken the 80m five times this season and leads the world rankings with 82.31m.
Lithuania’s Andrius Gudzius leads the European discus rankings with 68.61m and he maintained his tremendous form by beating two-time European champion and reigning world champion Piotr Malachowski on home soil.
On the road to London, he triumphed with 68.16m – 45 centimetres shy of his European lead – with Malachowski in second with 64.82m.
Germany’s David Storl surpassed the 21m mark in the shot put for the second time in less than 24 hours. After reaching out to a season’s best of 21.31m in Osterode on Friday evening, Storl achieved a similar distance of 21.18m in Szczecin to beat Poles Michal Haratyk (20.78m) and Jakub Szyszkowski (20.57m).
Lisek clears 5.70m for victory
Piotr Lisek stood proud in Belgrade in March as the Polish national anthem played when he won gold at the European Athletics Indoor Championships and how he would like to hear it again in London in August.
The world bronze medallist is heading towards the World Championships in the right way, clearing 5.70m at the second attempt to win from from Greece’s Konstadinos Filippidis (5.60m) and former world champion Pawel Wojciechowski (5.50m).
There was first and third for Poland in the high jump as Wojciech Theiner cleared 2.25m to beat 2007 world champion Donald Thomas of the Bahamas on countback ahead of European indoor champion Sylwester Bednarek (2.20m) while the home crowd cheered Damian Czykier who won the 110m hurdles in a wind-aided time of 13.31.
European indoor bronze medallist Sofia Ennaoui added to the home victories as she won the 1500m in 4:05.03 in a Polish one-two with Danuta Urbanik second (4:07.62) while European champion Nataliya Pryshchepa (2:02.68) timed it just right in the 800m, beating her Ukrainian teammate Olha Lyakhova (2:02.71) with European 1500m champion Angelika Cichocka taking third in 2:03.32.
Rafal Omelko won the men’s 400m in 45.86 while Olympic finalist Olha Zemlyak from Ukraine won the women’s 400m in 51.78 from Justyna Swiety in 51.82.