Swoboda extends unbeaten streak with victory in Torun

Ewa Swoboda
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Poland's Ewa Swoboda clocked 7.15 for victory over 60m at the Copernicus Cup in Torun

Poland's Ewa Swoboda defied a heavy cold to produce her third high-profile victory in the space of five days over 60m at the Copernicus Cup in Torun, part of the IAAF World Indoor Tour, on Wednesday (6) evening.

After clocking a world-leading 7.08 in the heats, Swoboda began her winning streak in Karlsruhe on Saturday in 7.10 ahead of two-time world 200m champion Dafne Schippers and the Pole enjoyed another notable win last night over Ivory Coast’s Marie Josee Ta Lou - 7.15 to 7.16.

Orlando Ortega also maintained his unbeaten streak in the 60m hurdles and the Olympic silver medallist is getting even faster with the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships fast approaching.

Ortega is yet to win a major title - he won silver in Rio de Janeiro and bronze at the European Championships last August - but he is the early front runner for the title in Glasgow. He improved his European-leading time to 7.55 in the heats before winning the final in 7.49 to equal the world lead.

Ortega was, however, pushed hard to the line by Olympic finalist Milan Trajkovic from Cyprus who moves to second on the European lists with a season’s best of 7.54.

The margin in the women’s 60m hurdles was even narrower as Pamela Dutkiewicz came from behind to out-lean Finland’s Reetta Hurske for the victory - 7.95 to 7.98. Dutkiewicz is also unbeaten this winter and has dipped under the eight second-barrier in her three finals thus far in 2019.

Lewandowski breaks Polish 1500m record; Muir sets European 800m lead

Reigning European indoor champion Marcin Lewandowski couldn’t reel in world indoor champion Samuel Tefera from Ethiopia on the last lap but the Pole roused his hometown crowd by finishing second in a national record of 3:36.50.

Tefera won in a world-leading time of 3:35.57 while Lewandowski just held off Sweden’s Kalle Berglund whose time of 3:36.63 was also a lifetime best.

Laura Muir further demonstrated her brilliant range by setting a sizeable European-leading mark over 800m of 1:59.50, finishing just 0.01 behind Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu who tracked the pacemaker through 400m in 57.15 and 600m in 1:28.84.

Muir’s middle distance strength came into play on the last lap as she made up most of the deficit on Alemu but the Ethiopian narrowly held on to secure the victory. Muir’s next race will be over 3000m at the SPAR British Indoor Championships in Birmingham on Saturday.

Like Muir, Sofia Ennaoui is more accustomed to the 1500m but the Pole stepped down in distance and set a lifetime best of 2:00.40, one place ahead of two-time European indoor champion Selina Buchel from Switzerland in 2:00.98.

Baumgart-Witan and Maslak post fast 400m times with Glasgow approaching

Iga Baumgart-Witan missed out on the individual medals over 400m at the European Championships in Berlin but the Pole took a noteworthy victory in Torun, defeating many of her leading rivals for the title in Glasgow in the process.

Baumgart-Witan’s winning time of 51.91 was also a world lead and a lifetime best and she also defeated two reigning European champions. Double European 400m champion and teammate Justyna Swiety-Ersetic was second in 52.14 with European 400m hurdles champion Lea Sprunger from Switzerland third in 52.48.

Three-time world and European indoor champion Pavel Maslak took another big chunk off his season’s best to win the men’s 400m in 46.19.

Elsewhere Christina Schwanitz won the shot put with 18.97m and neutral athlete Ilya Ivanyuk cleared 2.25m to win the high jump.