Konrad Bukowiecki has been threatening to break the 22-metre line in the shot put in recent weeks and the Pole finally forged through that barrier with his first two throws at the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial, a European Athletics Classic Permit Meeting, in Chorzow on Saturday evening (14).
Bukowiecki erased his outright lifetime best and European U23 record of 22.00m with his opening attempt of 22.04m but the 22-year-old far exceeded this mark in the second round and improved to a massive 22.25m, just seven centimetres of Michel Haratyk's Polish record.
With the IAAF World Championships in Doha approaching, Bukowiecki also beat some impressive company.
Either of his first two throws would have beaten reigning world champion Tom Walsh from New Zealand (21.90m) and reigning European champion Haratyk (21.88m).
Bukowiecki might be only seventh on the 2019 world list but the two-time reigning European U23 champion is one of the most in-form of the leading contenders. Over the last ten days, Bukowiecki has recorded 21.91m in the Brussels Diamond League, 21.92m at The Match in Minsk and 21.99m in Karpacz on Thursday.
“It's thanks to my father and trainer the form has come at the right time. Now you have to maintain it because it’s only three weeks to the World Championships,” Bukowiecki told Polish media after the competition.
Here is Konrad Bukowiecki smashing the European U23 shot put record at the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial in Chorzow tonight. pic.twitter.com/8yo2gD0s6K
— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) September 14, 2019
There was drama in the sixth round of the men’s hammer as European champion Wojciech Nowicki produced a winning effort to surpass three-time world champion Pawel Fajdek.
Fajdek set the standard in the second round with 79.33m but Nowicki - who has won bronze medals behind Fajdek at the last two editions of the IAAF World Championships - saved his best for last with 79.55m to turn the tables on his compatriot who beat him at The Match.
And despite the absence of Anita Wlodarczyk who is recovering from surgery, the strength of Polish hammer throwing on the women’s side was on full display as well. Malwina Kopron set a season’s best of 75.23m to beat Joanna Fiodorow - another Polish hammer winner at The Match in Minsk earlier this week - with 73.18m.
One of the surprising outcomes of the evening came in the discus as former European U23 champion Alin Alexandru Firfirica added more than one metre to his lifetime best in the second round with 67.32m to defeat former world champion Piotr Malachowski from Poland (65.71m) and reigning world champion Andrius Gudzius from Lithuania (65.17m). For good measure, Firfirica, 23, concluded his series with another 67 metre-plus throw which skimmed the turf at 67.26m.
Firfirica, who has moved into the top-10 on the 2019 world list, is now within one metre of Iosif Nagy’s long-standing Romanian national record of 68.12m which dates back to 1983.
World silver medallist Piotr Lisek cleared 5.82m in the pole vault to beat former world champion and teammate Pawel Wojciechowski by one clear height at 5.72m; Marcin Krukowski won on home soil in the javelin with 82.81m; and reigning two-time world champion Mariya Lasitskene cleared 1.94m to win the high jump.
In the women’s javelin, Japan’s Haruka Kitaguchi produced a sixth-round winning throw of 60.47m to beat Olympic fourth-placer Maria Andrejczyk with 60.15m and Chase Ealey from the United States defeated European champion Paulina Guba from Poland in the shot put - 19.06m to 18.65m.
On the track, Marcin Lewandowski prevailed over Adam Kszczot in the 1000m, 2:21.01 to 2:21.42, Ewa Swoboda won the 100m in 11.29 and Italy's Luminosa Bogliolo won the 100m hurdles in 12.84 from Poland's Karolina Koleczek in 12.93.
Full results here.