European champion Michal Haratyk took a narrow win over reigning world indoor and outdoor champion Tom Walsh from New Zealand in front of 40,000 fans at the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial, a European Athletics Outdoor Classic Permit Meeting, in Chorzow on Wednesday (22).
Haratyk’s winning margin over Walsh was a meagre five centimetres but the Pole still managed to produce the three best throws of the contest. Walsh went out to 21.28m in the second round but Haratyk responded in the next round with 21.33m which he then backed up with 21.32m in the fourth round and 21.29m in the sixth round.
Haratyk, 26, is enjoying by far the best season of his career thus far. Not only did he win the European title in Berlin, Haratyk eclipsed Tomasz Majewski’s Polish outdoor record of 21.95m with 21.97m in Eugene in May before breaking Konrad Bukowiecki’s outright Polish record of 22.00m from the indoor season with 22.08m in Ostrava in June.
Poland won both the men’s and women’s shot put titles at the European Championships but Paulina Guba had to settle for second in Chorzow behind the bronze medallist in Berlin. Aliona Dubitskaya had already won the competition with 18.57m but the Belarusian embellished her winning margin with her sixth round throw of 19.06m with Guba second with 18.14m.
Anita Wlodarczyk was a late withdrawal but teammate Joanna Fiodorow filled in to take top-spot with her fifth round throw of 74.39m - also a season’s best - to supplant European silver medallist Alexandra Tavernier’s opening round benchmark of 73.38m. Azerbaijan’s Hanna Skydan was third with 73.21m.
European champion Wojciech Nowicki has invariably had the better of Pawel Fajdek in the hammer this season but the world champion prevailed last night. Fajdek produced the two longest throws of the content - 78.63m and 79.44m - ahead of Nowicki’s 77.41m.
Lithuania’s Andrius Gudzius - who hasn’t lost to a European thrower this season - followed up his victory in the discus at the European Championships with victory in Chorzow with 66.15m while newly crowned European champion Elvira Herman from Belarus won the 100m hurdles in 12.87. The head-to-head with silver medallist Pamela Dutkiewicz didn’t materialise as the German was disqualified for a false start.
Three-time European champion Adam Kszczot had to settle for third in the 800m in 1:45.48 as Marcin Lewandowski - the silver medallist behind Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the 1500m at the European Championships - dropped down a distance to win in 1:44.99 ahead of Morocco’s Mostafa Smaili in 1:45.35. World champion Pierre-Ambroise Bosse from France was 11th in 1:48.36.
There was also a home win in the pole vault. Trailing Shawn Barber from Canada on countback at 5.80m, European indoor champion Piotr Lisek cleared 5.85m on his third attempt to defeat the former world champion with Renaud Lavillenie fourth on 5.70m.
Ewa Swoboda won the women’s 100m on home soil in a season’s best of 11.23 but the performance of the evening from an international standpoint came from Ronnie Baker from the United States who won the 100m in 9.87, eclipsing Noah Lyles’ world-lead by 0.01. Reigning world and European 200m champion Ramil Guliyev from Turkey was third in 10.21.
Double European champion Justyna Swiety-Ersetic was a distant second in the 400m behind South Africa’s Caster Semenya - 50.06 to 51.45 - while Karol Zalewski was second in the men’s 400m in 45.32 as Steven Gardiner from the Bahamas returned to racing with victory in 44.43.
Germany’s Andreas Hofmann won the javelin with 83.81m and Slovenian veteran Martina Ratej went out to 61.50m on her final attempt in the women’s javelin to overtake Latvia’s Madara Palameika who led with 61.07m.