Fajdek and Lasitskene produce world-leading performances in Chorzow

Pawel Fajdek
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Pawel Fajdek had the beating of his long-time domestic rival Wojciech Nowicki at the Janusz Kusocinski Memorial in Chorzow on Sunday

Pawel Fajdek had to settle for the runner-up spot behind his teammate and European champion Wojciech Nowicki in Bydgoszcz on Tuesday evening but the three-time world champion reversed the outcome as the pair clashed again at the Janusz Kusocinski Memorial in Chorzow on Sunday (16).

Nowicki led after three throws with 79.52m but Fajdek, who also took a silver medal behind Nowicki at the European Championships in Berlin last summer, supplanted his domestic rival in the fourth round with 80.87m which also bettered Nowicki’s world leading mark of 80.26m from Bydgoszcz.

The three medallists from Berlin occupied the first three spots in Chorzow - albeit in a slightly shuffled order - as Hungary’s European bronze medallist Bence Halasz was third with 78.07m, just ahead of Great Britain’s Commonwealth champion Nick Miller with 77.88m.

There were two world leading performances in Chorzow with Mariya Lasitskene providing another highlight in the women’s high jump. The reigning world and European champion, who cleared 2.01m in the Oslo Diamond League on Thursday evening, improved her world lead to 2.02m before three attempts at a prospective lifetime best of 2.07m.

Lasitskene was faultless, amassing a clean card all the way from 1.87m to 2.02m as she won by three clear heights from Ukraine’s Iryna Herashchenko who cleared 1.94m. On her return from maternity leave, Poland’s world bronze medallist Kamila Licwinko cleared 1.87m to finish equal third with Croatia’s Ana Simic.

In the 100m hurdles, Poland’s Karolina Koleczek produced by far the biggest win of her career thus far. Now 26, the two-time European U23 silver medallist improved her four-year-old lifetime best of 12.91 to a European-leading time of 12.75. This would have been meritorious in its own right but Koleczek also took the scalp of reigning Olympic champion Brianna McNeal who was second in 12.79.

Koleczek’s teammate Klaudia Siciarz, 21, also set a lifetime best of 12.89 to finish third.

There was also a notable win in the 100m for Poland’s European indoor 60m champion Ewa Swoboda. Second to Morolake Akinosun from the United States in Bydgoszcz on Tuesday - 11.27 to 11.35 - when times were pegged back from strong headwinds, Swoboda prevailed on this occasion in 11.18 to Akinosun’s 11.26.

Olympic 400m hurdles champion Dalilah Muhammad was in winning form on the flat, setting a lifetime best of 50.60 to win the 400m ahead of home favourite and double European champion Justyna Swiety-Ersetic. The Pole still came away with an excellent performance to her credit, finishing second in a European lead of 50.85 which also equates to the second fastest time of her career.

There were also runner-up finishes for three more of Poland’s reigning European champions from Berlin. Michal Haratyk’s European-leading mark of 21.98m in the shot put - also the second longest throw of his career thus far - was only bettered by world champion Tom Walsh from New Zealand who produced a season’s best of 22.18m while world record-holder Anita Wlodarczyk had to settle for second in the hammer to Gwen Berry from the United States, 75.79m to 75.12m.

Three-time European champion Adam Kszczot also came away with a runner-up finish in the 800m, finishing second to Kenya’s Alfred Kipketer, 1:45.32 to 1:45.73.