Wojciechowski moves up a gear

Wojciechowski moves up a gear
Getty Images

Poland's Pavel Wojciechowski showed his strong form having cleared 5.80m at the 15th European Athletics Festival in Bydgoszcz on Sunday.

Pawel Wojciechowski chose home ground to climb to joint-second on the European Athletics pole vault rankings in Bydgoszcz on Sunday.

Wojciechowski cleared 5.80m to triumph at the 15th European Athletics Festival, with Michal Balner, of the Czech Republic, in second with 5.60m and Latvia’s Mareks Arents in third with 5.40m.

The festival was a European Athletics Outdoor Classic meeting and Wojciechowski had a good series, achieving first time clearances at 5.50m and 5.60m, going over 5.70m at the second attempt before reaching 5.80m on his third vault.

He failed at 5.92m but shares second spot with with Germany’s Raphael Holzdeppe on the 2015 lists led by France’s multiple European champion Renaud Lavillenie with 6.05m.

Wojciechowski, who won silver behind Lavillenie in Zurich last year and was the 2011 world champion, was one of many Polish winners in a city which on Friday was named as the hosts of the 2017 European Athletics U23 Championships.

One woman set to be competing in that event in two years time is Poland’s Kamila Przybyla, 19, and she also made her mark in the pole vault by breaking the national junior record with 4.30m.

The hammer was dominated from the first throw by Poland’s world record-holder Anita Wlodarczyk who began with 72.36m and after a foul in the second round, achieved 74.29m with her third effort which proved the winning distance ahead of teammates Joanna Fiodorow with 69.44m and Malwina Kopron with 68.56m.

Fresh from his victory at the Bislett Games in Oslo on Thursday, Poland’s Robert Urbanek celebrated another discus win with 63.47m as he beat Sweden’s Daniel Stahl with 60.55m and Oleksiy Semenov, of the Ukraine, with 59.64m.

Patryk Dobek moved to seventh in the European Athletics rankings by winning the 400m hurdles in 49.38 ahead of Great Britain’s Niall Flannery in 49.77 while fellow Pole Marika Popowicz ran a personal best of 11.28 to take the 100m and Karolina Koleczek did the same as she won the 100m hurdles in 12.91.

Aidietyte walks to fine win

Home athletes won two of the five events in Alytus in the first of the European Athletics events over the past three days.

The southern Lithuanian city staged its 41st International Race Walking Festival on Friday and the women’s 20km walk brought victory for Neringa Aidietyte.

She triumphed by over three minutes in 1:30:02 at this European Athletics Area Permit meeting from Guatemala’s Mirna Ortiz in 1:33:06 and Despina Zapounidou, of Greece, in 1:33:07.

The men’s junior 10km race brought first and third for Lithuania as Tomas Pagirys, 18, won in 45:33 from Kacper Kosecki, of Poland, in 46:31 and Daumantas Lutinskis in 47:02.

Erick Barrondo, the Olympic silver medallist, was always going to be tough to beat in the men’s 20km and while the Guatemalan won in 1:24:37, Lithuania’s Marius Ziukas kept on his trail to take the national title in second in 1:24:46.

Anastasiya Rarouskaya, of Belarus, won the women’s 10km in 50:24, while in the women’s 5km, Ayse Tekdal, of Turkey, was first in 24:25 from Lithuanian pair Austeja Kavaliauskaite in 25:40 and Juste Bileviciute in 29:23, both breaking their personal bests.

Bosse tops 800m list

New York was the next leg of the IAAF Diamond League on Saturday and France’s Pierre Ambroise Bosse moved to the top of the European Athletics 800m rankings as he finished third in 1:43.88 as Kenya’s world record-holder David Rushida won in 1:43.58 from American Boris Berian in 1:43.84.

Vitezslav Vesely, of the Czech Republic, is having a fine season and though feeling a groin injury in the first round of the javelin meant he missed his last four throws, his opening effort of 83.62m was good enough for victory.

Spain's double European champion Ruth Beitia won the high jump on countback from Croatia’s Blanka Vlasic as they both broke the meeting record of 1.97m.

Countback decided the winner of the women’s pole vault too and while victory went to Brazil’s Fabiana Murer, the 4.80m height she shared was a Greek record for Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou.

There are 62 meetings in Europe this week - led by the European Athletics Team Championships. For full details, go to www.european-athletics.org/calendar