Bukowiecki breaks his European U23 shot put record in Torun

Konrad Bukowiecki in Torun
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Konrad Bukowiecki broke his European U23 record with 22.00m at the Copernicus Cup in Torun

Poland’s Konrad Bukowiecki deservedly took the plaudits on home soil at the fourth leg of the IAAF World Indoor Tour at the Copernicus Cup in Torun on Thursday (15) evening.

Tomas Stanek was expected to extend his unbeaten streak and while the Czech thrower delivered a fantastic series with four throws in excess of 21.60m, he couldn’t quite surpass Bukowiecki’s brilliant second round throw of 22.00m which broke an assortment of records in the process.

Not only was it a meeting record, Bukowiecki also added three centimetres to his European U23 record and Polish record of 21.97m set at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade last March. His mark was also a world U23 best and at the age of 20, Bukowiecki also becomes the youngest member to join the 22-metre club.

“It's hard to say how it happened. In truth, I was not prepared for such a result. Not now when I'm fighting an injury and I can barely push,” Bukowiecki told reporters after the event, alluding to a finger injury.

However, it was not quite enough to supplant Stanek’s world lead of 22.17m set in Dusseldorf from last week. While Bukowiecki didn’t record another valid throw after his record-breaking second round mark, Stanek won the prize for consistency: 21.60m in round two, 21.69m in round three, 21.65m in round four before improving to 21.83m in the sixth round.

Bukowiecki moves to second on the world lists behind Stanek but he is keeping a lid on his expectations ahead of the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham next month. "We'll see how it goes. A week ago in Madrid I pushed less than 19.50m. Now it's 22.00m, so it is not known what will happen in two weeks," he said.

In a high quality competition, Bukowiecki’s teammate Michal Haratyk also surpassed his now-beaten meeting record in third with 21.12m while reigning three-time European champion David Storl from Germany surpassed the 21m line for the first time in 2018 with 21.03m to finish fourth.

Lisek claims world lead in the pole vault

Former world champion Pawel Wojciechowski fell by the wayside at 5.70m but teammate Piotr Lisek delivered another popular victory on home soil, clearing a world-leading height of 5.91m on his second attempt to defeat another former world champion Shawn Barber (5.70m) before three attempts at a would-be Polish record of 6.01m.

Poland’s highly vaunted middle distance runners also performed up to expectations and even beyond in Angelika Cichocka’s case. The European 1500m champion stepped down to the 800m to claim victory in her secondary event in 2:00.76 ahead of Ukraine’s Olha Lyakhova (2:01.08) and reigning two-time European indoor 800m champion Selina Buchel from Switzerland (2:01.80).

In the next race on the track, European indoor and outdoor champion Adam Kszczot left it very late again but the home favourite delivered a well-received victory in his specialist event, overtaking four runners in the last 150 metres to ensure his fourth victory in the space of nine days in 1:46.75 from Kenya’s Nicholas Kipkoech (1:47.22).

European indoor champion Marcin Lewandowski had to settle for second in the 1500m to Ethiopia’s Taresa Tolosa, 3:37.41 to 3:37.67. Lewandowski also just missed his national record of 3:37.37 as well.

Sprunger takes down Protti’s long-standing Swiss record

Lea Sprunger bettered Anita Protti’s Swiss outdoor 400m record last summer and the former heptathlete now has the indoor record to her name after eclipsing her 27-year-old indoor record with a world-leading mark of 51.28 in Torun.

Justyna Swiety chased Sprunger to the line, finishing second in a Polish record of 51.78 and shaving 0.22 off Grazyna Prokopek’s record set at the 2007 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Birmingham.

Two-time world high jump champion Mariya Lasitskene notched up her 36th successive win with a 2.00m clearance before attempting 2.05m while Pamela Dutkiewicz warmed up for the German Indoor Championships in Dortmund this weekend with victory in the 60m hurdles in a fast 7.85.

Elsewhere, Slovenia’s Luka Janezic defeated reigning European and world indoor champion Pavel Maslak in the 400m, 46.03 to 46.17, while Slovakia’s Jan Volko won the 60m in a national record of 6.57 ahead of Bahrain’s Andrew Fisher (6.59).