Polish coaching great Czapiewski passes away at the age of 59

Wieslaw Czapiewski
Tomasz Kasjaniuk / PZLA

Renowned Polish athletics coach and decathlete Wieslaw Czapiewski has passed away at the age of 59

European Athletics is very saddened to hear of the passing of renowned Polish coach Wiesław Czapiewski who died on Saturday at the age of 59.  

Born on 27 March 1960, Czapiewski was one of Poland’s leading decathletes in the 1980s, finishing inside the top eight at four editions of the Polish Championships. 

After finishing his career as an athlete, Czapiewski remained deeply involved in athletics as a coach at his home club of Zawisza in Bydgoszcz where he had an impact on the careers of some of Poland’s leading athletes.

Among his proteges were former world and European indoor heptathlon champion Sebastian Chmara - who still holds the national record in the heptathlon (6415 points) and decathlon (8566 points) - and Artur Kohutek, the 2002 European bronze medallist in the 110m hurdles.  

More recently, Czapiewski coached reigning European indoor pole vault champion Pawel Wojciechowski and Adrianna Sulek, the bronze medallist in the heptathlon at the IAAF World U20 Championships in 2018. 

Away from coaching, Czapiewski was on the Local Organising Committee for multiple global and European events which were held in Bydgoszcz, including the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships and 2010 and 2013 editions of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

Czapiewski served as the Deputy Competitions Director for this year’s European Athletics Team Championships Super League in Bydgoszcz as well as the Competitions Director for the European Combined Events Team Championships First League and Second League in Inowroclaw in 2015. 

Czapiewski was also awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta and received the title of the best athletics coach in the Polish Army. The Polish Athletics Federation also honoured him with Silver and Bronze Shield Awards.