Polish farewell for Majewski

Polish farewell for Majewski
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Poland's Tomasz Majewski will retire from international competition following the 7th Kamila Skolimowska Memorial on Saturday.

When Tomasz Majewski retained the Olympic shot put title in London 2012, he created a piece of athletics history no one can ever take away. His victory in 21.89m saw him become the first European man to successfully defend gold in the event, just one of the many landmark moments of his outstanding career.

Tomorrow in Warsaw, Polish athletics fans will see Majewski in action for the final time. He is retiring at the end of the summer and this is his last appearance in front of his own supporters.

At 34, his home bow is at the 7th Kamila Skolimowska Memorial where he will face international opposition in New Zealand’s Tom Walsh, the Olympic bronze medallist from Rio, and America’s Ryan Whiting, the double world indoor champion.

But it does not matter if Majewski finishes first - or last. As his collection of medals shows, he has nothing to prove.

A brilliant ambassador for European Athletics across the world, Majewski, who was sixth in Rio, retires not only as a double Olympic champion but as a European champion indoors and out and one of the stalwarts of the Polish team at the European Athletics Team Championships, where he won the shot put twice and finished second on four occasions.

He holds both national records - indoors (21.72m), outdoors (21.95m) - and as important is his legacy, which is shown in the growing achievements of Poland’s teenage shot putter Konrad Bukowiecki, the double world and European junior champion.

It will be a big day of celebration for Poland’s athletes as they pay tribute to their 2000 Olympic hammer thrower who died unexpedectly in 2009.

Skolimowska's greatest successor is Anita Wlodarczyk, who competes for the last time this year after another amazing summer where she sealed a hat-trick of European titles in Amsterdam before then breaking her own hammer world record with 82.29m as she won Olympic gold.

There could be no greater tribute to Skolimowska than that - 16 years after she stood at the top of the podium in Sydney as the first-ever winner of the event at the Games.

Fellow Pole Piotr Malachowski will be looking to beat Christoph Harting in the discus at this European Athletics Outdoor Area Permit meeting, after the German snatched Olympic gold away from him in the last round in Rio, while Pawel Fajdek will hope to make his mark after failing to reach the Olympic hammer final.

But the biggest noise will be reserved for the Polish farewell of Majewski, one of their greatest stars.

TOMASZ MAJEWSKI MEDAL RECORD

OLYMPIC GAMES

Gold - 2008 (Beijing), 2012 (London)

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Silver - 2009 (Berlin)

WORLD INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS

Bronze - 2008 (Valencia), 2012 (Istanbul)

EUROPEAN ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

Gold - 2010 (Barcelona)

Bronze - 2014 (Zurich)

EUROPEAN ATHLETICS INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS

Gold - 2009 (Turin)