Święty and Czykier in the spotlight in Bydgoszcz

Justyna Święty at the 2017 European Athletics Indoor Championships
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Justyna Święty at the 2017 European Athletics Indoor Championships

The action in the European Athletics Classic Permit Meetings moved on to Poland and Spain on Friday night (2) with Justyna Święty and Damian Czykier thrilling the home crowd at the 17th edition of European Athletics Festival in Bydgoszcz.

Święty was the fastest over one lap of the track in the Stadion Zawisza that will stage the European Athletics U23 Championships next month when she won the women’s 400m in a swift 51.72.

The stalwart of Polish 4x400m relay teams at recent major championships, often running the anchor leg, was just short of her season's best of 51.64 and it's a time only she and continental list-leader Olha Zemlyak, from Ukraine, have beaten among European 400m runners this year.  

Małgorzata Hołub finished second in 52.09 and Iga Baumgart was third in 52.41 for a Polish 1-2-3.

Czykier improved his personal best to 13.28 when winning the 110m hurdles, moving up to fifth on the European 2017 list, with Great Britain’s David King second in 13.48.

Another Polish victory went to the in-form Rafa Omelko, who currently tops the European men’s 400m lists. The 2017 European indoor 400m silver medallist didn’t need to be at his best on this occasion and was able to cruise to victory in 46.12. Croatia’s Mateo Ruzic took second place in a personal best 46.28.

Joanna Jozwik was another impressive local winner, the 2014 European 800m bronze medallist taking a specially staged 600m in a world-leading 1:26.74, although it was some way short of her Polish record of 1:25.04 set two years ago.

Poland's Martyna Galant won the 1500m in a personal best of 4:08.81 when coming home ahead of Albania’s Luiza Gega, who was second in 4:09.76.

Top performance in the field came in an entertaining shot put competition with local star Konrad Bukowiecki sending his implement out to 20.99m with his opening effort. No one, not even the 2017 European indoor champion, could surpass that mark but Polish compatriot Michal Haratyk came close with 20.90m in the fifth round.

Another home win came in the pole vault with 2011 world champion Pawel Wojciechowski the only man over 5.70m.

Visiting Ukraine athletes came away with two victories in Bydgoszcz. Hanna Plotitsyna was the best in the 100m hurdles with a win in 12.94 while Yulia Chumachenko cleared 1.89m to take the honours in the high jump.

Venezuela’s 2016 world Indoor triple jump champion Yulimar Rojas provided the highlight of the European Athletics Classic Permit Meeting in the Spanish town of Andujar with three world-leading marks in successive rounds of her specialist event.

In the fourth round Rojas bounded out to 14.74m, following by a leap of 14.82m before finishing with 14.96m.

Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev impressed with a sprint double, winning the 100m in 10.16 and the 200m in 20.10, both races being into slight headwinds.

Serbia’s Amela Terzic was the best in the women’s 1500m, winning in 4:08.98, while there was a Spanish victory in the men’s triple jump as Pablo Torrijos reached 16.79m to beat Portugal’s former Olympic and world champion Nelson Evora who was second with 16.45m.

Other European wins in Andujar came from Belarus high jumper Maksim Nedasekau, who cleared 2.25m, and Israel’s Margaryta Dorozhon, who won the javelin with 58.21m.