World leads for Cichocka and Germany's relay stars

Angelika Cichocka of Poland celebrates after winning gold in the women's 1500m at the 23rd European Athletics Championships
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Angelika Cichocka of Poland celebrates after winning gold in the women's 1500m at the 23rd European Athletics Championships

In Amsterdam three weeks ago Angelika Cichocka produced a brilliant performance to win 1500m gold - and Poland’s middle-distance star is gearing up for Rio in fine fashion.

Showing blistering form heading into the Olympic Games, Cichocka ran a world-leading 1000m of 2:34.84 for victory at the 19th Janusz Sidlo Memorial in Sopot.

She is set to compete in both the 800m and 1500m in Rio and with this sort of speed base behind her so close to the Games, she will surely go to Brazil confident she can make her mark again.

The race was the perfect preparation for the top three, as fellow Poles Joanna Jozwik (2:34.93) and Sofia Ennaoui (2:35.15) both ran personal best times.

Ennaoui is also doubling up in the middle-distances at the Olympics while Jozwik is in the 800m.

But Cichocka is not the only European who will have their Rio rivals taking note.

In Mannheim on Friday, Germany's 4x100m women's relay team sent a message out of their own as Tatjana Pinto, Lisa Mayer, Gina Luckenkemper and Rebekka Haase won in 41.62, the quickest time in the world this year as their sprinters raised the tempo for the Olympics with a farewell meeting to remember.

In the individual events, Julian Reus powered away from the rest of the field to lower his own national men's 100m record from the 10.03 he set in June to 10.01 as countryman Aleixo Platini Menga (10.15) ran a pb in second.

Reus is so close to breaking the 10-second barrier, which could now happen in Rio on what is expected to be a fast track.

And he was not finished there.

Running the first leg, with Platini Menga on the third, Reus then joined up with Sven Knipphals and Lucas Jakubczyk for a quick 38.22 in the 4x100m relay.

In the women's 100m, Pinto (11.00) and Luckenkemper (11.04) both had pbs and European 100m hurdles champion Cindy Roleder ran 12.72 and 12.81 in her two races.

With the Olympic athletics programme less than a fortnight away, 2013 pole vault world champion Raphael Holzdeppe produced a season’s best of 5.70m, while across the country at the Sole Cup in Schonebeck, they were a series of top performances from his teammates in the throwing events.

Julia Fischer’s 67.47m for victory in the discus was the second best of her career as Robert Harting won the men’s competition (66.95m), with David Storl reaching 21.23m in the shot put and Betty Heidler (73.21m) finishing first in the hammer.

Latvia’s Zigismunds Sirmais was crowned European javelin champion in Amsterdam and on Friday in Ogre, on the first day of the national championships, he won with 82.49m to maintain his good form for Rio.

And as Zuzana Hejnova reflected on her speed test in Tabor this week, the Czech Republic's 400m hurdles world champion reported good news for the Olympics.

She was second (24.22) in the 200m at the Grand Prix of Tabor - her first race since May - and said: "There was no pain, so that means I am in a good way."