Anita Wlodarczyk at the 2016 Polish Championships (© Grzegorz Kowalski / PZLA)
All three of Poland’s reigning world champions – Piotr Malachowski, Pawel Fajdek and Anita Wlodarczyk – produced impressive performances at the three-day Polish Championships which finished on Sunday (26).
Fajdek improved his world-leading hammer mark to 81.87m with his opening effort on Saturday for his 25th win in succession.
His only other valid effort, 78.11m in the fourth round, would also have been good enough to win as world bronze medallist Wojciech Nowicki was second with 77.09m.
On Sunday, Wlodarczyk’s best effort, a championship record of 78.69m, came in the fourth round and her other four valid throws were all beyond 76 metres, a distance nobody else in the world has reached this year.
"My shape is solid. My goals are now gold in Rio and to improve my world record there," said Wlodarczyk, whose nearest rival was more than eight metres in arrears.
Malachowski’s contest was much closer but he was still in fine form and a convincing winner.
He opened with 64.89m, which would still have been enough to win, improved by five centimetres with his following throw and then unleashed a huge effort of 68.10m in the fifth round.
Nevertheless, Malachowski was still far from happy.
“It should be over 70 metres today with these (advantageous) wind conditions," he said. "I don't have luck at Polish Championships. The only one of us who did have it today was our young colleague Bartlomiej Stoj."
Stoj, the European U20 champion, improved his personal best to 64.64m to take a surprise second place from world bronze medallist Robert Urbanek, who was third with 64.38m.
Bukowiecki beats his elders again
Another young thrower on top of his game was 19-year-old Konrad Bukowiecki whose third-round effort of 20.80m in the shot put was enough to get him his first senior outdoor title.
"My result, the distance is not very long, but it is not about the distance but about the medals in a national championship," said the world junior champion. "I am very happy. Of course, I am going to Amsterdam. I am (currently) second ranked between seniors from Europe this season so I would be stupid if I don't go to the European Championships. In my preparations there are not two peaks but three: Amsterdam, Rio and Bydgoszcz for the World U20 Championships. I cannot wait to compete here again."
Michal Haratyk was second with 20.61m while two-time Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski was third with 20.43m.
Kamila Licwinko was a little off the form that saw her produce a world-leading 1.99m a week ago but the 2014 world indoor high jump champion was still a comfortable winner when she went over 1.93m before failing at 1.96m.
Good wins on the final day came in the two long jumps, Tomasz Jaszczuk and Anna Jagaciak-Michalska taking the victories with 7.82m and 6.55m respectively. In the latter case, it was the second part of a double with her having won the triple jump on the opening day with 14.00m.
The highlights on the track on Saturday came over one lap of the stadium that will play hoist to the IAAF World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016 next month.
Rafal Omelko and Justyna Swiety won the 400m finals in 45.57 and 51.66 respectively while Patryk Dobek and Joanna Linkiewicz won their 400m hurdles titles in 50.06 and 56.54.
The top event on the track on the opening day was the women’s 1500m in which Angelika Cichocka won the title in 4:08.48 in a close finish ahead of Sofia Ennaoui, who was second in 4:09.16 and just ahead of Danuta Urbanik who was third in 4:09.24.
Cichocka went on to complete a double on Sunday, again using her finishing speed to win a tactical 800m final in 2:10.62, holding off Joanna Jozwik by 0.28.
The men’s javelin on Friday saw Marcin Krukowski reach 83.63m and beat Lukasz Grzeszczuk, who was second with 82.99m.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF