Polish hammer throw star Anita Wlodarczyk will headline at the Memorial Irena Szwewinska in Bydgoszcz, the first of two legs of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold. The three-time Olympic champion and world record holder has a fond memory of the Bydgoszcz meeting, where she won in last year’s edition of this meeting bouncing back from two difficult years affected by injury problems.
Wlodarczyk won her third consecutive Olympic gold medal in Tokyo with 77.48m. The Polish star has remained unbeaten since her win in last year’s edition of the Bydgoszcz meeting with 77.93m. She set her seasonal best of 78.06m in the Continental Tour Gold meeting in Nairobi last May.
Wlodarczyk will face Olympic bronze medallist Malwina Kopron from Poland, Krista Tervo from Finland, who set the national record of 74.40m in Leiria last March, Lauren Bruce from New Zealand, national record holder with 74.61m.
Men’s hammer throw:
The top four finishers of the Olympic final will compete in Bydgoszcz. Olympic gold medallist Wojciech Nowicki from Poland will face Olympic bronze medallist and four-time world champion Pawel Fajdek and olympic silver medallist and Norwegian record holder Elvind Henriksen, Ukraine’s Mykhaylo Kokhan, who finished fifth at the World Championships in Doha 2019 and fourth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021, and Bence Halasz from Hungary, world bronze medallist in Doha.
Men’s pole vault:
Chris Nilsen has a fond memory of Bydgoszcz, where he set the meeting record by clearing 5.92m last year a few weeks before winning the Olympic silver medal with 5.97m. Nilsen set two US indoor records with 6.02m in Tourcoing and 6.05 in Rouen and won the world indoor bronze medal with 5.90m in Belgrade last March.
Nilsen will take on three-time world medallist and Polish record holder Piotr Lisek, 2019 European Indoor champion Pawel Wojciechowski from Poland, and US vaulters Jacob Wooten, who cleared 5.80m in Walnut last April, and Matt Ludwig, who cleared 5.90m in Mexico City in 2020.
Men’s shot put:
This year’s world indoor champion Darlan Romani from Brazil will be aiming to continue his unbeaten streak this year. Romani won the world indoor gold medal in Belgrade with the South American record of 22.53m and the Ibero-American Championships title with 21.70m in La Nucia last May. He will face a very tough opposition against olympic silver and bronze medallists Joe Kovacs from the USA and Tom Walsh from New Zealand. Two-time world champion Kovacs finished second in Eugene with 22.49m and won in Ostrava with 22.25m. Walsh threw 21.96m in Eugene and 21.68m in Ostrava. The line-up also features Nick Ponzio, who improved his outdoor PB to 21.83m in Leiria and finished seventh at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade.
Women’s 100 metres:
World and Olympic finalist Michelle Lee Ahye from Trinidad and Tobago will be aiming to repeat her last year’s win in the Bydgoszcz meeting, which is dedicated to late Polish sprint legend Irena Szewinska. Ahye will face Zaynab Dosso, who broke the Italian 60 metres Indoor record with 7.14 at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade last March and improved her 100m PB to 11.19 in Savona, missing Manuela Levorato’s national record by 0.05.
Men’s 100 metres:
Raymond Ekevwo from Nigeria leads the 100m field. Ekevwo won the African Games title in 9.96 in 2019 and clocked a seasonal best of 10.04 in the 100m in in Waco this year.
Women’s 100 metres hurdles:
Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan will face Tia Jones in the women’s 100m hurdles. Amusan finished fourth at the World Championships in Doha 2019 and the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 and won the Wanda Diamond League final in Zurich last September setting the African record with 12.42. Jones won the world under 20 title in Tampere in 2018 and set her 100m hurdles PB of 12.59 in Walnut last April.
Men’s 110 metres hurdles:
Polish champion Damian Czykier will take on South American champion Eduardo Rodriguez from Brazil. Czykier improved the national indoor record in the 60m hurdles to 7.48 and finished fourth in the 110 metres hurdles in the past two editions of the European Championships in Amsterdam 2016 and Berlin 2018.
Women’s 400 metres:
Modesta Morauskaite, who set a Lithuanian record of 50.49 at the Ibero Americano meeting in Huelva, will go up against last year’s world under 20 silver medallist Kornelia Lesiewicz from Poland.
Women’s 400 metres hurdles:
Viktoryia Tkachuk from the Ukraine will start as the favourite in the women’s 400 metres hurdles. Tkachuk finished sixth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 53.79 and was runner-up in the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham this year.
Men’s 400 metres hurdles:
US hurdler Khallifah Rosser is looking to continue his good period of form after finishing second in the men’s 400 metres hurdles at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene in his lifetime best of 48.10. Rosser also won at the Felix Sanchez Invitational in Santo Domingo in 48.45. The other name to watch is Italy’s Mario Lambrughi, who clocked 49.03 in Savona.
Middle distance races:
Polish athletes will be in the spotlight in middle distance races, which feature Olympic finalist Michal Rozmys in the men’s 800 metres, European Indoor silver medallist Mateusz Borkowski in the 1500 metres and 2014 world indoor silver medallist Angelika Chichcka in the women’s 800 metres.
Men’s high jump:
European under 23 bronze medallist Norbert Kobielski is the stand-out name in the men’s high jump. Kobielski finished third with 2.25m in the Birmingham Diamond League meeting and set a PB of 2.28m in 2020.