The 10th edition of the Copernicus Cup, a prestigious event in the athletics calendar, unfolded in Torun with remarkable fervor, setting the stage for an unforgettable spectacle of athleticism and competitive spirit. This edition was particularly momentous, as it witnessed the shattering of records and the setting of new global benchmarks. Spearheading these monumental achievements were Freweyni Hailu in the women’s 1500 metres with an astonishing time of 3:55.28, Selemon Barega dominating the men’s 3000 metres with a swift 7:25.82, Ewa Swoboda electrifying the women’s 60 metres in just 7.01 seconds, Andy Diaz soaring to new heights in the men’s triple jump at 17.61 meters, and Habitam Alemu conquering the women’s 800 metres in 1:57.88.
Women’s 1500 metres:
Ethiopia’s Freweyni Hailu won the women’s 1500 metres setting the third fastest indoor time in history and the world lead with 3:55.28 in a great race with four women under the 4 minutes barrier. Only her compatriots Gudaf Tsegay and Genzebe Dibaba ran faster than Hailu clocking respectively 3:53.09 and 3:55.17. Diribe Welteji ran 3:55.47 moving up to fourth in the world all-time list. Hirut Meshesha and Tigist Girma finished third and fourth improving their PBs to 3:56.47 and 3:58.79.
Freweyni Hailu: “It’s a great time. I am very happy, but not completely surprised. I knew I could run fast”.
Men’s 3000 metres:
Olympic 10000 metres and world indoor 3000 metres gold medallist Selemon Barega from Ethiopia won the men’s 3000 metres in a world seasonal lead and a meeting record of 7:25.82. Getnet Wale, fourth in the 3000 metres steeplechase at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021, set the second fastest time in his career with 7:26.73.
Selemon Barega: “I expected a good performance here. My training has been going very well and I have good speed. I set a PB in the 1500 metres, so this is a fast track. The world record is possible, but it is sometimes easier to run behind another athlete”.
Women’s 60 metres:
Ewa Swoboda won a close women’s 60 metres in her seasonal best of 7.01 setting the second fastest time in her career. Zaynab Dosso improved her Italian record by 0.03 to 7.02 to finish second. Shashalee Forbes from Jamaica took third place in 7.13 two days after her win at the ISTAF Indoor meeting in Dusseldorf. Patrizia Van de Weken from Luxembourg took fourth place with 7.19 ahead of Rani Rosius from Belgium and Imani Lansiquot from Great Britain, who clocked the same time of 7.24.
Ewa Swoboda: “I feel good after this race. Every race I keep on getting faster, which gives me motivation. That’s how it’s supposed to be. I am happy that the Italian athlete Zaynab Dosso pushed me so hard. That was an extra motivation for running fast. I feel good after today’s start. Each time I get faster and faster, which is motivating. The Arena in Torun is great as usual. I feel at home here, even though it’s not my home town. Today’s race is a great sign before the upcoming National Championships and the World Indoor Championships. My only goal at the moment is to stay healthy for these competitions”.
Zaynab Dosso: “My progress this year comes from being healthy after many years of injuries. I finally found happiness and peace of mind. This is the second time this season that I finished so close to Ewa. Next time I want to finally beat her. I am looking forward to the World Indoor Championships, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I just want to enjoy running and have fun”.
Women’s 60 metres hurdles:
European outdoor champion Pia Skrzyszowska won the first heat in the women’s 60 metres hurdles with 7.82 beating Irish record holder Sarah Lavin (7.98). Two-time European indoor champion Nadine Visser won the second heat in 7.89 beating Weronika Nagiek (8.08) and Marika Majewska (8.09).
Visser won the final equalling her seasonal best with 7.80 holding off Skrzyszowska by 0.01. The Dutch hurdler missed her PB by just three hundredths of a second. Lavin finished third in 7.92m.
Nadine Visser: “We train with Pia and Sarah, so it feels that we are running together, not against each other, but we are competitors and of course I want to win. I was surprised when I ran 7.80 earlier this year. Now I am not surprised I ran the same time again, but I am happy. I always want to compete for medals. The girls are running crazy times over in America, so it will be hard at the World Indoors, but I will do my best”.
Men’s triple jump:
Two-time Diamond League Andy Diaz Hernandez from Italy won his third consecutive competition in the men’s triple jump with 17.61m in the second round after a leap of 17.25m in the first attempt. Diaz missed the national indoor record set by his coach Fabrizio Donato, who won the European indoor silver medal in Paris Bercy with 17.73m.
Tiago Pereira from Portugal improved his PB to 17.02 to take second place ahead of Yaser Triki from Algeria (16.75m).
Andy Diaz: “I did not expect this result after competing a few days ago. I wanted to try two close competitions to prepare me for the outdoor season. In the first round I felt that I was faster than in the previous competition and I realized that I could produce a good result. I asked the crowd to clap. They gave me the energy to jump far. I decided to end the competition to save energy in such a traumatic discipline. The biggest win is to return home healthy”.
Men’s 60 metres hurdles:
Jakub Szymanski from Poland won his second consecutive race this season in 7.48 coming close to his national record set in Dusseldorf with 7.47 last Sunday. Lorenzo Simonelli, who broke the Italian record with 7.50 in Lodz at the end of January, continued his great season with a second place in 7.56. Roger Iribarne from Poland took third place in 7.57.
Jakub Szymanski: “I feel at home in Torun. I feel great here. The crowd is amazing and reacts very emotionally to every event. I look forward to the National Championships, which will take place here next week. I am still in the train of the national record. My goal is a time of 7.45 or faster. The race was not ideal. I think I hit two hurdles. I managed to win despite that, so I am satisfied with the performance”.
Men’s 1500 metres:
Two-time world indoor champion and former world record holder Samuel Tefera launched his kick in the final 150 metres to win the men’s 1500 metres in 3:34.61 beating his compatriot Biniam Behary (3:34.83), South Africa’s Tshepo Tshite (3:35.06) and Adel Mechaal from Spain (3:35.53). The Italian record was improved for the fourth time in the past ten days: Ossama Meslek, who broke Federico Riva’s national record to 3:36.03 in Metz last Saturday, became the first Italian athlete to break the 3:36 barrier indoors by clocking 3:35.63 to finish fifth.
Samuel Tefera: “I am very happy with the race. 3:34 is a good performance in the first race of the season”
Women’s 800 metres:
Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu won the women’s 800 metres setting a world seasonal best, a meeting record and a PB with 1:57.86. Her compatriot Worknesh Mesele improved her PB to 1:59.83 beating Noelle Yarigo from Benin (2:00.23).
Habitam Alemu: “I am very happy with the time. I was expecting something between 1:58 and 2:00, so 1:57 is great. I will be going to the World Indoor Championships and I think I can be a medallist”.
Women’s 400 metres:
European indoor silver medallist Lieke Klaver from the Netherlands won her second women’s 400 metres race in this year’s edition of the World Indoor Tour Gold with a meeting record of 50.57. Henriette Jaeger from Norway finished second setting a national record with 51.05. Laviai Nielsen from Great Britain set her PB with 51.31.
Marika Popowicz Drapala from Poland won the B race with 52.14 ahead of 2018 European outdoor champion Justyna Swiety Ersetic (52.89).
Lieke Klaver: “It is always good to set a meeting record, but it does not matter that I beat Femke Bol’s record. I am here for myself. I have been running a bit slower in the first lap lately. It’s a small difference, but it makes a big difference in the end. I am hoping I can set a new PB this winter and run faster than 50.3.”
Men’s pole vault:
Three-time world medallist and Polish outdoor record holder Piotr Lisek equalled his seasonal best of 5.75m in his first attempt to win the men’s pole vault beating Dutch vaulter Menno Vloon on countback.
Men’s 60 metres:
European under 23 champion Jeremiah Azu from Great Britain ran the fastest time in the 60 metres heats with 6.58 beating Poland’s Oliwer Widownik (6.62) and Germany’s Kevin Kranz (6.63).
Azu won the final in 6.57 beating Poland’s Oliwer Widowik (6.60), Akihiro Higashida from Japan and Richard Kilty from Great Britain, who shared the same time of 6.61.
Jeremiah Azu: “I am in good shape. The important thing is to run consistently in the 6.5s. I feel there is more to come and I have a big performance in me. I am a big championship performer, so I am looking forward to Glasgow. Maybe I can get into the 6.4s and get onto the podium. The indoor season is more like training for me. I did not really start with the blocks until Friday. Racing indoors is about getting a competitive experience”
Men’s 800 metres:
Tshepiso Maselela from Botswana won his third competition in the men’s 800 metres this indoor season in 1:46.07 following his victories in Ostrava and Metz. Abdellatif El Guesse from Morocco finished second in 1:46.22. Catalin Tecuceanu took third place in a seasonal best of 1:46.84.
“I feel tired. I am satisfied with the race. I was not focused on running a fast time today, but I want to improve my PB this season. Last year I missed my family so much that I had to go home. I am going to the World Championships and expecting a medal”.