Stars Shine at the Irena Szewinska Memorial 2024: Event Highlights and Performances

Posted by: Watch Athletics

The illustrious Irena Szewinska Memorial, marking the eighth stage of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold level series, unfolded on Thursday, June 20, in Bydgoszcz, Poland. The event featured a lineup of top-tier athletes, including Italian shot put sensation Leonardo Fabbri, Ethiopian middle-distance runner Freweyni Hailu, Polish sprinting star Natalia Kaczmarek, and Swedish 800m specialist Andreas Kramer. This article provides a detailed report and the highlights of the event, showcasing exceptional performances across various disciplines. Read on for a comprehensive breakdown of the action event by event.

Women’s 400 metres:

European champion Natalia Kaczmarek from Poland stormed to a win in the women’s 400 metres in 49.86 one week after winning the European gold medal in Rome in 48.98. Kaczmarek broke Irena Szewinska’s legendary Polish record of 49.28 set at the Olympic Games in Montreal 1976. Salwa Eid Naser from Barhein finished second in 50.32. Andrea Miklos from Romania took third place in 50.99 ahead of 2018 European champion Justyna Swiety Ersetic from Poland (51.62).

Natalia Kacmarek: “I did not expect such a time today. I recovered after the European Championships. I wanted to win here, and my rivals were pressing. I know what I can do, but the result in Rome surprised me. I am not sure if there is a chance to break the stadium record at the Polish Championships. Now I need training, so I don’t know what condition I will be in."

Men’s shot put:

European outdoor champion Leonardo Fabbri won his seventh competition in a row in the men’s shot put setting a meeting record of 22.38m in the fifth round. Fabbri backed up this result with two more marks over the 22 metres barrier of 22.03m in the third round and 22.28m in his sixth attempt. Jamaican record holder Rajindra Campbell took second place with a fourth round effort of 21.22m. Scott Lincoln from Great Britain threw over the 21 metres barrier with 21.02m.

Leonardo Fabbri: “I feel very good after this win. I was a little tired after the European Championships, but 22.38m is a great mark. The circle is quite slow. The crowd was excellent, much better than last year."

Women’s 1500 metres:

World indoor 1500 metres champion Freweyni Hailu from Ethiopia took another win on Polish soil setting a meeting record of 3:58.59. Australia’s Linden Hall also broke the 4 minutes barrier setting a seasonal best of 3:58.96. Revee Walcott Nolan finished third improving her lifetime best with 4:00.43 holding off Australia’s Sarah Billings (4:00.45), Klaudia Klazimierska from Poland (4:01.89), Italian middle distance runners Ludovica Cavalli (4:02.05 seasonal best) and Marta Zenoni (4:03.00 PB).

Linden Hall: “I am very happy with the race. It was nice to give myself a present. We have not selected the Olympic team yet and this run makes it more certain.

Men’s 800 metres:

World indoor silver medallist Andreas Kramer from Sweden won his second consecutive 800 metres race in the Continental Tour improving Adam Kszczot’s meeting record and national record with 1:44.08. Ali Mohammed Gouananed finished second in a PB of 1:44.37 beating Abdellatif El Guesse (1:44.52 seasonal best). Czech 18-year-old Jakub Dudycha, European under 20 champion in Jerusalem 2023, finished fourth improving his PB to 1:44.82. Simone Barontini from Italy improved his seasonal best to 1:45.11.

Andreas Kramer: “It was a really good start. I took the meeting record from Adam Kszczot. I hope he is not mad at me. For me this run is a preparation before the Olympics. I am spreading my wings. The Olympics are my goal."

Obiena clears 5.97m in the pole vault in Bydgoszcz 

World silver medallist Ernest Obiena set his seasonal best of 5.97m in the first attempt to take the win in the men’s pole vault. Obiena cleared 5.55m and 5.75m at the first time off asking and needed two attempts to clear 5.82m before first-time clearances at 5.87m and 5.92m. European silver medallist Emmanouil Karalis from Greece improved his national record to 5.92m in his attempt to take second place. Piotr Lisek from Poland cleared 5.82m in the second attempt to take third place. Both Obiena and Karalis made three attempts at 6.02m.

Ernest Obiena. “I did not expect a mark like this. My warm-up here was terrible. This season has been eventful for me, in both good and bad ways, but I need to stitch something out of this. I was not in a position like today for some time, with a win and a height like this. I am not yet in the place I want to be, but this is a good step. I actually attempted a PB and I was not far away."

Men’s hammer throw:

Five-time world champion Pawel Fajdek from Poland set his seasonal best of 79.43 in the first round to win the men’s hammer throw. Olympic and European champion Wojchech Nowicki completed the Polish double by finishing second with a throw of 77.91m in the fifth round. European bronze medallist Mykhaylo Kokhan from the Ukraine took third place with 77.84m.

Pawel Fajdek: “I am really glad because today’s throw was a win. It was much better than in Rome. I need to train more and it’s going to be great. I want to start throwing above 80 metres. With this attitude I have to start every competition. I have screamed all of my energy out of me in the first throw. It was hard for me to motivate myself after that."

Women’s 100 metres hurdles:

European outdoor and world indoor finalist Sarah Lavin from Ireland won the 100 metres hurdles in 12.74. World University Games champion Viktoria Forster from Slovakia finished second in 12.96 edging Marika Majewska with the same time.

Sarah Lavin: “It was a nice race but rather average than amazing. I need to get to 12.50s so then I will be able to run even faster. The ending of the race was much better than the first few hurdles."

Women’s 100 metres:

Oceanian record holder Zoe Hobbs from New Zealand won the women’s 100 metres equalling the meeting record with 11.17. Delphine NKansa from Belgium took second place with 11.39 ahead of Italy’s Arianna De Masi (11.47).

Zoe Hobbs: “For me it was a really good competition. The meeting record shows that. The atmosphere in the stadium in Bydgoszcz is really amazing."

Men’s 110 metres hurdles:

Milan Trajkovic from Cyprus, European Indoor champion in 2019 and seventh in the Olympic finalist in Rio de Janeiro 2016, won the men’s 110 metres hurdles in a seasonal best of 13.39m beating Polish indoor record holder Jakub Szymanski (13.44) and Damian Czykier (13.45).

Milan Trajkovic: “It’s a great competition. I have been visiting Poland for a long time and I am very well received here. The conditions were very good. I had a poor start and I had to fight in the second half of the distance, but I managed. I set my best result of the season, so I am definitely happy."

 Men’s 400 metres hurdles:

Brazilian 21-year-old Matheus Lima won the men’s 400 metres hurdles improving his PB to 48.31 beating European 4x400 mixed relay champion Thomas Barr from Ireland (48.79) and Czechia’s Vit Muller (49.07).

Women’s 400 metres hurdles:

Nicholeta Jichova from Czech Republic, who finished fourth at the European Championships in Rome, won the women’s 400 metres hurdles in 55.43 holding off South Africa’s Zeney Geldenhuys (55.51) and World University Games champion Alice Muraro from Italy (55.68).

Nicholeta Jichova: “I was really tired after the European Championships because I ran three races there. It is my first time in Bydgoszcz, but I love competing in Poland. There are lots of people in the stadium, lots of kids, the weather is good, so everything is perfect. I got as tired from giving out autographs as from the race, but it was very nice.”

Men’s 1500 metres:

Former Italian indoor record holder Federico Riva won his second 1500 metres in the Continental Tour Gold this year in 3:36.87 following his victory in Ostrava in 3:33.53. Stefan Nillessen from Sweden finished runner-up in 3:37.03 beating Italy’s Ossama Meslek (3:37.37).

Federico Riva: “The race was very slow and difficult, but what is more important is that I won. It is a gold level meeting, so a victory here matters. It gives me more confidence for the upcoming competitions”.

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