Many of Poland’s top athletes were in action at the Skolimowska Throws Festival in Spala on Saturday (8) as four-time world champion Pawel Fajdek and European champion Wojciech Nowicki renewed their rivalry in the hammer.
Theirs is one of the longest and most hotly contested domestic rivalries within the sport, dating back to their teenage years. While Fajdek leads in their career head-to-head record, Nowicki has levelled the score in recent years. Since the start of 2018, Nowicki has won 11 of their 24 clashes, including the 2018 European Championships.
But while Nowicki ended 2019 as the world leader, Fajdek successfully defended his world title and won eight of their 12 duels.
Both men opened their 2020 campaigns today in Spala and Nowicki came out on top, winning with 78.50m. He led from the outset, opening with 77.08m before sending his next five efforts beyond 78 metres. Any of his throws would have been enough to win as Fajdek finished second with a solid 76.77m.
In the U20 men’s competition, Dawid Pilat added almost a metre to the Polish U20 record he set in June with the 6kg implement, throwing 76.55m.
The women’s hammer was of a similar high standard. 2017 world bronze medallist Malwina Kopron threw 74.18m to comfortably beat World University Games bronze medallist Katarzyna Furmanek (70.74m) and world silver medallist Joanna Fiodorow (66.28m).
Elsewhere, Michal Haratyk won the men’s shot put from Konrad Bukowiecki, 21.45m to 20.36m, while 2015 world champion Piotr Malachowski won a close discus contest from Robert Urbanek, 64.87m to 64.73m. In her first competition of the year, Polish record-holder Maria Andrejczyk won the javelin with 62.04m.
On a busy weekend of national championships across Europe, there were some notable marks in Portugal, Germany and Lithuania.
On the first day of action at the Portuguese Championships in Lisbon, Auriol Dongmo added another 26 centimetres to the national shot put record she set in June. Her winning heave of 19.53m is the best throw in the world so far this year.
Three women jumped beyond 14 metres in the triple jump, and in a close contest just 16 centimetres separated the top three competitors. Patricia Mamona won with 14.26m (2.0m/s) with Evelise Veiga taking second place with a wind-assisted 14.16m and Susana Costa placing third (14.10m).
World silver medallist Joao Vieira won the men’s 3000m race walk in 11:45.85, while Ana Cabecinha took the women’s title in 12:43.01.
At the German Championships in Brunswick, Deniz Almas backed up his recent 100m PB. One week after clocking 10.08 on Weinheim’s fast track, the 23-year-old ran 10.09 (0.1m/s) in Brunswick to add the national 100m crown to the 60m title he won indoors in February.
The other highlight from the first day of action came from European champion Christin Hussong, who won the women’s javelin with 63.93m.
At the Lithuanian Championships in Palanga, 2017 world champion Andrius Gudzius dominated the discus with 68.16m. Edis Matusevicius won the men’s javelin with 81.38m and Dovile Kilty took the women’s triple jump title with 14.18m (1.2m/s).
Jon Mulkeen for World Athletics