Athlete Profile

Monika Pyrek

  • COUNTRY Poland Poland
  • DATE OF BIRTH 11 AUG 1980
Monika Pyrek (Getty Images)
Monika Pyrek (Getty Images)
  • COUNTRY Poland Poland
  • DATE OF BIRTH 11 AUG 1980


Focus on Athletes biographies are produced by the IAAF Communications Dept, and not by the IAAF Statistics and Documentation Division. If you have any enquiries concerning the information, please use the Contact IAAF page, selecting ‘Focus on Athletes Biographies’ in the drop down menu of contact area options.


Updated 3 August 2008


Monika PYREK, Poland (Pole Vault)

Born 11 August 1980, Gdynia
1.68m / 52 kg
Lives: Szczecin
Coach: Vyacheslav Kalinichenko (Ukraine)
Club: MKL Szczecin

Not for 10 years has Monika Pyrek lost at the National Championships. She has also gathered a big collection of medals on the international scene. However, although she has been among the pioneers of women’s Pole Vault in Poland, her first speciality was the High Jump.

Pyrek changed her mind when Anna Wielgus, another athlete in the Athletic Club Gdynia, decided to start pole vaulting. Wielgus was the only competitor to defeat Pyrek at the Nationals - in 1998, in Wroclaw, when they both cleared 4.00 metres - but her sports career is already over.

Both athletes practised the newly introduced event under direction of Edward Szymczak, who coached the best male pole vaulters of the country earlier. His pupils – Marian Kolasa (5.81) and Miroslaw Chmara (5.90) - were for some time the main rivals of Sergey Bubka.

More than two decades ago Szymczak started a Pole Vault competition on the long pier at the seaside resort of Sopot. At the very beginning, two Polish Olympic champions, Tadeusz Slusarski (Olympic champion 1976) and Wladyslaw Kozakiewicz (Olympic champion 1980) took part in this original meeting. Then came the girls and one of them was Pyrek, who once competed in Sopot with Stacy Dragila of the United States.

Pyrek’s sporting breakthrough came at the 2000 Olympic Games, in Sydney, where, aged only 20, she placed seventh. Dragila won the gold medal, as she did at the 1999 and 2001 World Championships, but soon the American had to accept the change in the international hierarchy. Yelena Isinbayeva, of Russia, began to dominate and Pyrek, who took the bronze medal at the 2001 World Championships, in Edmonton, went on to record her top achievement four years later, gaining the silver at the World Championships, in Helsinki. It was important for Pyrek after she had taken only fourth place at the 2004 Olympic Games, in Athens, being surprisingly overshadowed by her compatriot, Anna Rogowska, the bronze medal winner. Becoming a World runner-up, Pyrek regained her leadership among Polish vaulters

In 2003 Pyrek separated from her first coach, Edward Szymczak, and moved from Gdynia to Szczecin, another seaside city. “I’m a sailor’s daughter, so I like to stay very close to the sea,” said the vaulter who has won eight national titles, including the last one from Szczecin. Pyrek’s new coach is Viacheslav Kalinichenko, of Ukraine, who has resided in Poland with his family for many years.

Pyrek graduated from Gdansk University with a Masters in law. In the future she plans to be employed in one of the European Union offices. She has become a celebrity, starring on TV. She even tries to sing. A few months ago she recorded an Olympic song which she performs together with a professional vocalist, Maria Sadowska.

Pyrek lives in Szczecin, with her sweetheart Norbert Rokita, who is an athletics manager. Once a year she invites some top women vaulters to take part in a street competition held just under the windows of her apartment.

 

Personal Bests

4.82 (2007); 4.76i (2006)


Yearly Progression

1995: 2.30; 1996: 3.60; 1997: 3.83; 1998: 4.15; 1999: 4.16/4.21i; 2000: 4.40; 2001: 4.61; 2002: 4.62; 2003: 4.60; 2004: 4.72; 2005: 4.70; 2006: 4.75/4.76i; 2007: 4.82; 2008: 4.75


Career Highlights

1997 q   European Junior Championships (Ljubljana)   3.80
1998 2nd   World Junior Championships (Annecy)    4.10
1998 7th  European Championships (Budapest)    4.15
1999 11th  World Indoor Championships (Maebashi)   4.20
1999 4th  European Junior Championships (Riga)   4.10
2000 q     European Indoor Championships (Gent)   4.20
2000 1st    European Cup-1  (Bydgoszcz)     4.30
2000 7th    Olympic Games (Sydney)      4.40
2001 1st    European Cup-1 (Vaasa)      4.50
2001 1st    European Under-23 Championships (Amsterdam)  4.40
2001 3rd    World Championships (Edmonton)    4.55
2001 4th    Goodwill Games (Brisbane)     4.35
2001 4th    Grand Prix Final (Melbourne)     4.20
2002 3rd    European Indoor Championships (Vienna)   4.60
2002 4th     European Cup, Super League (Annecy)    4.20
2002 q       European Championships (Munich)    4.30
2003 3rd    European Indoor Cup (Leipzig)     4.30
2003   3rd   World Indoor Championships (Birmingham)   4.45
2003 1st     European Cup-1 (Lappeenranta)     4.30
2003 4th     World Championships (Paris)     4.55
2003 4th     World Athletics Final (Monaco)     4.50
2004 5th     World Indoor Championships (Budapest)   4.50
2004 2nd     European Cup, Super League (Bydgoszcz)   4.40
2004 4th     Olympic Games (Athens)      4.55
2004 5th     World Athletics Final (Monaco)     4.50
2005 3rd     European Indoor Championships (Madrid)   4.70
2005 2nd     World Championships (Helsinki)     4.60
2005 2nd     World Athletics Final (Monaco)     4.62
2006  4th    World Indoor Championships (Moscow)    4.65
2006 1st     European Cup, Super League (Malaga)    4.75
2006 2nd     European Championships (Göteborg)    4.65
2006 2nd    World Athletics Final (Stuttgart)    4.65
2007  1st     European Cup, Super League (Munich)    4.65
2007 4th     World Championships (Osaka)     4.75
2007 2nd   World Athletics Final (Stuttgart)   4.82
2008 3rd     World Indoor Championships (Valencia)    4.70


 

Personal Best - Outdoor
Performance Wind Place Date
Pole Vault 4.82 Stuttgart 22 SEP 2007
Personal Best - Indoor
Performance Wind Place Date
Pole Vault 4.76 Donetsk 12 FEB 2006
Progression - Outdoor showShow All Graphs
Pole Vault Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2012 4.50 New York City, NY 09 JUN
2011 4.60 Bydgoszcz 12 AUG
2010 4.40 Roma (Stadio Olimpico) 10 JUN
2009 4.78 Berlin 14 JUN
2008 4.75 Roma (Stadio Olimpico) 11 JUL
2008 4.75 Sopot 29 JUN
2007 4.82 Stuttgart 22 SEP
2006 4.75 Lausanne 11 JUL
2006 4.75 Málaga 28 JUN
2005 4.70 Biala Podlaska 25 JUN
2004 4.72 Bruxelles 03 SEP
2003 4.60 Tríkala 24 JUN
2002 4.62 London 23 AUG
2001 4.61 Bydgoszcz 01 JUL
2000 4.40 Sydney 25 SEP
1999 4.16 Sopot 29 MAY
1998 4.15 Budapest 21 AUG
1998 4.15 Budapest 18 AUG
1997 3.83 01 JAN
1996 3.60 01 JAN
1995 2.30 01 JAN
Progression - Indoor showShow All Graphs
Pole Vault Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2012 4.41 Birmingham, GBR 18 FEB
2011 4.60 Donetsk 12 FEB
2010 4.60 Donetsk 06 MAR
2010 4.60 Birmingham, GBR 20 FEB
2009 4.71 Donetsk 15 FEB
2009 4.71 Bydgoszcz 10 FEB
2008 4.70 Valencia, ESP 08 MAR
2008 4.70 Spala 24 FEB
2007 4.52 Donetsk 10 FEB
2006 4.76 Donetsk 12 FEB
2005 4.70 Madrid 06 MAR
2005 4.70 Liévin 26 FEB
2005 4.70 Madrid 24 FEB
2005 4.70 Spala 20 FEB
2005 4.70 Donetsk 12 FEB
2004 4.65 Spala 21 FEB
2003 4.52 Wuppertal 31 JAN
2002 4.60 Wien 03 MAR
2001 4.36 Spala 25 FEB
2000 4.20 Gent 25 FEB
1999 4.21 Spala 13 FEB
1998 3.91 Spala 15 FEB
Honours - Pole Vault
Rank Mark Wind Place Date
The XXX Olympic Games 8q1 4.40 London (OP) 04 AUG 2012
13th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 10 4.55 Daegu 30 AUG 2011
IAAF/VTB Bank World Athletics Final 2 4.60 Thessaloníki 12 SEP 2009
12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 2 4.65 Berlin 17 AUG 2009
6th IAAF/VTB Bank World Athletics Final 3 4.70 Stuttgart 13 SEP 2008
The XXIX Olympic Games 5 4.70 Beijing (National Stadium) 18 AUG 2008
12th IAAF World Indoor Championships 3 4.70 Valencia, ESP 08 MAR 2008
5th IAAF World Athletics Final 2 4.82 Stuttgart 22 SEP 2007
11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 4 4.75 Osaka (Nagai Stadium) 28 AUG 2007
10th IAAF World Cup 5 4.30 Athína (Olympic Stadium) 16 SEP 2006
4th IAAF World Athletics Final 2 4.65 Stuttgart 10 SEP 2006
11th IAAF World Indoor Championships 4 4.65 Moskva (Olimpiyskiy Stadion) 11 MAR 2006
3rd IAAF World Athletics Final 2 4.62 Monaco 10 SEP 2005
10th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 2 4.60 Helsinki 12 AUG 2005
2nd IAAF World Athletics Final 5 4.50 Monaco 19 SEP 2004
28th Olympic Games 4 4.55 Athína (Olympic Stadium) 24 AUG 2004
10th IAAF World Indoor Championships 5 4.50 Budapest (SA) 06 MAR 2004
1st IAAF World Athletics Final 4 4.50 Monaco 14 SEP 2003
9th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 4 4.55 Paris Saint-Denis (Stade de France) 25 AUG 2003
9th IAAF World Indoor Championships 3 4.45 Birmingham, GBR 16 MAR 2003
17th IAAF Grand Prix Final 4 4.20 Melbourne 09 SEP 2001
8th IAAF World Championships 3 4.55 Edmonton 06 AUG 2001
27th Olympic Games 7 4.40 Sydney 25 SEP 2000
7th IAAF World Indoor Championships 11 4.20 Maebashi 05 MAR 1999
IAAF World Junior Championships 2 4.10 Annecy 29 JUL 1998


Focus on Athletes biographies are produced by the IAAF Communications Dept, and not by the IAAF Statistics and Documentation Division. If you have any enquiries concerning the information, please use the Contact IAAF page, selecting ‘Focus on Athletes Biographies’ in the drop down menu of contact area options.


Updated 3 August 2008


Monika PYREK, Poland (Pole Vault)

Born 11 August 1980, Gdynia
1.68m / 52 kg
Lives: Szczecin
Coach: Vyacheslav Kalinichenko (Ukraine)
Club: MKL Szczecin

Not for 10 years has Monika Pyrek lost at the National Championships. She has also gathered a big collection of medals on the international scene. However, although she has been among the pioneers of women’s Pole Vault in Poland, her first speciality was the High Jump.

Pyrek changed her mind when Anna Wielgus, another athlete in the Athletic Club Gdynia, decided to start pole vaulting. Wielgus was the only competitor to defeat Pyrek at the Nationals - in 1998, in Wroclaw, when they both cleared 4.00 metres - but her sports career is already over.

Both athletes practised the newly introduced event under direction of Edward Szymczak, who coached the best male pole vaulters of the country earlier. His pupils – Marian Kolasa (5.81) and Miroslaw Chmara (5.90) - were for some time the main rivals of Sergey Bubka.

More than two decades ago Szymczak started a Pole Vault competition on the long pier at the seaside resort of Sopot. At the very beginning, two Polish Olympic champions, Tadeusz Slusarski (Olympic champion 1976) and Wladyslaw Kozakiewicz (Olympic champion 1980) took part in this original meeting. Then came the girls and one of them was Pyrek, who once competed in Sopot with Stacy Dragila of the United States.

Pyrek’s sporting breakthrough came at the 2000 Olympic Games, in Sydney, where, aged only 20, she placed seventh. Dragila won the gold medal, as she did at the 1999 and 2001 World Championships, but soon the American had to accept the change in the international hierarchy. Yelena Isinbayeva, of Russia, began to dominate and Pyrek, who took the bronze medal at the 2001 World Championships, in Edmonton, went on to record her top achievement four years later, gaining the silver at the World Championships, in Helsinki. It was important for Pyrek after she had taken only fourth place at the 2004 Olympic Games, in Athens, being surprisingly overshadowed by her compatriot, Anna Rogowska, the bronze medal winner. Becoming a World runner-up, Pyrek regained her leadership among Polish vaulters

In 2003 Pyrek separated from her first coach, Edward Szymczak, and moved from Gdynia to Szczecin, another seaside city. “I’m a sailor’s daughter, so I like to stay very close to the sea,” said the vaulter who has won eight national titles, including the last one from Szczecin. Pyrek’s new coach is Viacheslav Kalinichenko, of Ukraine, who has resided in Poland with his family for many years.

Pyrek graduated from Gdansk University with a Masters in law. In the future she plans to be employed in one of the European Union offices. She has become a celebrity, starring on TV. She even tries to sing. A few months ago she recorded an Olympic song which she performs together with a professional vocalist, Maria Sadowska.

Pyrek lives in Szczecin, with her sweetheart Norbert Rokita, who is an athletics manager. Once a year she invites some top women vaulters to take part in a street competition held just under the windows of her apartment.

 

Personal Bests

4.82 (2007); 4.76i (2006)


Yearly Progression

1995: 2.30; 1996: 3.60; 1997: 3.83; 1998: 4.15; 1999: 4.16/4.21i; 2000: 4.40; 2001: 4.61; 2002: 4.62; 2003: 4.60; 2004: 4.72; 2005: 4.70; 2006: 4.75/4.76i; 2007: 4.82; 2008: 4.75


Career Highlights

1997 q   European Junior Championships (Ljubljana)   3.80
1998 2nd   World Junior Championships (Annecy)    4.10
1998 7th  European Championships (Budapest)    4.15
1999 11th  World Indoor Championships (Maebashi)   4.20
1999 4th  European Junior Championships (Riga)   4.10
2000 q     European Indoor Championships (Gent)   4.20
2000 1st    European Cup-1  (Bydgoszcz)     4.30
2000 7th    Olympic Games (Sydney)      4.40
2001 1st    European Cup-1 (Vaasa)      4.50
2001 1st    European Under-23 Championships (Amsterdam)  4.40
2001 3rd    World Championships (Edmonton)    4.55
2001 4th    Goodwill Games (Brisbane)     4.35
2001 4th    Grand Prix Final (Melbourne)     4.20
2002 3rd    European Indoor Championships (Vienna)   4.60
2002 4th     European Cup, Super League (Annecy)    4.20
2002 q       European Championships (Munich)    4.30
2003 3rd    European Indoor Cup (Leipzig)     4.30
2003   3rd   World Indoor Championships (Birmingham)   4.45
2003 1st     European Cup-1 (Lappeenranta)     4.30
2003 4th     World Championships (Paris)     4.55
2003 4th     World Athletics Final (Monaco)     4.50
2004 5th     World Indoor Championships (Budapest)   4.50
2004 2nd     European Cup, Super League (Bydgoszcz)   4.40
2004 4th     Olympic Games (Athens)      4.55
2004 5th     World Athletics Final (Monaco)     4.50
2005 3rd     European Indoor Championships (Madrid)   4.70
2005 2nd     World Championships (Helsinki)     4.60
2005 2nd     World Athletics Final (Monaco)     4.62
2006  4th    World Indoor Championships (Moscow)    4.65
2006 1st     European Cup, Super League (Malaga)    4.75
2006 2nd     European Championships (Göteborg)    4.65
2006 2nd    World Athletics Final (Stuttgart)    4.65
2007  1st     European Cup, Super League (Munich)    4.65
2007 4th     World Championships (Osaka)     4.75
2007 2nd   World Athletics Final (Stuttgart)   4.82
2008 3rd     World Indoor Championships (Valencia)    4.70