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Updated 31 August 2010
Piotr MALACHOWSKI, Poland (Discus Throw)
Born 7 June 1983, Zhuromin
1.92m / 122 kg
Coach: Witold Suski
Club: Slask Wroclaw
Watch out for him not only during athletics competition because Piotr Malachowski has many talents. When the current top Discus throwers were already competing on the field, Malachowski had other extremely different roles, first being a firefighter in Biezhun, a small Mazovian town not far from Warsaw. Besides that, he appeared in concerts as a member of the firefighters’ orchestra, playing the trumpet. Malachowski is probably not to be compared with the masters, like Louis Armstrong, but, no doubt, he can play well and it remains his main hobby.
After having won the Olympic silver, in Beijing, and World Championships silver, in Berlin, Malachowski became a top sport personality in Poland. His victory at the European Championships 2010 in Barcelona confirmed he is a serious candidate for an Olympic gold in 2012.
On the domestic scene, however, Piotr has been overshadowed by the famous shot putter, Tomasz Majewski, who won golds at the Olympic Games, in Bejing, and at the European Indoor Championships 2009, in Turin. They are very good friends, because both made the first steps in sport under the wings of Witold Suski, who coaches many top throwers in Poland. In 2009 Tomasz and Piotr signed a lucrative sponsorship deal with Orlen, one of the biggest petrol companies in Poland. Orlen also contracted Hammer throw World record holder, Anita Wlodarczyk, and two 800 meters runners, Marcin Lewandowski and Adam Kszczot, some time later. All these athletes together made the Orlen Team.
As a young man, Malachowski was, for a short period, influenced by the criminal underground in Poland, but fortunately he left that company very quickly and started to practise the Discus as a member of the Slask military sport club in Wroclaw. He still lives in Warsaw, however.
Current European champion loves original Polish cuisine and, for that reason, he prefers to share his Warsaw flat with his sister, who is a master of cooking. Only she can prepare the tasty pork chop called “schabowy” for him. Because of that he dislikes going abroad and having to look for Polish tastes in foreign cuisines, which in most countries are not to be found anyway.
Malachowski performed at international level for the first time in March 2006, at the European Winter Throwing Cup in Tel Aviv. There he won with an impressive 65.01. His win that summer at the European Cup, in Malaga, was an important stage on the road to future victories. Shortly after that he made a good debut in the European Championships in Göteborg, placing sixth (64.57). One year later Piotr won again the European Cup competition in Munich.
Hopes that he would be highly placed at the 2007 World Championships, in Osaka, were in vain as the conditions were too hot for him. He felt bad and performed poorly, placing 12th with his worst result of the season (60.77).
During his preparations for the 2008 season, Malachowski injured his right shoulder and was unable to train regularly for more than half a year. Under the circumstances, he quit the hardest strength exercises. Ironically, the less he trained, the better he threw the discus, so his friends, in jest, advised him to stop training altogether. Malachowski attended all the training camps, however. Finally, he considered his injury to be forgotten.
During the training sessions he was throwing his two kilo discus up to 68-69 metres. But, in competition, Malachowski’s throws still remained three metres shorter until he made the long awaited breakthrough and set a national record of 68.65 during the Janusz Sidlo Memorial, in Sopot. It came at a timely moment, just two weeks before the Olympic Games in Beijing.
“The only barrier that earlier kept me from throwing the Discus so far remained in my mind - now the barrier is broken,” Malachowski said just after accomplishing the Discus masterpiece in the stadium, where 50 years earlier the legendary javelin thrower, Janusz Sidlo, was usually an unbeatable competitor.
While competing in Bejing, Piotr had no mental problems anymore. He threw 67.82 and that was enough to win the Olympic silver. After coming back from China the new Olympic hero attracted big media attention for the first time.
In 2009 Poland celebrated the 50th anniversary of Edmund Piatkowski's 59.91 Discus World record and Malachowski wanted to win a World title on that special occasion. His dream almost came true in Berlin, but Germany’s Robert Harting finally won the competition. Nevertheless, Piotr was very satisfied. His preparations before the championships were seriously disturbed because of a finger injury and he was even advised by Witold Suski to stop competing and to stay home. Despite these problems, Malachowski went to Berlin, where he unexpectedly bettered the National record to 69.15 and grabbed silver.
There were no more injuries the following year, so the World vice-champion performed extremely well from the very beginning. He set a new National record of 69.83 in Gateshead and beat Robert Harting at the European Championships in Barcelona, winning his first international title. Three weeks later he added the IAAF Diamond League general win to his brilliant season’s collection.
In the meantime, Malachowski built a house in Biezhun, got a driving licence and a luxurious BMW car. He belongs to the Polska 2012 Club and receives 300 000 dollars a year from the Ministry of sport to pay all the costs of his pre-Olympic preparations.
His final purpose in 2010 is breaking the 70 meters barrier.
On the last day of the year Piotr will take part in the 10 kilometers road run in Brzoza, a small village near Bydgoszcz. And he wants to break yet another barrier there – the barrier of one hour.
69.83 NR (2010)
2001: 54.19; 2002: 56.84; 2003: 57.83; 2004: 62.40; 2005: 64.74; 2006: 66.21; 2007: 66.61 NR; 2008: 68.65 NR; 2009: 69.15 NR; 2010: 69.83 NR
2001 5th European Junior Championships (Grosseto) 52.37
2002 6th World Junior Championships (2002) 60.46
2003 9th European Under-23 Championships (Bydgoszcz) 54.79
2005 2nd European Under-23 Championships (Erfurt) 63.99
2006 1st European Winter Cup (Tel Aviv) 65.01
2006 1st European Cup, Super League (Malaga) 66.21 NR
2006 6th European Championships (Göteborg) 64.57
2006 6th World Athletic Final (Stuttgart) 62.50
2007 2nd European Winter Cup (Yalta) 65.06
2007 1st European Cup, Super League (Munich) 66.09
2007 12th World Championships (Osaka) 60.77
2007 3rd World Athletic Final (Stuttgart) 65.36
2007 1st World Military Games (Hyderabad), 65.87
2008 3rd European Cup, Super League (Annecy) 63.20
2008 2nd Olympic Games (Beijing) 67.82
2008 2nd World Athletics Final (Stuttgart) 66.07
2009 1st World Military Games (Sofia) 64.94
2009 1st European Team Championships, Super League (Leiria) 66.24
2009 2nd World Championships (Berlin) 69.15
2009 3rd World Athletics Final (Thessaloniki) 65.60
2010 2nd European Team Championships, Super League (Bergen) 65.55
2010 1st European Championships (Barcelona) 68.87
2010 1st IAAF Diamond League Race final standings
Prepared by Maciej Petruczenko for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2008-2010