The 57th edition of the Polish indoor championships took place over the weekend (16-17) in Spala with the highlights coming in the 1500m races and Race Walks.
In the men’s event, Szymon Krawczyk attacked in the final straight and went from third to first in the final 50 metres before crossing the line in 3:42.27.
He finished a stride ahead of Damian Roszko, who was second in 3:42.56, while Mateusz Demczyszak was a very close third in 3:42.59. Only the winner got a place in the national team going to the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, next month, as earlier this month both Marcin Lewandowski and Bartosz Nowicki broke 3:40 in German meetings.
In the women’s 1500m, Danuta Urbanik won in the solid 4:10.67 after taking advantage of the fast pace by Anna Rostkowska. A day earlier, the latter picked up her first indoor title by winning the 800m in 2:04.76. The seven-time outdoor Polish champion returned to action last month having not competed since 2009 due to maternity.
Kamil Krynski was the fastest among the men in both sprints. Over 60m, Krynski clocked 6.72 while at 200m he took the revenge on the talented Kamil Zalewski, who was faster two weeks ago in Gent and inflicted Krynski’s only defeat of the season. His winning time of 21.11 was a personal best and particularly impressive as the track in Spala lies directly on concrete and is not considered to be fast.
The same double in sprint was done also by Marika Popowicz, who repeated her feat of 2010. She scored her wins by a big margins, with 7.38 and 23.73, which were both season’s best.
In the absence of 2011 World champion Pawel Wojciechowski and also Lukasz Michalski, height of 5.50m was good enough to win the Pole Vault. Both 20-year-old Piotr Lisek, who has made fast progress this winter, and Robert Sobera cleared that height, both men achieving personal bests, but the verdict went to the Lisek. However, the closest to negotiating 5.60m was the most experienced Przemyslaw Czerwinski, who eventually was only the third on the day with 5.40m.
Dygacz and Sudol decisive walk wins
The top performances came in the walks which are no longer contested at major indoor championships.
In women’s 3000m Race Walk, Agnieszka Dygacz lead after the the first kilometre before being replaced by Paulina Buziak at the front. However, it was Katarzyna Kwoka who broke away from her rivals 120 metres from the line to win in 12:21.40, the second fastest time in the world this year and only four seconds shy of the 19-year-old Polish record of Katarzyna Radtke.
In men’s 5000m Race Walk, the 2010 European Athletics Championships 50km Walk silver medallist Grzegorz Sudol made most of the pace throughout the race and consolidated his lead over the final four laps before winning by almost 10 seconds in 19:03.48 to move up to third on the 2013 world list. Dawid Tomala was second in 19:13.16 and Lukasz Nowak third with 19:18.66, all three men setting personal bests.
Middle distance man Adam Kszczot, who is going to Gothenburg to defend his European indoor title over 800m, was on the start line of the 400m on Saturday and ran the second fastest time in the heats with 47.56 and satisfied with that result, did not show up for the final.
Concerning two of the notable absentees, two-time Olympic Shot Put champion Tomasz Majewski had elbow surgery last year and only resumed training in the middle of January while 2009 World Championships Pole Vault gold medallist Anna Rogowska preferred to concentrate on the forthcoming European Athletics Indoor Championships.
Janusz Rozum for the IAAF
Polish team for the European Athletics Indoor Championships (with season's best):
400m: Grzegorz Sobinski (47.14)
800m: Adam Kszczot (1:46.76)
1500m: Marcin Lewandowski (3:38.34), Bartosz Nowicki (3:39.65), Szymon Krawczyk (3:42.27)
3000m: Mateusz Demczyszak (7:57.99)
60m Hurdles: Dominik Bochenek (7.73)
Pole Vault: Piotr Lisek (5.50), Robert Sobera (5.50)
Long Jump: Adrian Strzałkowski (7.88)
4x400m: Grzegorz Sobinski, Lukasz Domagala, Marcin Grynkiewicz, Rafał Omelko, Michał Pietrzak
800m: Anna Rostkowska (2:03.67)
1500m: Danuta Urbanik (4:10.76), Katarzyna Broniatowska (4:11.59), Angelika Cichocka (4:11.79)
High Jump: Kamila Stepaniuk (1.92)
Pole Vault: Anna Rogowska (4.63)