Updated 3 August 2008
Anna ROGOWSKA, Poland (Pole Vault)
Born 21 May 1981, Gdynia
1.70m / 52kg
Coach: Jacek Torlinski (husband)
Club: SKLA Sopot
When Anna Rogowska went to Athens for her first Olympic competition, the average fan of sport in Poland didn’t know who she was. Then the whole country watched her fight hard against the Russians, Yelena Isinbayeva and Svetlana Feofanova, in the women’s Pole Vault, before she finally won the bronze medal.
Rogowska started her sporting activities as a 100m Hurdler in Sopot, but she changed quickly to the Pole Vault and joined Edward Szymczak’s specialist group in Gdansk, which already included Monika Pyrek. This duo began a hard rivalry, so in a short time it was clear there was one star too many around Szymczak.
For that reason, Pyrek moved to Szczecin, whereas Rogowska decided to go away with her sweetheart, Jacek Torlinski, who soon became her personal coach in the SKLA of Sopot club and married Anna. The couple can be found almost every day in one of the most beautiful park stadiums in Poland. Rogowska, a blonde Venus, is always surrounded by hordes of fans because of her exceptional beauty and great popularity in sport.
In contrast to Isinbayeva, Rogowska has never been a gymnast, so she is trying to practise many gymnastic elements now. It seemed after the 2004 Olympic Games that Rogowska was the only pole vaulter capable of beating the Russian queen but some technical difficulties arose and she was unable to do so. Instead she was losing competitions, very often no-heighting.
Torlinski was trying to find a solution, but his wife still had problems, partly in her mind. In 2007, the couple decided to consult the famous Russian coach, Yevgeniy Trofimov, who had coached Isinbayeva to World and Olympic titles. Anna and Jacek went to Volgograd for two months and she kept training there under the eye of both coaches.
Unfortunately, nothing was resolved. After returning to Poland, Rogowska added one more “zero” to her competitive collection. At the World Championships, in Osaka, she placed only eighth, deeply below expectations.
In 2008, the former World Indoor Championships runner-up has performed much better, approaching the Olympic Games, in Bejing, with a season’s best of 4.66. “I’m ready to fight for medals once again,” said Rogowska, the only Polish track and field athlete to sign a personal contract with Nike. She has been plagued by different leg injuries for two years but, after undergoing surgery in Munich, all health problems disappeared.
4.83 NR (2005); 4.80i NR (2006)
1997: 2.60; 1998: 2.90; 1999: 3.40; 2000: 3.60; 2001: 3.90; 2002: 4.40; 2003: 4.47; 2004: 4.71; 2005: 4.83; 2006: 4.70/4.80i; 2007: 4.60/4.72i; 2008: 4.66
2002 q European Indoor Championships (Vienna) 4.20
7th European Championships (Munich) 4.30
2003 6th World Indoor Championships (Birmingham) 4.35
3rd European Under-23 Championships (Bydgoszcz) 4.35
7th World Championships (Paris) 4.45
2004 7th World Indoor Championships (Budapest) 4.40
3rd Olympic Games (Athens) 4.70
3rd World Athletics Final (Monaco) 4.60
2005 2nd European Indoor Championships (Madrid) 4.75
1st European Cup, Super League (Florence) 4.60
6th World Championships (Helsinki) 4.35
7th World Athletics Final (Monaco) 4.35
2006 2nd World Indoor Championships (Moscow) 4.75
2007 3rd European Indoor Championships (Birmingham) 4.66
8th World Championships (Osaka) 4.60
2008 6th World Indoor Championships (Valencia) 4.55
2nd European Cup, Super League (Annecy) 4.66
Prepared by Maciej Petruczenko for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2008