19 FEB 2009 General News

Sydney Olympic champion Skolimowska collapses and dies at age of 26

Kamila Skolimowska en route to her 74.73 Polish national record in Dubnica (Peter Jelinek)Kamila Skolimowska en route to her 74.73 Polish national record in Dubnica (Peter Jelinek) © Copyright

The IAAF and the athletics world today mourns the loss of Poland's Kamila Skolimowska (born 4 November 1982) who won the gold medal for the women’s Hammer Throw at the Sydney Olympics, and who died suddenly yesterday (18) at the age of 26.

Skolimowska collapsed at a training camp in Faro, Portugal and died in an ambulance on her way to hospital.

Skolimowska became the youngest ever Olympic Hammer Throw champion, man or woman, in Sydney 2000 at age 17 years and 331 days with a then personal best throw of 71.16 metres. It was the first time that the women's Hammer Throw had been staged at the Olympics.

The European Junior champion in 1997 (at age of 14) and the inaugural World Youth champion in 1999, between 1999 and 2001 she set five World junior Hammer Throw records. Skolimowska also won at the Goodwill Games and Grand Prix Final in 2001, and took gold at the European U23 title in 2003 and World University Games in 2005.

As well as her Olympic title as a senior athlete she also took the European silver medal in 2002 and four years later achieved the bronze medal at the continental championships. In 2006, she also achieved victory in the World Cup competition in Athens.

Skolimowska qualified for the Beijing Olympic final but then had no valid throws in the final itself.

Her personal best and national record was 76.83m (11 May 2007).

Agencies and IAAF