Marcin LEWANDOWSKI

Athlete Profile

  • COUNTRY
    Poland Poland
  • DATE OF BIRTH
    13 JUN 1987
    ATHLETE'S IAAF CODE
    204111
Marcin Lewandowski of Poland looks on as he falls in the Men's 800 Metres semi final during day two - WIC Istanbul (Getty Images)

Outdoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
400 Metres 47.76 Bydgoszcz (POL) 31 JUL 2009
600 Metres 1:15.17 Birmingham (GBR) 24 AUG 2014
800 Metres 1:43.72 Monaco (MON) 17 JUL 2015
1000 Metres 2:14.30 Lausanne (SUI) 25 AUG 2016
1500 Metres 3:34.04 Monaco (MON) 21 JUL 2017
4x800 Metres Relay 7:08.69 Nassau (BAH) 24 MAY 2014
Distance Medley Relay 9:24.07 Nassau (BAH) 03 MAY 2015
4x1500 Metres Relay 15:05.70 Nassau (BAH) 25 MAY 2014

Indoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
400 Metres 48.29 Spala (POL) 21 FEB 2009
600 Metres 1:16.32 Gent (BEL) 13 FEB 2011
800 Metres 1:45.41 Birmingham (GBR) 18 FEB 2012
1000 Metres 2:17.67 Metz (FRA) 28 FEB 2014
1500 Metres 3:37.37 Birmingham (GBR) 15 FEB 2014

Outdoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
800 Metres 1:45.41 Shanghai (CHN) 12 MAY 2018
1500 Metres 3:35.06 Rabat (MAR) 13 JUL 2018

Indoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
400 Metres 48.92 Toruń (POL) 17 FEB 2018
800 Metres 1:46.90 Karlsruhe (GER) 03 FEB 2018
1500 Metres 3:37.67 Toruń (POL) 15 FEB 2018

Outdoor

400 Metres

Performance Place Date
2013 50.37 Białystok (POL) 25 MAY 2013
2009 47.76 Bydgoszcz (POL) 31 JUL 2009

Outdoor

600 Metres

Performance Place Date
2016 1:16.45 Birmingham (GBR) 05 JUN 2016
2014 1:15.17 Birmingham (GBR) 24 AUG 2014
2011 1:16.46 Pliezhausen (GER) 22 MAY 2011
2010 1:15.77 Pliezhausen (GER) 16 MAY 2010
2009 1:16.12 Pliezhausen (GER) 17 MAY 2009
2008 1:16.23 Pliezhausen (GER) 18 MAY 2008

Outdoor

800 Metres

Performance Place Date
2018 1:45.41 Shanghai (CHN) 12 MAY 2018
2017 1:44.77 Bruxelles (BEL) 01 SEP 2017
2016 1:43.73 Paris (FRA) 27 AUG 2016
2015 1:43.72 Monaco (MON) 17 JUL 2015
2014 1:44.03 Berlin (GER) 31 AUG 2014
2013 1:43.79 Zürich (SUI) 29 AUG 2013
2012 1:44.34 Hengelo (NED) 27 MAY 2012
2011 1:44.53 Bruxelles (BEL) 16 SEP 2011
2010 1:44.10 Rieti (ITA) 29 AUG 2010
2009 1:43.84 Monaco (MON) 28 JUL 2009
2008 1:45.84 Lausanne (SUI) 02 SEP 2008
2007 1:45.52 Hengelo (NED) 26 MAY 2007
2006 1:46.69 Szczecin (POL) 24 JUN 2006
2005 1:48.86 Bydgoszcz (POL) 06 JUL 2005
2004 1:51.73 Slubice (POL) 13 JUN 2004

Outdoor

1000 Metres

Performance Place Date
2016 2:14.30 Lausanne (SUI) 25 AUG 2016
2015 2:17.25 Ostrava (CZE) 26 MAY 2015
2014 2:15.79 Bruxelles (BEL) 05 SEP 2014
2011 2:15.76 Rabat (MAR) 05 JUN 2011
2010 2:17.29 Dubnica nad Váhom (SVK) 22 AUG 2010

Outdoor

1500 Metres

Performance Place Date
2018 3:35.06 Rabat (MAR) 13 JUL 2018
2017 3:34.04 Monaco (MON) 21 JUL 2017
2016 3:37.69 Zagreb (CRO) 06 SEP 2016
2015 3:52.06 Cheboksary (RUS) 20 JUN 2015
2014 3:38.19 Braunschweig (GER) 21 JUN 2014
2013 3:38.98 Toruń (POL) 21 JUL 2013
2010 3:40.38 Bielsko-Biala (POL) 10 JUL 2010
2009 3:44.39 Leiria (POR) 20 JUN 2009
2008 3:44.94 Szczecin (POL) 06 JUL 2008
2007 3:42.86 Wrocław (POL) 22 JUN 2007
2006 3:43.84 Warszawa (POL) 18 JUN 2006
2005 3:48.61 Bydgoszcz (POL) 05 JUN 2005

Outdoor

4x800 Metres Relay

Performance Place Date
2017 7:18.74 Nassau (BAH) 23 APR 2017
2015 7:09.98 Nassau (BAH) 02 MAY 2015
2014 7:08.69 Nassau (BAH) 24 MAY 2014

Outdoor

4x1500 Metres Relay

Performance Place Date
2014 15:05.70 Nassau (BAH) 25 MAY 2014

Outdoor

Distance Medley Relay

Performance Place Date
2015 9:24.07 Nassau (BAH) 03 MAY 2015

Indoor

400 Metres

Performance Place Date
2017/18 48.92 Toruń (POL) 17 FEB 2018
2008/09 48.29 Spala (POL) 21 FEB 2009

Indoor

600 Metres

Performance Place Date
2010/11 1:16.32 Gent (BEL) 13 FEB 2011

Indoor

800 Metres

Performance Place Date
2017/18 1:46.90 Karlsruhe (GER) 03 FEB 2018
2014/15 1:45.78 Stockholm (SWE) 19 FEB 2015
2013/14 1:45.56 Stockholm (SWE) 06 FEB 2014
2012/13 1:48.30 Düsseldorf (GER) 08 FEB 2013
2011/12 1:45.41 Birmingham (GBR) 18 FEB 2012
2010/11 1:46.17 Stuttgart (GER) 05 FEB 2011
2009/10 1:47.44 Stockholm (SWE) 10 FEB 2010
2008/09 1:47.52 Valencia (ESP) 14 FEB 2009

Indoor

1000 Metres

Performance Place Date
2013/14 2:17.67 Metz (FRA) 28 FEB 2014
2012/13 2:17.77 Stockholm (SWE) 21 FEB 2013
2010/11 2:19.21 Stockholm (SWE) 22 FEB 2011
2008/09 2:20.17 Stockholm (SWE) 18 FEB 2009

Indoor

1500 Metres

Performance Place Date
2017/18 3:37.67 Toruń (POL) 15 FEB 2018
2016/17 3:38.24 Toruń (POL) 10 FEB 2017
2014/15 3:38.68 Karlsruhe (GER) 31 JAN 2015
2013/14 3:37.37 Birmingham (GBR) 15 FEB 2014
2012/13 3:38.34 Birmingham (GBR) 16 FEB 2013
2011/12 3:37.76 Liévin (FRA) 14 FEB 2012
2010/11 3:40.24 Düsseldorf (GER) 11 FEB 2011
2009/10 3:40.56 Liévin (FRA) 05 MAR 2010

Honours - Olympic Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
6. 800 Metres 1:44.20 Rio de Janeiro (BRA) 15 AUG 2016

Honours - World Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
4. 800 Metres 1:44.08 Moskva (RUS) 13 AUG 2013
4. 800 Metres 1:44.80 Daegu (KOR) 30 AUG 2011
7. 1500 Metres 3:36.02 London (GBR) 13 AUG 2017
8. 800 Metres 1:46.17 Berlin (GER) 23 AUG 2009

Honours - World Indoor Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
2. 1500 Metres 3:58.39 Birmingham (GBR) 04 MAR 2018

Honours - IAAF World Relays

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
2. 4x800 Metres Relay 7:09.98 Nassau (BAH) 02 MAY 2015
2. 4x800 Metres Relay 7:08.69 Nassau (BAH) 24 MAY 2014
3. 4x800 Metres Relay 7:18.74 Nassau (BAH) 23 APR 2017

Honours - World (Continental) Cup

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
2. 800 Metres 1:44.81 Split (CRO) 05 SEP 2010

Honours - World U20 Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
4. 800 Metres 1:48.25 Beijing (CHN) 18 AUG 2006

Honours - European Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 800 Metres 1:47.07 Barcelona (ESP) 31 JUL 2010
2. 800 Metres 1:45.54 Amsterdam (NED) 10 JUL 2016
5. 800 Metres 1:45.78 Zürich (SUI) 15 AUG 2014

Honours - Diamond League

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 800 Metres 1:45.06 Stockholm (SWE) 06 AUG 2010

Honours - World Athletics Final

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
4. 800 Metres 1:49.40 Stuttgart (GER) 13 SEP 2008

Honours - European Indoor Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 1500 Metres 3:44.82 Beograd (SRB) 04 MAR 2017
1. 800 Metres 1:46.67 Praha (CZE) 08 MAR 2015
2. 800 Metres 1:48.23 Paris (FRA) 06 MAR 2011
4. 1500 Metres 3:39.19 Göteborg (SWE) 03 MAR 2013
6. 800 Metres 1:49.86 Torino (ITA) 08 MAR 2009

Honours - European Team Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 1500 Metres 3:53.40 Lille (FRA) 24 JUN 2017
2. 1500 Metres 3:52.06 Cheboksary (RUS) 20 JUN 2015
2. 800 Metres 1:50.13 Annecy (FRA) 22 JUN 2008
3. 1500 Metres 3:38.19 Braunschweig (GER) 21 JUN 2014
3. 1500 Metres 3:39.82 Gateshead (GBR) 22 JUN 2013
3. 800 Metres 1:45.74 Bergen (NOR) 20 JUN 2010

Honours - World Military Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 800 Metres 1:45.77 Rio de Janeiro (BRA) 22 JUL 2011

Honours - European U23 Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 800 Metres 1:49.94 Debrecen (HUN) 14 JUL 2007
2. 800 Metres 1:46.52 Kaunas (LTU) 18 JUL 2009

Honours - National Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 800 Metres 1:48.31 Bydgoszcz (POL) 26 JUN 2016
1. 1500 Metres 3:39.45 Bydgoszcz (POL) 24 JUN 2016
1. 1500 Metres 3:41.57 Szczecin (POL) 31 JUL 2014
1. 800 Metres 1:46.28 Bydgoszcz (POL) 12 AUG 2011
1. 1500 Metres 3:40.38 Bielsko-Biala (POL) 10 JUL 2010
1. 1500 Metres 3:44.94 Szczecin (POL) 06 JUL 2008

Honours - National Indoor Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 1500 Metres 3:48.05 Toruń (POL) 17 FEB 2018
1. 1500 Metres 3:49.11 Toruń (POL) 18 FEB 2017
1. 800 Metres 1:49.73 Toruń (POL) 22 FEB 2015
Results in:

400 Metres Indoor

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
17 FEB 2018 Toruń Polish Ind. Ch. POLPOL D H4 4. 48.92

800 Metres

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
12 MAY 2018 Shanghai IAAF Diamond League CHNCHN GW F 3. 1:45.41
19 MAY 2018 Cambridge adidas Boost Boston Games USAUSA E F 2. 1:46.11

800 Metres Indoor

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
03 FEB 2018 Karlsruhe Indoor Meeting GERGER A F 1. 1:46.90
06 FEB 2018 Düsseldorf PSD Bank Meeting GERGER A F2 4. 1:46.93
25 FEB 2018 Glasgow Müller Indoor Grand Prix GBRGBR A F 2. 1:47.50

1500 Metres

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
13 JUL 2018 Rabat Meeting International Mohammed VI D'Athletisme MARMAR GW F 9. 3:35.06
15 JUL 2018 London Athletics World Cup GBRGBR E F 1. 3:52.88

1500 Metres Indoor

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
10 FEB 2018 Gent IFAM Meeting BELBEL D F1 1. 3:40.74
15 FEB 2018 Toruń Copernicus Cup POLPOL A F 2. 3:37.67
17 FEB 2018 Toruń Polish Ind. Ch. POLPOL D F 1. 3:48.05
03 MAR 2018 Birmingham IAAF World Indoor Championships GBRGBR GW H1 4. 3:40.78
04 MAR 2018 Birmingham IAAF World Indoor Championships GBRGBR GW F 2. 3:58.39


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Compiled 31 August 2010

Marcin LEWANDOWSKI, Poland (800m)

Born: 13 June 1987, Szczecin
Lives: Police
1.80/64 kg
Coach: Tomasz Lewandowski

The Lewandowski brothers – Marcin and Tomasz – throw their weight behind each other. It’s only thanks to their cooperation that Marcin became an 800 metre European champion this summer in Barcelona. It’s based on simple rules – it’s honesty and trust that matter. If one of the parties fails the team falls apart. "Marcin knows I can survive without him," says Tomasz, six years Marcin’s senior and his coach.

Marcin runs, it’s been so forever. It’s one of the stories he doesn’t like to recall. It narrowly missed a tragic end. Marcin is seven. His friends play in the trees behind the school fence. It’s close to where his family lives, just across the street. Marcin runs, doesn’t pay attention to the traffic. He crosses the street and falls right under the wheels of a bus.

His mum is on the balcony, she sees the motionless body of a kid under the bus and calls to his elder son. And it’s only after several seconds that she realises Marcin was going to run to his friends.

"It’s good thing that the bus was about to stop but it hit me hard anyway. I spent a week in a hospital," Marcin says as we pass the same bus stop and go to the same playground he was rushing so much to sixteen years ago. We walk, not run, which is quite unusual for the European champ. "I still prefer to run. I force myself not to only when somebody walks with me. It’s the right thing to do," Marcin says.

The younger brother always tried to do whatever the elder did. Tomasz trained for soccer in Chemik Police club. When Marcin became big enough he joined the club too. He played as a midfielder and did what he knew best – run. From one penalty box to another. His teammates kicked the ball, he ran after it.

This is when the brothers’ ways parted. The Lewandowski family moved to a small village, Brzoski, and Tomasz moved to another city, Slubice, to train for long distance runs (5 and 10 kilometres). "I was 18, Marcin was 12. When I visited home he would sit on my back and I would do push-ups. Or climb to 12th floor with him on my shoulders," Tomasz recalls.

In primary school Marcin was such a good athlete that they made him compete in different sports. But it was one spring day in 2002 that determined his future. Marcin was 15 and his running shoes were too big. But after the 1000 metre race Tomasz, who was a minder of the students' group, couldn’t believe what happened. He called a friend, the one who’s part of their team today. "Listen, Junior made one kilometre in 2 minutes 40 seconds!" he yelled.

Three months later Marcin went to the national championships of his age group. He won his heat. In the second only one guy outran him by 0.02 seconds. "I brought back a medal, I liked it," Marcin said.

This is how he became a track athlete. Since the very beginning with Tomasz by his side. For two years the practice was nothing but fun. Rare fun. When Tomasz was visiting from his university they ran. "I taught him everything. How to move, how to breathe. All the basics," says the elder brother. But there was something more to his lessons.

"Tomek always said that I need to be good. Not a good athlete, but a good man," Marcin recalls.

For the last eight years they only fought twice. "One day, in his teenager years, Junior came up with the idea that he gives himself a mohawk, a punk haircut. He already had a local sponsor who was using his image. That would be unacceptable," Tomasz says.

Fight number two was about a car. Once Marcin wanted to spend all his savings for a huge BMW which in his brother's opinion he didn’t need.

"But these are meaningless things, we never fight on practice. This is where I rule," Tomasz says. Now, a husband and father of 2.5-year-old he tries to stay aside from Marcin’s youth problems and his private life. "I just want him to be the best 800 metres runner it the world. If he fails me, I can manage without him. I can pursue my science work. Marcin knows I put my life on hold for him for the last eight years. Instead of having fun with girls I travelled with him to training camps."

Marcin listens and nods. "He did a lot for me. But I owe him nothing. This is how we both see that. I train for myself and if I’d lie I hurt myself not him," Marcin says.

How is it possible to keep this perfect harmony in an athlete’s life, where emotions always fly high? Both brothers are quiet and righteous people. Real family guys. Before the race they pray. "When I was a soccer player, before the match I touched the turf and made a cross sign. Now I touch a tartan track. I learned from Tomek to trust somebody high above. I’ll take with humility whatever comes," Marcin explains his sport philosophy.

The brothers try to visit their parents every weekend when not at a meet or camp. Their youngest sister, 9-year old Klaudia, lives there too. Elder sister Ewa, who is 26, moved to Germany. "We do care very much for these family reunions, holidays. We don’t talk sport too much. But our parents always ask how it was last time," Marcin says.

His mum gets very emotional about his races. Dad not so much. During the Barcelona final, for the first 600 metres he was absolutely calm. He even advised his wife, 'Stop yelling, he can’t hear you anyway,' But as Marcin approached to the finish line his dad started yelling, waving and jumping like crazy. And he’s such a quiet man.

There would be no success for Marcin if it wasn’t for Tomasz, but the Lewandowski team is not just the two of them. There is another Tomasz, Jurkowski. A very important person, a soul-mate they know for 14 years. What they have in common is love for running and huge interest in why you have to train one way, not another. The fourth guy is Marcin Kiedrowicz, a former runner responsible for the website marcin-lewandowski.pl.

Jos Hermens takes care of Marcin’s career since 2006. The renown Dutch manager, who works with stars of track and field, took interest in the 19-year-old Pole during the Junior World Championships in Beijing. Now, after four years, Hermens may say it was a right choice.

There is one important person missing in the Lewandowski team, a nutritionist. Marcin practically is a vegetarian so things may be tricky. Sometimes before the race he eats just pasta. "When he lived in the school dormitory, once a week I made grocery shopping for him, so he didn’t starve to death. He would just stick to bread and jam. I’ brought him  dairy products, cereals, fruit. His room was the only one with a fridge. We made a special request for that," Tomasz recalls. He tries to raise his training skills constantly. He’s a graduated coach but he learns new things every day and looks for new methods all over the world. For many, his coaching style may seem weird. 

"In 800 metre run, coordination is important. If you lose rhythm and pace you lose energy and distance. Marcin need all round training," Tomasz says.

And Marcin gets it. Sometimes his coach asks him to dance. Dancing is good for keeping rhythm and a good break from running monotony. A few years back Marcin, with some other runners, joined an aerobic class. Dressed in lycra pants, they mingled with girls.

"You need variety. Training hard, pushing your limits day after day and trowing up after every practice is not the key," Tomasz explains. "Our methods work. For the whole eight years Marcin stayed injury free and never failed on important race. And he never even explored his limits. The reserves are huge."

The brothers are open for new challenges. Last winter they spent three weeks in Kenya, where they stayed in the house of Wilfred Bungei, the 800 metre Olympic champion from Beijing.

"That was a hit in the bull’s eye. I still harvest from that camp. There’s not a single flat road there, always ups and downs. It was good for my stamina. But also an invaluable school of life to live and train with Kenyan runners with an Olympic champ among them. I was let into a treasury of knowledge," Marcin says.

He became European champion on July 31st. Before the final he seemed calm but he was boiling inside. As was Tomasz.

When Marcin runs he is always on the stands in the special spot. When Marcin passes him he yells words with special meaning, tactic hints. "I never hear it. Or I do, but in my subconscious. And I always do what Tomek yells," Marcin says.

When he crossed the finish line in Barcelona, Tomasz just fell into his seat.  He was out of power and couldn’t even celebrate his greatest success. He felt relief it’s over.

He fell into his seat exactly as he did a year ago at the World Championships in Berlin. In the semis Marcin had his chances but fell on track, pushed by other runners. "I just buried my face in my hands. And our mum who was there too broke into tears," Tomasz recalls.

Just one month before the Barcelona Championships Marcin switched clubs. He left the school club Ósemka Police, founded years ago by his mum, and moved to a military club, Zawisza Bydgoszcz. He’s going to join the army to make a steady living.

So far it used to be hard at times, but they always have people they can count on. Chemical Factory Police SA used to help them a lot, but now is on the verge of bankruptcy. Marcin is an ambassador for Powerade. And there is Franciszek Jarecki. He’s in the steel trade but after business hours he’s a track and field fanatic. They met at the European Championships in Debrecen, Hungary, in 2007, where Jarecki was just a fan. After the race he congratulated Marcin, praised his professional approach and promised any kind of help if needed.

Soon after, the brothers found themselves in desperate need of a car. Tomasz’ car got stolen just one day after he bought it and they had to drive to the meet in Slovakia. Jarecki promised a car and a driver for the trip. Except the driver couldn’t make it. So it was just car, but no need to return it. Tomasz drives it till now.

There’s more stories like that. "In 2008 I didn’t qualify as an Olympic team coach. And I would die to go with Marcin to Beijing. Franciszek was my last chance. I called him and after a few minutes I had a flight ticket. We owe him the world and he never wanted anything in exchange," Tomasz recalls.

For an 800 metre runner, the best time for life achievements is right before thirty. At the London Olympics Marcin will be 25, in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, 29. He just needs to pay the price. Along with his girlfriend Magda, Tomasz, his wife Sylwia and son Oliwier.

"When he made his first step I found out over the phone from other end of the world where we trained," Tomasz says. "It’s a hard life for us and for our girls. We can only be grateful they keep supporting us. And they’re doing a great job." So far Marcin is a European champ. But he keeps running.

Personal Bests
400 m: 47.76 (2009)
800 m: 1:43.84 (2009)
1000 m: 2:17.29 (2010)
1500 m: 3:40.38 (2010)

Yearly Progression
2002: 1:57.84; 2003: 1:55.46; 2004: 1:51.77; 2005: 1:48.86; 2006: 1:46.69; 2007: 1:45.52; 2008: 1:45.84; 2009: 1:43.84; 2010: 1:44.10

Career Highlights
2005     7th    (1500)    European Junior Championships (Kaunas)      3:49.08
2006     4th     (800)     World Junior Championships (Beijing)            1:48.25
2007     1st     (800)     European U23 Championships (Debrecen)       1:49.94
2007     8th     (800)     World Student Games (Bangkok)                     1:47.94
2008     7s1     (800)     Olympic Games (Beijing)                         1:47.24
2008     4th     (800)    World Athletics Final (Stuttgart)                     1:49.40
2009     6th     (800)     European Indoor Championships (Turin)        1:49.86
2009     6th    (1500) European Team Championships (Leiria)             3:44.39
2009     2nd     (800)     European Athletics U23 Champs (Kaunas)     1:46.52
2009     8th     (800)     IAAF World Championships (Berlin)                 1:46.17
2010     3th     (800)     European Team Championships (Bergen)       1:45.74
2010     1st     (800)     European Athletics Championships (Barcelona) 1:47.07

Prepared by Rafal Kazimierczak and Marta Mikiel for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athlets’ project. Copyright IAAF 2010.