It was a historical triumph for the Polish team in the Silesian Stadium. After a hard-fought, close battle, thanks to the points scored in the final event, Poland defended their European team title!
Just as it happened yesterday, the victorious streak for Poland was kick-started by Pia Skrzyszowska. After her success in the flat sprint on Saturday, the Warsaw athlete emerged on top in the 100 metre hurdles.
– It was raning really hard during the warmup. Thankfully, the sunshine appeared just before the race and I felt everything would be OK. It was not a great race technically. I still have to adjust my technique, since I lose it technically over the hurdles when I’m too fast – that was the analysis coming from Skrzyszowska, who contributed 14 points to the team score over the weekend.
Kamila Lićwinko fully lived up to her role as the team captain. After an exciting duel with the Italian Alessia Trost, the high jumper from Białystok equalled her season’s best and ensured maximum points for the team.
– Technically my jumps today were not good, but I´m happy I was able to clear 1.94. I still need to correct the technical errors to achieve my goals. This is the last season of my career and I´m dreaming of clearing 2 metres! – Lićwinko said.
Paweł Fajdek matched the world record distance – the one belonging to Anita Włodarczyk. The hammer thrower coached by Szymon Ziółkowski proved he is back as a consistent 80-metre plus athlete once again by achieving a distance of 82.98. The result is both a European Athletics Team Championships record and a new world-leading mark!
– My best throw came in the third round. I`m just starting to feel all the work I did in the winter is being put to good use! If it wasn’t for the rain and the wet circle, I could still add to today`s distance – were Fajdek’s post-competition comments.
Matusiński’s Angels did not disappoint, either. Małgorzata Hołub-Kowalik, Kornelia Lesiewicz, Justyna Święty-Ersetic and Natalia Kaczmarek showed the Polish women’s relay is still a major force. In the Witches’ Cauldron, the Polish 4×400 metre team took the victory with 3:26.37. The time is a new European leading performance and another good omen before the Tokyo Olympic Games.
– The start was stressful. The French athlete false started, but I was nervous thinking it could have been me. But from that point on, we ran confidently. The girls showed real class here. Each of us has to be ready to run any leg on the team – Hołub-Kowalik said.
Justyna Święty-Ersetic was also part of the team, appearing in her first competion of the outdoor season.
I´m just happy to be back in competition. It was great to feel the emotion, the pre-race stress and to prove myself once again – said Święty-Ersetic, an ambassador of the European Championships in the Silesian Stadium.
The fifth Polish victory was the work of the pole vaulter Robert Sobera, who cleared 5.65.
– I was stressed before the competition, because the goal was not just the competition itself, but the points for the team. For some time I could not get back to my best because of a psychological block. Everything is going back to normal now and I hope to be reaching big heights – were Sobera’s words after the victory.
Magdalena Żebrowska also confirmed her recent good form in Silesia, earning a second place in the long jump with 6.58. Finishing in second place as well was the discus thrower Robert Urbanek.
– I would have liked to throw a longer distance, but the conditions did not allow for that – said Urbanek, whose best attempt was a 62.57.
Taking third place in the final event of the competition to ensure the overall victory for Poland was the men’s 4×400 metre team (3:03.43). Damian Czykier, after technical problems in the second half of the 110 metre hurdles race, took third as well with 13.65. A strong showing by the shot putter Klaudia Kardasz resulted in another third-place finish, with a distance of 18.17. Mateusz Borkowski took third in the 800 metre race in 1:46.66.
Marlena Gola’s personal best of 23.33 in the 200 metres was sufficient for fourth place. Finishing in the same position was the javelin thrower Klaudia Regin with 54.66. Just as it was in yesterday’s men’s competition, the German athlete, Christin Hussong, took the victory with a top-class mark. Her 69.19 is a new European Athletics Team Championships record. Krystian Zalewski placed fourth in the 3000 metre steeplechase with 8:40.57.
Taking sixth places were Karol Zalewski (21.19 in the 200 metres), Patryk Kozłowski (8:38.95 in the 3000 metres) and Renata Pliś (4:19.10 in the 1500 metres). The triple jumper Adrian Świderski (15.54) and Sylwia Indeka in the 5000 metre race (16:58.07) earned one point each for the team.
In the National Athletics Stadium, the Polish team earned a historic gold medal. The team in white and red defended the title it took two years ago in Bydgoszcz. Finishing close behind the winners overall were the teams from Italy and the UK. The Portuguese team, finishing in seventh, has to say goodbye to the Super League for now and will compete in the First League in two years’ time.
1. Poland 181.5
2. Italy 179
3. Great Britain & Northern Ireland 174
4. Germany 171
5. Spain 167
6. France 140
7. Portugal 97.5
The national partners of the European Athletics Team Championships Silesia 2021 are PKN ORLEN and Węglokoks. The official partner of the European Athletics Team Championships Silesia 2021 is Totalizator Sportowy, owner of the LOTTO brand.
The organisation of the European Athletics Team Championships Silesia 2021 has been supported financially by the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport.
Stadion Śląski Sp. z o.o.