The times when Polish runners were some of the fastest in the world are long gone. In recent years, with a few exceptions, Polish athletes have also had trouble jumping very high or very far. But they have maintained their skill in one type of event – throwing things a long distance.
Courtesy of Piotr-Malachowski.pl
The IAAF World Championships in Moscow proved this, with Polish athletes winning their only medals so far in throwing events.
Paweł Fajdek opened the medal haul for Poland, winning the gold in the hammer throw. For the 24-year-old athlete it constituted the biggest success of his career so far, and the only medal he has earned in senior competition. Mr Fajdek threw the 7.26-kilogram metal ball and cord 81.97 meters, his personal best. The contest proved to be a true passing of the torch, as another Pole, 37-year-old Szymon Ziółkowski, a former Olympic and world champion, placed ninth in what was probably his last world championship competition.
Piotr Małachowski earned a silver medal in the discus, with a throw of 68.36 meters. Mr Małachowski was one of the favorites to land the gold, since he recently became the only thrower this year to launch the discus more than 70 meters. However, he was defeated in Moscow by Germany’s Robert Harding.
Anita Włodarczyk won a third medal for Poland, receiving the silver in the hammer throw. Ms Włodarczyk’s best result in the competition was 78.46 meters, just 34 centimeters behind gold-medal winner Tatyana Lysenko. Though it only got her second place, the throw was impressive – it was the fourth best throw in women’s hammer-throw history, and a Polish national record.
The biggest disappointment so far has been another thrower, Tomasz Majewski. The reigning Olympic shot-put champion threw 20.98 meters. While this was his best result so far this season, it only placed him sixth.
Fans of Polish track and field will see the three medals as a success, however. Two years ago, at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, only Paweł Wojciechowski came back with a medal – a gold in the pole vault.
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