Report20 Jun 2024

Fabbri, Hailu and Kaczmarek among meeting record-breakers in Bydgoszcz


Leonardo Fabbri in Bydgoszcz (© Adam Nurkiewicz)

Leonardo Fabbri, Freweyni Hailu, Natalia Kaczmarek and Andreas Kramer provided the standout performances of the Szewinska Memorial in Bydgoszcz, as meeting records took a tumble at the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting on Thursday (20).

Fabbri sent his shot out to 22.38m to win by more than a metre while fellow European champion Kaczmarek dominated the 400m in 49.86. Hailu, the world indoor champion, held off a strong challenge from Australia’s Linden Hall to win the 1500m in 3:58.59, and Andreas Kramer broke the Swedish record to win the men’s 800m in 1:44.08.

There was also a gripping pole vault competition, won by Ernest Obiena, while five-time world hammer champion Pawel Fajdek achieved his first victory of the season.

In the men's shot put, Fabbri led throughout and improved as the competition progressed. The world silver medallist from Italy opened with 21.54m, which would have ultimately been sufficient to win, but then improved to 21.92m and 22.03m.

After a foul in round four, he unleashed his best throw of the day, 22.38m, in round five before ending his series with 22.28m. Jamaica’s Rajindra Campbell was a distant second with 21.22m.

Freweyni Hailu in the 1500m in Bydgoszcz

Freweyni Hailu in the 1500m in Bydgoszcz (© Adam Nurkiewicz)

Hailu produced a controlled run to take the women’s 1500m. The Ethiopian stayed close to the pacemaker through the early laps, then maintained the tempo on the final lap. Hall was close behind Hailu and at one point moved on to her shoulder, but the world road mile silver medallist kicked on to win in 3:58.69 with Hall taking second in 3:58.96.

The first nine athletes finished inside the previous meeting record of 4:03.86, five of them setting PBs.

There was a similar flurry of PBs in the men’s 800m. After a swift opening lap, Algeria’s Mohamed Ali Gouaned took up the running and held the lead for a fair stretch before fatigue set in down the home straight. Kramer, the world indoor silver medallist, then came through to take the win in 1:44.08, breaking a meeting record that had stood for 13 years.

Gouaned was rewarded with a PB of 1:44.37 in second place with Morocco’s Abdellatif El-Guesse finishing third in 1:44.62. Czech teenager Jakub Dudycha, still an U20 athlete, set a senior national record of 1:44.82 in fourth.

Andreas Kramer wins the 800m in Bydgoszcz

Andreas Kramer wins the 800m in Bydgoszcz (© Adam Nurkiewicz)

Ten days after winning the European title in 48.98, breaking the long-standing Polish record that had been set by Irena Szewinska, Kaczmarek won the 400m in Bydgoszcz at a meeting held in Szewinska’s honour.

The world silver medallist set out strongly, but had 2019 world champion Salwa Eid Naser for company on the final bend. Kaczmarek managed to pull away down the home straight, though, and powered through the line in 49.86, the ninth sub-50-second clocking of her career and a 1.44-second improvement on the meeting record.

Naser was second in a season’s best of 50.32 and Romania’s Andrea Miklos was third in 50.99.

While three meeting records were broken by comfortable margins, another was equalled as New Zealand’s Zoe Hobbs won the 100m convincingly in 11.17 (0.4m/s).

Obiena scales 5.97m, Fajdek back on top

World silver medallist Ernest Obiena won an enthralling pole vault contest from Greece's Emmanaouil Karalis.

The Asian record-holder was the early leader, clearing first time at 5.55m and 5.75m. Karalis and Poland's Piotr Lisek were the only other vaulters to go clear at 5.75m, doing so on their second tries.

Karalis then got over 5.82m on his first try to take the lead, with Lisek exiting the contest and Obiena going clear on his second attempt. Obiena regained the lead with a first-time clearance at 5.87m, which Karalis passed, but the Greek hit back by vaulting 5.92m, a height that Obiena opted against. The vaulter from the Philippines then got over 5.97m, again with his first try, then both men ended with three unsuccessful attempts at 6.02m.

Five-time world hammer champion Pawel Fajdek hit his best form of the year so far to gain revenge on the three men who made the podium at the recent European Championships.

The Pole’s opening throw of 79.43m added almost two metres to his season’s best and stood up as the best mark of the competition. Olympic and European Wojciech Nowicki came closest to Fajdek’s lead, throwing 77.91m in round five to overtake European bronze medallist Mykhaylo Kokhan (77.84m).

Matheus Lima continued his breakthrough in the 400m hurdles. The Brazilian, who turned 21 earlier this month, had broken 49 seconds just once prior to today, but he took another chunk off his PB to win against a quality field.

Lima had a marginal lead as he entered the home straight but then pulled away from his opponents to cross the line in 48.31, just 0.08 shy of the meeting record. Fast-finishing Tom Barr was second in a season’s best of 48.79.

Irish record-holder was a similarly convincing winner of the women’s 100m hurdles in 12.74. Slovakia’s Viktoria Forster and Poland’s Marika Majewska were tied in second with 12.96.

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