Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News

Four world champions added to Silesia line-up 

Four more world champions have joined the line-up for the Lotto Kamila Skolimowska Memorial, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, in Chorzow, Silesia, Poland on 6 September - 50 days from today.

Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands, the 2015 and 2017 world 200m champion, 2017 world javelin champion Johannes Vetter of Germany, Swede Daniel Stahl, the 2019 world discus throw champion and the man he succeed, Lithuanian Andrius Gudzius, will all competing at the event for the first time.

“I am so much looking forward to racing again," said Schippers, who also took 200m silver at the 2016 Olympic Games. "I have never been to the Silesia meet before, but I hear great stories about this meet.”

Schippers will face local star Ewa Swoboda, who beat the Dutchwoman to the European indoor 60m title in 2019.

“This season is absolutely crazy – no Olympics, no European Championships, with the Diamond League meetings reduced to a minimum," Swoboda said. "It might turn out that the start in Poland will be my most important one this season. I’m very excited and I can’t wait for my duel with Dafne Schippers."

The pair will square off over 100m.

In the men's discus throw, the spotlight will be on Stahl and Gudzius, but local attention will fall on 37-year-old Piotr Malachowski, the 2015 world champion and two-time Olympic silver medallist who had planned to retire after this season. Instead, he is on the mend from a May knee operation and looking forward to returning to the ring in September.

"I planned to finish my sports career during this year’s Memorial honoring my friend Kamila Skolimowska," Malachowski said. "Life can be surprising, though, and because of the pandemic, I have prolonged my adventure with athletics for another year.

"This edition of the meeting will bring about really intense, Diamond League-level competition in my discipline. I am confident that we will provide a thrilling spectacle with Daniel Stahl and Andrius Gudžius, especially that the former has already thrown over 70 metres, and the latter over 68 metres.”

Vetter also brings strong credentials to the javelin competition. The German, whose 94.44m lifetime best from 2017 places him firmly in the No.2 spot all-time, followed up his 2017 global title with a bronze medal-winning performance in Doha last year.

Named in honour of the late 2000 Olympic hammer champion, the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial has always showcased top international stars, especially in the hammer. That tradition continues this year. Poland's four-time world champion Pawel Fajdek, who was already announced, will be joined by compatriot Wojciech Nowicki, the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist.

“Kamila Skolimowska Memorial is one of my favorite meetings," said Fajdek, who threw over 80 metres six times during the 2014 edition. "I have wonderful memories from the competition that commemorates my friend and fellow thrower, who died 11 years ago."

Keeping in line with local coronavirus pandemic restrictions, about 13,000 spectators, 25% of the stadium's capacity, will be admitted.

Organisers for World Athletics