News01 May 2021

Szewinska souvenirs on show in Silesia


Heritage display of Irena Szewinska artefacts and images in Silesia (© World Athletics Heritage)

The career of Irena Szewinska – the only athlete to have set world records in the 100m, 200m and 400m – is being honoured in a heritage display in Chorzow’s Silesia Stadium during the World Athletics Relays Silesia 21.

Polish heroine Szewinska, who died in 2018, is one of the world’s greatest ever combination sprint and long jump athletes, winning seven Olympic medals including three golds, in a career which stretched across five Games from 1964 to 1980.

Szewinska equalled her own 200m world record of 22.7 in an international match against the Soviet Union in Chorzow on 1 July 1967. This was one of five non-ratified marks in addition to eight official world records which she achieved in her life.

Szewinska was an especially distinguished relay runner, garnering Olympic and European titles at 4x100m in Tokyo 1964 and Budapest 1966 respectively.

On display this weekend in Chorzow are souvenirs loaned by her husband and coach Janusz Szewiński. These include two pairs of spikes and a tracksuit, alongside a stunning gallery of pictures of his late wife, photographed by Janusz.

Also on show is a signed shirt from another Polish Olympic champion Anita Wlodarczyk, the world record-holder in the hammer.

Szewinska’s spikes from her gold medal 400m world record victory in Montreal 1976 are on display in the Museum of World Athletics.

Chris Turner for World Athletics Heritage