News19 Feb 2009

Sydney Olympic champion Skolimowska collapses and dies at age of 26


Kamila Skolimowska en route to her 74.73 Polish national record in Dubnica (© Peter Jelinek)

The IAAF and the athletics world today mourns the loss of Poland's Kamila Skolimowska who won the gold medal in the women’s hammer at the Sydney Olympics, and died suddenly yesterday (18) at the age of 26.

Skolimowska collapsed at a training camp in Faro, Portugal and died in an ambulance on her way to hospital.

Born on 4 November 1982, Skolimowska became the youngest ever Olympic hammer champion, man or woman, in Sydney 2000 at the age of 17 years and 331 days with a then personal best throw of 71.16m. It was the first time that the women's hammer had been staged at the Olympics.

The European junior champion in 1997 at the age of 14 and the inaugural world youth champion in 1999, between 1999 and 2001 she set five world junior hammer records. Skolimowska also won at the Goodwill Games and Grand Prix Final in 2001, and took gold at the European Under-23 Championships in 2003 and World University Games in 2005.

As well as her Olympic title, as a senior athlete she also took the European silver medal in 2002 and four years later achieved the bronze medal at the continental championships. In 2006, she also achieved victory at the IAAF World Cup in Athens.

Skolimowska qualified for the Beijing Olympic final but then had no valid throws in the final itself.

Her personal best and national record was 76.83m, set in May 2007.

Agencies and IAAF

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