Warsaw, PolandThe third edition of the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial, in Warsaw on Sunday, 19 August, was a highly successful one. On a hot and sunny afternoon and with top international athletes in attendance, an over-capacity crowd gathered in the Orzel stadium to honour of the memory of the late Olympic hammer champion from 2000.
Naturally, the most important event of the afternoon were the hammer throw competitions, where the Polish duo of Anita Wlodarczyk (76.70m) and Szymon Ziolkowski (76.5m) emerged as victors. Of the other events, the highlight of the competition was Reese Hoffa’s win over Tomasz Majewski in the Shot Put with a distance of 21.72.
The hammer throwers of both sexes competed together, with the male and female throwers alternating in the circle. The unusual format of the competition obviously did not faze Olympic silver medallist Anita Wlodarczyk. The Pole fully used the opportunity to get revenge on Tatyana Lysenko, the woman who beat her in the London final.
Wlodarczyk’s consistent series included no less than four throws over 75 metres, culminating in 76.70m in the fifth round. The Russian did not have her best day and was well beaten into second with a best of 73.91m. Poland’s number two thrower, Joanna Fiodorow, placed third with a solid 71.62m.
The men’s contest was somewhat more competitive, although no one matched Wlodarczyk’s distance metre for metre. Polish veteran Szymon Ziolkowski, champion of the same Olympic Games as Skolimowska, came through yet again to take the win. The winning throw of 76.52m came in the last round, although Ziolkowski already had the competition won at that point with an earlier 76.13m.
Two throwers who beat the Pole in the recent Olympic final finished just behind him on this occasion. Oleksiy Sokyrskiyy of Ukraine took second place with 75.73m and Kiril Ikonnikov of Russia finished third with 75.16m. Pawel Fajdek, third on the world list this year, had a less successful showing and finished off the podium with a best of 74.58m.
Again, Hoffa defeats Majewski
Other throwing events also provided competition of the highest standard. In a rematch between two Olympic medallists, Reese Hoffa easily took the win in the Shot Put. His excellent series included the four longest throws of the day, all beyond 21 metres. Having the competition wrapped up with 21.65m from the third round, the American nonetheless managed to improve once again on the last put, finishing with 21.72m.
Double Olympic champion Majewski was well beaten on this occasion, as the best he could do was 20.84m. The Canadian pair of Dylan Armstrong and Justin Rodhe took the next two places with the identical best of 20.63m.
Following the regular competition, the shot putters were back in the circle for another contest dubbed 'the Longest Put of the Year’. This time, a 5 kg shot was used. But, although the distances were much longer, the winner was the same. Hoffa came through to take first place with a last-round 25.20m. This time he was followed by Rodhe (24.68m), Majewski (24.54m) and Armstrong (24.36m).
Another man to avenge his Olympic loss was Piotr Malachowski in the discus throw. Fifth in London, on this occasion the Pole proved better than the Olympic bronze medalist Gerd Kanter. Malachowski took the victory with 65.53m in the fourth round, backing it up with two more throws which would have been good enough for the win.
The Estonian’s 63.92m was enough for the runner-up position, although not by much, as Benn Harradine and Lawrence Okoye took the next two places with 63.58m and 63.24m, respectively.
In the sprints, the performances were affected negatively by the headwind persisting throughout the afternoon, but the audience was nonetheless treated to several high-quality runs.
Parchment and Weir continue Jamaican momentum
In the 110m Hurdles, Olympic bronze medalist Hansle Parchment took a clear win in 13.34, a full 0.20 ahead of Ryan Wilson.
Another Jamaican with a bronze from London was equally dominant in the 200m. Warren Weir’s 20.49 got him to the finish line 0.46 before Polish champion Kamil Krynski.
European 400m champion Pavel Maslak was yet another clear winner with 45.10. This time it was a Jamaican, Edino Steele, who was well beaten, taking second place with 45.88.
The men’s 100m, in contrast, was a close race. Kemar Bailey-Cole, member of the Jamaican 4x100 metres squad in London, prevailed with 10.24, but Trinidad’s Keston Bledman, Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis and Zambia’s Gerald Phiri all finished within 0.05 off the winner.
Jeneba Tarmoh was the winner of the same distance on the women’s side with 11.30, as the European silver medalist Olesya Povh took second 0.11 behind the American.
In the longest men’s race of the meet, the 800m, it was the Polish duo of Adam Kszczot and Marcin Lewandowski who were expected to battle for the win. Kszczot attacked with 300 metres to go, but was unable to respond when the Kenyan 19-year-old Nicholas Kipkoech passed him on the final curve. The fading Kszczot was also overtaken by Lewandowski, who however was unable to make much of a dent in Kipkoech’s lead. The Kenyan thus took the race in 1:46.12 with the Poles finishing second and third.
The only jumping event included in the program was the men’s Pole Vault. With the wind affecting the vaulters, Britain’s Steven Lewis was the only man to master 5.63m, giving him the victory. Of the others, only Lukasz Michalski cleared 5.53m, which guaranteed him the runner-up spot.