Konrad Bukowiecki, winner of the shot put (© AFP / Getty Images)
Poland's Konrad Bukowiecki proved he is well on track to take shot put gold at the IAAF World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016 when throwing a whopping 22.29m to win the Polish U20 Championships in Suwalki on Sunday (3).
The 19-year-old's performance with the 6kg implement proved the highlight of the three-day event which saw Poland's best teenage athletes hoping to prove their form ahead of the championships in Bydgoszcz, which take place from July 19-24.
Bukowiecki started 2016 in outstanding form, throwing a world U20 indoor record of 22.48m in Torun and he has continued that dominance outdoors when throwing a world U20 best with a senior implement (7.26kg) of 21.14m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Oslo.
In Suwalki on Sunday, he opened with a relatively modest put of 20.45m, fouled his next two attempts, then threw 21.60m in the fourth round before unleashing his winning effort of 22.29m in the fifth.
It was enough to give him a comfortable victory over runner-up Szymon Mazur, who had a best of 19.71m, and means Bukowiecki now holds the four best throws in the world this year by an U20 athlete, with his closest rival ahead of Bydgoszcz being Romania's Andrei Toader, who has a best of 21.15m.
On Friday Bukowiecki finished runner-up in the discus, his best throw of 55.64m coming up short against the 57.67m thrown by Oskar Stachnik.
World U20 lead for Konieczek in steeplechase
Elsewhere, Aneta Konieczek ran the fastest time in the world this year by an U20 athlete in winning the women's 2000m steeplechase, her time of 6:35.65 taking five seconds off the previous world U20 lead of 6:40.58 by Anna Mark Helwigh of Denmark. Konieczek came home well clear of Daria Maik, who was runner-up in 6:56.08.
The men's 400m final proved a close contest with five athletes dipping below 48 seconds, the title going to Tymoteusz Zimny in 47.14. The men's 110m hurdles was won by Dawid Zebrowski in a 13.58 (1.5m/s).
In the men's long jump, Jakub Andrzejczak launched himself into medal contention in Bydgoszcz by setting a PB of 7.86m (1.6m/s) to take the title with ease.
Klaudia Maruszewska threw a PB of 52.02m to win the women's javelin, while Anna Niedbala launched a PB of 15.75m to edge victory in the women's shot put from Maja Slepowronska, who also made a breakthrough with her best effort of 15.69m.
Another to impress was Agnieszka Kaszuba, who cleared 4.10m to win the women's pole vault. Aleksandra Nowakowska took a marginal victory in the women's high jump, her best clearance of 1.77m giving her a two-centimetre victory ahead of Julia Dutkiewicz.
There was also a horde of Australian athletes in action at the event, with Alexandra Hulley one of those to triumph on foreign soil, her 62.41m throw in the hammer giving her victory ahead of Poland's Kinga Lepkowska (58.32m).
Cathal Dennehy for the IAAF