The Irena Szewinska Memorial is a meeting done in honor of the most medaled Polish athlete in sports history. Irena Szewinska is the only human, man or woman, to hold 100m, 200m, and 400m world records. In Olympics, European Outdoors and Indoors Champs and Universiade, Irena Szewinska took 12 golds, 5 silvers, and 8 bronzes.
Irena Szewinska Memorial
The Irena Szewinska Memorial took place in Bydgoszcz, Poland on Wednesday 19 August. Bydgoszcz is a city of 350,000 in Eastern Poland, which has long associations with track and field. I attended the European Teams competition last year where a large and knowledgeable crowd supported the event.
The highlight of the event was the pole vault and I am delighted to report that Sam Kendricks and his poles are happily re-used – I mean his vaulting poles, not his fellow athletes Piotr Lisek and Pawel Wojciechowski, although he was also re-united with them. Anyhow, Sam and Piotr each vaulted 5.80 with Sam winning on countback.
Mondo Duplauntis was not in the field, I assume because Mrs Duplantis who drove 2,000 miles from Sweden to Monaco so that he could compete there and is now driving back to Sweden so that he can compete in Stockholm on Sunday, was unwilling to make a detour via Poland.
Jemma Reekie is at it again, winning the 1500 in 4:09.01. I am not interested in the time. What has impressed me throughout 2020 is Reekie’s ability to race. Her twitter comment was “Nice win tonight” – what else is there to say? Amy Griffiths was fourth (4:12.38) and Erin Wallace (also coached by Andy Young) fifth in a PR of 4:12.57. Three Polish ladies ran PRs which underlies the importance of these meets for local athletes. Seventeen year-old, Kornelia Lesiewicz, won the 400m in 52.86, again one of three Polish PRs in the race.
Eliot Giles took control of the men’s 800, winning in 1:46.18. Two other British athletes were in the race with Kyle Langford sixth in 1:46.45 and Guy Learmonth tenth in 1:47.21. The women’s 800 saw a tight finish with seven athletes separated by three quarters of a second.
Noelie Yarigo won in 2:00.11 with Sofia Ennaoui second in 2:00.26. Laura Muir (2:00.34) was third and Alexandra Bell, another GB athlete, fourth (2:00.40)
Ajla Del-Ponte won the 100m, as she had done in Monaco. With a prelim and final, Britain’s Darryl Neita was able to run two season’s bests, including 11.31 in the final. Rabah Yousif won the men’s 400 in 46.39 and Cameron Fillery the 110h in 11.55.
Matthew Ramsden from Australia won the 2000m in 4:55.44. Piers Copeland (GB) was fourth in 4:57.61 with another Brit, Sol Sweeney eighth in 5:06.26. Yuliya Levchenko won the high jump with a 2 meter leap from her fellow Ukrainian, Yaroslava Muhuchikh (1.97). But I wonder what odds you would have got against two ladies from St Lucia coming third equal. Come to think of it, that probably represents a significant proportion of the island’s population.
A good event with a nice balance of national and foreign athletes.
Stuart Weir in Oxford