Great competition at the Orlen Copernicus Cup!

Damian Czykier’s national record in the 60 metre hurdles and Ewa Swoboda’s spectacular victory in the 60 metres provided the highlights of Tuesday’s ORLEN Copernicus Cup Toruń 2022 meet. Poland’s prime indoor event is also one of seven meets comprising the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold series.

Czykier broke the Polish national mark with a time of 7.48. For the previous 23 years the record belonged to Tomasz Ścigaczewski. The time puts him fourth on the seasonal world lists. Czykier sped to victory in the final, ahead of countryman Jakub Szymański.

– This surpassed my expectations. I had a very hard preparatory season. Only those closest to me know how much it has cost me. I feel the best I ever have in my life, since it was a long journey. After the Olympics I wrote it was time for a change. The changes have led to this result. I believe this will set a new standard for me. I have opened a new chapter in my hurdling career – Czykier commented.

The competition finale was the women’s 60 metre race, featuring the season’s sensation Ewa Swoboda and the five-time Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah. The Pole came through for another win, with a time of 7.03. The performance is a new ORLEN Copernicus Cup meet record and another Polish runner, Pia Skrzyszowska, had an excellent run with 7.14, finishing third. 

– For two years I was not able to enjoy competing, now I am finally enjoying it and that’s great. What more could I want? And how does it feel to beat Elaine? Wow, defeating a great champion like her is incredible. She took three golds in Tokyo and I just beat her at 60 metres. Wow! – was Swoboda’s joyous reaction. The American Elijah Hall-Thompson was the winner of the men’s 60 metres, but another Polish sprinter scored an excellent result here, with Adrian Brzeziński third in 6.57.

The Dutchwoman Femke Bol did not let the Polish runners get in the way of her victory in the 400 metres. Finishing in second, just 0.05 outside Anna Kiełbasińska’s national record, was Natalia Kaczmarek, with Justyna Święty-Ersetic taking third place.

– It’s a great result, which would have been a national record until recently, but I know I could have gone even faster. I hope to do that in the coming competitions. Only two girls can go to Belgrade in the individual, so I need to make the team, which will be no easy business. If I make it, I want to set a new PB there – Kaczmarek said.

In an exciting shot put competition, taking place at the start of the meet, Konrad Bukowiecki confirmed his great form. In the third round Bukowiecki sent the shot out to 21.83, setting a world leading mark. Alas, in the fifth round the Croatian Filip Mihaljević went another centimetre farther and ended up with the victory, with the Pole in second place.

– Frankly speaking, after that put I thought I had the competition won. Toruń is great with its atmosphere. Many knowledgeable athletics fans show up and their support helps us achieve great results. Will I go even better at the World Championships? I need to – I train to get better all the time. I feel I am yet to show my full power this season – said Bukowiecki.

Finishing in fourth in the 800 metre race was Marcin Lewandowski, followed immediately by Adam Kszczot. Coming out on top was the Briton Elliot Giles.

– The atmosphere in Toruń will never change, it’s always great, that’s what the fans got us used to. I set off at a solid pace and was always close to the front today. I’m happy with that, since that was exactly my plan. It was one of the better indoor races of my career – commented Lewandowski, expressing his love of competing in front of the big crowd in Toruń.

Also finishing fourth in the women’s 800 metres was the top Pole Angelika Cichocka, achieving a World Indoor Championships qualifying mark in the process. 

– The goal was to aim for victory, not a particular time, and I knew that tactic should also produce a good mark. There is a lot more in store and I hope to improve by a second from one competition to another, as I did here. I am running faster than I was last year, so anything is possible – Cichocka stated.

Coming close to making the top three in the long jump was the local athlete Anna Matuszewicz representing the MKL Toruń club. The Pole set a new personal best with 6.44, also setting a new national U20 mark. She ended the competition only two centimetres down on the third-placed athlete. The victor of the competition was the Swede Khaddi Sagnia. Ernest Obiena of the Philippines was the winner of the pole vault, with the best Polish vaulter Piotr Lisek in fifth.

A world leading mark was produced in Toruń in the women’s 1500 metres through Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia, while her compatriot Lamecha Girma took the win in the men’s 3000 metres. Devynne Charlton of the Bahamas took the women’s 60 metre hurdles final. The best of the Poles here was Klaudia Wojtunik in seventh.

The ORLEN Copernicus Cup was the penultimate meet on the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold. The competition has been supported by PKN ORLEN, the city of Toruń and the Kujawsko-Pomorskie voivodeship.