Poland’s Natalia Kaczmarek took her second big win in three days in the 400m at the Janusz Kusocinski Memorial in Chorzow, a World Athletics Continental Tour Silver meeting, on Sunday (4) afternoon.
Less than 48 hours after her maiden Diamond League victory at the Golden Gala in Florence on Friday night, Kaczmarek won the 400m in the Slaski Stadium in a season’s best of 50.02, the third fastest time of her career so far.
Kaczmarek is no stranger to competing - and winning - in the Slaski Stadium. The European silver medallist won the 400m and 4x400m at the 2021 European Athletics Team Championships and the 25-year-old looks destined to feature in Poland’s team at this year’s competition which returns to the very same stadium in Silesia from 20-25 June.
Kaczmarek won by almost an entire second from Austria’s Susanne Gogl-Walli who also broke new ground. She broke the 51 second-barrier for the first time with 50.90 which brings the late Karoline Kafer's venerable national record of 50.62 from 1977 into view.
Piotr Lisek also continued his resurgence with victory in the pole vault on countback from world and Olympic silver medallist Chris Nilsen. Lisek’s first-time clearance at a season’s best of 5.82m proved crucial in determining the outcome.
Olympic champion Wojciech Nowicki took the victory in the hammer with 80.00m ahead of Rudy Winkler from the United States with 78.29m and the despite the retirements of Adam Kszczot and Marcin Lewandowski, Polish middle distance running still looks in good health as Filip Ostrowski defeated a strong field in the 800m in 1:45.67.
One of the non-European highlights was the 100m with Cote D'Ivoire's perennial global medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou winning in 10.82 ahead of European indoor 60m silver medallist Ewa Swoboda who clocked 11.07 after setting a lifetime best of 11.03 in the heats on her season’s debut.
The meeting also had the rare spectacle of a dead heat in the 100m hurdles between Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn from Puerto Rico and Alaysha Johnson from the United States who both clocked 12.42 and couldn’t be separated on a photo finish.
In third, Natalia Christofi smashed her national record for Cyprus with 12.84 - her first ever sub-13 second clocking.
Lillefosse wins at home in Bergen
Home favourite and European bronze medallist Pal Haugen Lillefosse produced one of many Norwegian victories at the Trond Mohn Games in Bergen, a World Athletics Continental Tour Silver meeting, on Saturday (3) evening.
Lillefosse, who was born in Bergen and competes for local club Fana IL, cleared 5.72m for a clear victory in the pole vault, winning by 40 centimetres from Finland’s Urho Kujanpaa.
Fresh from a lifetime best in the 1500m in Oordegem last Saturday, Narve Gilje Nordas doubled the distance to win the 3000m in 7:43.94 from Sweden’s Emil Danielsson in 7:45.98 and Tobias Grønstad won a competitive 800m in 1:46.61 from Australia’s Joseph Deng in 1:46.70.
There was also a popular victory for the very promising and multi-talented 19-year-old Henriette Jæger. Fourth in the 400m at the World Athletics U20 Championships last year and also an accomplished combined eventer, Jæger won the rarely-contested 300m in 36.62.
The biggest upset of the day came in the men’s hammer in which Norway’s Olympic silver medallist Eivind Henriksen had to settle for the runner-up spot behind his teammate Thomas Mardal - 77.46m to 76.09m.
Meanwhile, the women’s hammer produced the best performance of the day from an international standpoint. Brooke Anderson from the United States, one of only three women to have broken the 80 metre-barrier, won the event with 76.08m.