Events & Meetings

Konrad Bukowiecki is a force to be reckoned with

  • News
  • Konrad Bukowiecki is a force to be reckoned with

Konrad Bukowiecki is 18 years old but such is his desire to reach the top he talks more like a veteran than a teenager.

Last summer, in the aftermath of winning the shot put at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, he was asked to assess his performance.

'I feel bad because I wanted to make the Polish (5kg shot) record of 23.23m but I was six centimetres short, so I don’t feel great,' said Bukowiecki. 'My main aim was to throw the record. The gold is a bonus but I don’t feel satisfied.'

One short paragraph, a handful of words, and an incredible insight into the focus and mind of one of the finest young talents in track and field who is setting himself targets where even gold itself is not enough.

The next step in his development will arrive when he takes to the shot put circle at the Ekí¤ngen Arena in Eskilstuna for the European Athletics Junior Championships between July 16-19, and he will do so after a sensational winter where he mixed it with the big boys of the event by finishing sixth, and in style, at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague.

In the Czech Republic, he managed to reach with the heavier 7.26kg shot 20.46m in both qualifying and in the final, a European Junior indoor record.

Watch Bukowiecki reach a European junior record of 20.46m in qualifying:

[VIDEO src='1276155' align='right']

Athletics runs in his family. His father, Ireneusz, is a former decathlete, who is his coach and the combination is taking the teenager to the greatest heights.

In Eskilstuna, it will need a brilliant effort from one of his rivals to halt Bukowiecki from adding this illustrious title to his roll of honours.

In 2013, he won gold at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Utrecht before along with his triumph last summer in Nanjing, he was also crowned IAAF World Junior champion in Eugene.

It is some step up from the junior ranks to the seniors, yet in Prague, the huge crowds at the 02 Arena saw a star in the making as he proved that age can be irrelevant if the quality is there in abundance.

He first broke the European Athletics Junior indoor record in the second round of qualifying where he was fifth overall before the final where he repeated the act with 20.46m with his first effort. He had only three more legal throws, but the consistency was impressive, as he reached 20.41m, 20.44m and 20.19m.

When you consider that gold was won with 21.23m by the double World champion David Storl, of Germany, it shows how close Bukowiecki is to matching the very best. Infact, he was only 20 centimetres off of bronze.

But in Storl, there perhaps lies his next target, and one that could be achieved in Eskilstuna, because the all-time European Athletics junior outdoor record with the 6kg shot of 22.73m - which is also a world junior record - is held by the German while Bukowiecki’s best is 22.06m.

Could he beat that in Sweden? He will surely be looking to do so, particularly because in January in Torun he threw 22.38m to break the World Junior indoor record of 22.35m which had been held by Storl since December 2009.

Storl himself won gold at the European Athletics Junior Championships in Novi Sad in 2009 and that is what the essence of this fabulous event is all about - the present and the future.

Across the decades the championships have produced a host of medallists who have progressed to become stars, and superstars, on the Olympic, World and senior European stage and Konrad Bukowiecki is on the path to joining an impressive list.

Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Broadcast Partner
Broadcast Partner
Preferred Suppliers
Supporting Hotel
Photography Agency