Ewa Swoboda delighted the home crowd as she ran a world leading 60m time of 7.00 and twice broke her own national record in a brilliant comeback performance at the Orlen Cup in Lodz on Friday (11), a World Athletics Indoor Tour Silver meeting.
Racing for the first time in eight months due to injury, the 2019 European indoor champion set the tone by powering home in 7.04 in her heat, only to improve in the final with a 7.00 clocking that put her equal third on the European all-time list alongside decorated Dutch pair Nelli Cooman and Dafne Schippers.
It was a poignant moment for the 24-year-old, who missed the opportunity to defend her Glasgow 2019 title on home soil in Torun last year due to coronavirus, before injury curtailed her Olympic Games.
Swoboda sent supporters and Polish television commentators into raptures as she floated along the track and looked different class in both of her runs. She smashed her national record of 7.07 - also a world indoor U20 record - set six years ago, which is equal to what was previously the fastest time in the world this year, set by American Mikiah Brisco in New York last week.
Olympic 100m champion Marcell Jacobs had to fight a little harder for his 6.49 victory. The Italian’s reactions weren’t the fastest but he hauled himself through and away from Michael Rodgers from the United States in a time that was just 0.02 off the Italian record he set in winning gold at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Torun last March.
Jacobs - who earlier ran 6.51 in his heat - might have been outshone by Swoboda on this occasion, but did still make it back-to-back wins following a triumph at last week’s ISTAF Indoor in Berlin meeting, having himself returned after taking time out following the Olympics.
Finland’s Reetta Hurske was another who impressed in Lodz also off the back of a win in the German capital as she swept away the 60m hurdles field in a lifetime best of 7.93.
The World University Games silver medallist had a great rhythm to her stride pattern as she came through, leaning across the line in a run that was incredibly close to the 7.91 Finnish record achieved by Nooralotta Neziri twelve months ago. France’s Cyrena Samba-Mayela is the only European to have run faster this year with 7.84 from Karlsruhe last month.
Remaining at the top of the European lists is Polish shot putter Konrad Bukowiecki. A best of 21.39 ensured the 2017 European indoor champion went two centimetres further than his performance last week in Spala, which inches him closer to the 21.45 world leading mark of Adrian Piperi of the USA who usurped Bukowiecki as world leader last weekend.
Elsewhere, the men’s high jump saw a clear win for 2019 European indoor silver medallist Andriy Protsenko as the 33-year-old Ukranian made it over 2.25m, compared to a next best of 2.18, from Mexico’s Erik Portillo.
Full results here.