ATHLETICS Preview: Poland faces the world in IAAF World Indoor Tour in Torun

Polish sprinter Ewa Swoboda (Photo: Zorro2212 vai Wikipedia)

The third stop in the IAAF World Indoor Tour comes Wednesday in Torun (POL) for the Orlen Copernicus Cup. In case you were wondering, “Orlen” is the meet sponsor – an oil and gas refiner – and not directly related to Nicolaus Copernicus, the 16th Century astronomer and mathematician who was born in Torun!

There are several highlighted events, especially with Polish stars engaged with the best in the world:

Men’s 1,500 m: Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski, the 2018 World Indoor silver medalist, will be taking on the reigning World Indoor Champion, Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera. Still 19, Tefera ran 3:31.63 outdoors last season and if in shape, will be hard to beat. Defending Torun champ Teresa Tolosa (ETH: 3:34.77 in 2017) and teammate Aman Wote (ETH: 3:29.91 ‘14) are the other likely challengers

Men’s Pole Vault: A fabulous meeting of two great Polish vaulters and American star Sam Kendricks. The event has been hot indoors, and Poland’s Piotr Lisek – a two-time World Championships medal winner – has cleared 5.85 m (19-2 1/4) already and 2011 World Champion Pawel Wojciechowski made 5.80 m (19-0 1/4) in Lodz on Monday. Kendricks, the reigning World Champion, stands no. 2 in the world this year with his 5.86 m (19-2 3/4) make in the ISTAF indoor meet in Berlin (GER) last Friday.

Men’s Long Jump: Cuba’s Juan Miguel Echavarria had a rough time with his approach in Karlsruhe (GER) and both he and Sweden’s Thobias Nilsson Montler jumped a modest 8.08 m (26-6 1/4), with the Swede winning on his back-up jump. Echevarria says he’ll do better this time.

Women’s 60 m: Pole Ewa Swoboda won in Karlsruhe ahead of Dutch star Dafne Schippers, so now she gets to face Marie Josee Ta Lou (CIV), last year’s winner in Torun and the African Champion and Continental Cup champ. Ta Lou has run 7.05 indoors; Swoboda ran 7.08 in her heat last weekend, just 1/100th off her national record.

Women’s 800 m: Poland’s Sofia Ennaoui was the European 1,500 m silver medalist last season and has run 2:00.11 (‘15), but she will have her hands full with Britain’s European 1,500 m Champion, Laura Muir (1:58.69 ‘17 in the 800), Habitam Alemu (ETH: 1:56.71 ‘18), Swiss Selina Buchel (1:57.95 ‘15) and Kenyan Nelly Jepkosgei (1:58.96 ‘18).

There are some other interesting individual entries, including Germans Pam Dutkiewicz in the 60 m Hurdles, and Christina Schwanitz in the shot put. Look for results here.