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The short history of European Athletic Festival


The first World Youth Championships in the history of athletics were great and very successful trial to bring 17 years old and younger athletes to the sport competition. Bydgoszcz was hosting over 1000 athletes from 107 countries from all the continents. There were many new sport stars born, ie. Jacques Freitag, RSA high jumper. Gold medal in hammer throw won Kamila Skolimowska, who then repeated her achievement on summer Olympic Games in Sydney.


This year is best remembered by men representation of Poland. In the Zawisza stadium, led by Marcina Urbaś, they won European Cup 1st League  and promoted to Super League. They repeated the success from Bydgoszcz the next year in Brema. They won there European Cup, being the first from eight the best old continent athletic teams.


This is the first European Relays Festival, meeting, the main attraction of which was to be competition in relays. Undoubtedly they were very exciting, but the most shining personality in these days was Olympic champion Robert Korzeniowski. He walked 5 km accompanied by the rhythm of the music. Standing publicity watched him while listening to Radetzkyego march. In the first edition of Bydgoszcz meeting we could see the great shape of Paweł Czapiewski, who knocked-out the competition in 800 m. The same year in the championships of Poland, Monika Pyrek broke the European record in pole vault women.. After seven days it was broken again by Swietłana Fieofanowa.


II European Relays Festival has brought to Bydgoszcz many more foreign athletic stars. The most expected was to be 800m runner Wilson Kipketer. He didn't yet appear on the track, but became an honor guest. In 100 i 200 m sprints there were competing stars like Dwain Chambers and Marlon Devonish. Very strong was also 110 m H. In this were running Shaun Bownes from RSA, the finalist of Olympic Games from Sydney, and Swedish Robert Kronberg. Our Paweł Januszewski had difficult task in 400 m H. His rivals were stars like Kemel Thompson from Jamaica and Jizi Muzik from Czech Republic. The same year Bydgoszcz was also hosting European Cup Super League Combined Events .


European Championships under 23 are continuing the cycle of important annual athletic events in Bydgoszcz. The stars were this time two young athletes - Russian Jelena Isinbajewa and Swedish Caroline Kluft. In Bydgoszcz they won gold medals in pole vault and long jump. Good-looking athletes enslaved thousands of fans, who also admired the victories of Polish, ia. Marka Plawgo in 400 m H.
Regarding the high costs  of organizing the events which include  relays, the formula of European Relays Festival was a little bit changed. The relays were not totally abandoned, but their number was widely limited, and the meeting also changed its name to European Athletic Festival.


European Cup Supeleague has brought to the Zawisza stadium the biggest number of athletic stars ever. Not only the competing ones, ie. famous hurdles runner Colin Jackson was the tv commentator. The Polish men representation was third in this EC. It was only one point after second France,  and 3,5 point after the wining Germany. The Polish women representation was fifth.


On the 5th of June was held the 5th edition of European Athletic Festival- Domar Bydgoszcz Cup. The sport stars among women were ia. Sandra Glover and Zhanna Block, among men Yuri Bilonog and Ivan Tikhon. In July (2 and 3) there was held European Cup Combined Events.


On the 1st of June VI European Athletic Festival Bydgoszcz Cup became historical as for the first time in the new EAA Premium Meeting category and with this it promoted to exclusive group of most important European athletic events.


Dolcan Cup meeting confirmed the announcement and was named the best in the history of Polish athletics and in the EAA rankings. The best result in the world in the hammer throw, Blanka's Vlasić record in high jump, a great result of Marek Plawgo. These results ensured that the European Athletic Festival was found the best of seven hitherto competitions.


VIII Festival has gained in importance in a particular way - was the first official competition held at the city modernized stadium. Another time, reputation of the Bydgoszcz event brought together the best athletic stars from around the world and more than 10 thousand viewers. The historical result was achieved in pole vault men, with Yevgeniy's Lukyanenko 6.01 m.


The end of Marek Plawgo's dominance at 400 meters hurdles at the Bydgoszcz stadium. The Pole invincible at Bydgoszcz track and Olympic champion from Athens, Felix Sanchez, were reconciled by the winner, Louis Van Zyl from RSA. Tomasz Majewski did not disappoint, although he made the winning shot put in the last round. He won, as well as in the pole vault, representing the host, Lukasz Michalski who with 5.71m made his PB. At 3000 m steeplechase women the result of 9.23,33 achieved by Yuliya Ivanova-Zarudneva was the best at that time in the world.


X Festival was not only the Jubilee but also the record one. On the 6th of June the World Champion Anita Włodarczyk broke the world record in the women's hammer throw with a phenomenal result of 78,30 m. Additionally a very high competition level could be noticed in the shot put men, 3000 m SC and 400 m H. Five new meeting records were achieved.


The eleventh edition of the Enea Cup European Athletics Festival in Bydgoszcz highlights: Phillips Idowu won the Triple Jump with a wind-aided 17.52m, and Adam Kszczot, who battled through to take the 800m in 1:44.30. Kszczot maintained a strong pace until the end, finishing in 1:44.30, a big new personal best, and the first time he ever broke 1:45. Lewandowski achieved his best time of the season with 1:44.61. With this race, the Polish runners went into first and second place on this year's European performance list.


XII European Athletics Festival was a great opportunity for the polish athletes to achieve a good result and get a minimum qualification for the Olympic Games in London. The minimum achieved three competitors: Lukasz Michalski (1st in the pole vault), Anna Jesien (4th in the 400m hurdles), Joanna Fiodorow (1st in the hammer throw and PB 74,18m). In the women’s 400m hurdles, the winner Vania Stombolova set the new meeting record with 54,08. In addition, the meeting records were in the women’s runs at 400m (Olha Zemlyak) and 800m (Marilyn Okoro).


16 year old from UKS Czworka Zory Ewa Swoboda, defeating more experienced rivals, set a new junior polish record in the 100m with 11.55. In the 800m our athletes set six personal bests, over 300 meter finish was won by Szymon Krawczyk (KS AZS AWF Wroclaw) with 1:48.33. In the pole vault the winner was Mareks Arents (5.50), second were both Adam Lisiak (5.40 PB) and Lukasz Michalski. At the distance of two laps the fastest was the Eglė Balčiūnaitė, fifth in the World Indoor Championships 2010.


The 14th edition of EAF was held on the 3rd of June. Despite the bad weather there was several valuable results at the stadium. The American LoLo Jones did not disappoint, she won the 100m hurdles reaching the time of 12.90. Despite the strong wind the pole vaulters Robert Sobera and Piotr Lisek achieved the minimum for the European Championships in Zurich (5.65m). Dariusz Kuc won the 100m with a time 10.29, which is better by 0.06 than the Polish Athletic Association’s indicator. Third place in the 110m hurdles won Dominik Bochenek (13.62) and got the promotion to the European Championships. An interesting fact was that the European Athletics Festival took place in two cities. On the 1st of June at the “Inowroclawskich Olimpijczykow” stadium two competitions took place – women discus throw and triple jump.


The world champion from Daegu (2011) Pawel Wojciechowski jumped over the bar at 5.80 and was close to improve the national record. Anita Wlodarczyk threw the hammer at 74.29m. Marika Popowicz triumphed in the 100m with her PB and the minimum for the World Championships in Beijing – 11.28. Kamila Przybyla set the polish junior record at 4.30m. Kamil Masztak beat his PB after 8 years (100m in 10.45s.). In the 400m hurdles Patryk Dobek took the lead at the last hurdle and won with time of 49.38. Anyika Onuora set the new meeting record in 400m (51.97).


The 16th European Athletics Festival “Bydgoszcz Cup” went down in the history as the first meeting played out at two venues. On the first day the pole vault competition was held on the Mill Island, in the middle of the city. The weather was windy, but the pole vaulters handled with it. The winner was Robert Sobera (5.60m), second was Karsten Dilla and third place belonged to Pawel Wojciechowski and Piotr Lisek (5.40m). At the Zawisza stadium Pawel Fajdek reached the 81.71m in the hammer throw in his last attempt. It gave his almost 3 meters advantage on the world list. Konrad Bukowiecki won the shot put competition with mark of 20.83m. Tomasz Majewski was the second and it was his last performance at the stadium in Bydgoszcz in his career. Karolina Koleczek (100m hurdles) was close to achieve the minimum for the Olympic in Rio, but she was lack of 0.01 and correct wind. The race was won by Christina Manning (12.84).


The 17th “Bydgoszcz Cup” took place for the second time in two locations. On the first day there was a shot put competition in the Old Market. Konrad Bukowiecki won with the result at 20.99m. On the second day, in the women’s 400m race the fastest was Justyna Swiety (51.72), while in the men’s race the winner was Rafal Omelko. Martyna Galant won the 1500m race with PB (4:08.81). In the women’s 100m hurdles only two runners broke 13 seconds and made the same time – 12.94. Hanna Plotitsyna was better because of the faster reaction time. The second was Kaila Barber. In the men’s 110m hurdles race the fastest was Damian Czykier. Sean McClean and Barbara Pierre were the best in the 100m race. Pawel Wojciechowski won the pole vault competition with the mark of 5.70m.


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