French pole vault legend Renaud Lavillenie, British middle distance star Laura Muir and high jump sensation Yaroslava Mahuchikh are the latest confirmations for the LOTTO Kamila Skolimowska Memorial, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, set for Chorzow on 6 September.
An exciting duel is expected in the men’s pole vault, where Lavillenie will take on Polish star Piotr Lisek. The two have a long-standing rivalry, with Lavillenie leading 42-19 in head-to-head encounters. But the Pole turned the tables last year and will hope to continue the trend.
“Among the vaulters the atmosphere is great, we like to joke around, as well as support each other,” Lisek said. “But when it comes to competition, each of us focuses on the battle and on his own goals.”
Muir, the reigning European 1500m champion with a 3:55.22 lifetime best, will headline that event. She’ll face Polish star Sofia Ennaoui, who finished second to Muir over the distance at the most recent editions of the European indoor and outdoor championships. Ennaoui, known for her spectacular finishes, will be hoping to challenge the British star in front of a home audience.
Another reigning European champion, Elvira Herman from Belarus, will be in action in the 100m hurdles. This race will also feature a strong Polish challenger in the form of Karolina Koleczek, with a best of 12.75 from last year.
The women’s high jump competition is also shaping up to be exciting, with three World Championships medalists in attendance. The world U20 record holder Yaroslava Mahuchikh of Ukraine, still only 18, is the 2019 silver medalist with a best of 2.04m. Joining her in Chorzow will be her countrywoman Yuliya Levchenko, World Championships runner-up in 2017 and the Pole Kamila Licwinko, the bronze medalist that year.
They’ll join two-time world 200m champion Dafne Schippers, 2017 world javelin throw champion Johannes Vetter and reigning world discus throw champion Daniel Stahl, who have been previously announced.
Many of Poland’s other top athletes will also be competing. Some of the confirmed stars include 1500m world medallist Marcin Lewandowski, shot putters Michal Haratyk and Konrad Bukowiecki, standout hammer throwers Pawel Fajdek and Wojciech Nowicki, European 400m champion Justyna Swiety-Ersetic and European indoor 60m champion Ewa Swoboda.
In accordance with current Polish sanitary laws and social distancing regulations, attendance in the Silesian Stadium will be limited to 50% of the stadium’s capacity, which will allow 27,000 spectators to watch the meet live.