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Poland pins hopes on Radoslaw Poplawski

[11.07.2005] Two years ago, with home advantage, Poland were the second most successful nationEuropean Athletics U23 ChampionshipsBydgoszcz with 16 medals. At this year’s edition in Erfurt (14-17 July) that success will be difficult to repeat but the Poles will be coming with a number of medal prospects.

Steeplechaser Radoslaw Poplawski, who lies 14th in the IAAF world rankings in a discipline that is dominated by Africans, has his sights set on Gold.

The 22-year-old already has a great deal of international experience that could make the difference in Erfurt. He was European Junior champion in 2001 and finished second in both the SPAR European Cup and the European Athletics U23 Championships in 2003. Last year he made the Olympic final in Athens and he again took second place in this year’s SPAR European Cup. The Gold in Erfurt looks to be his to lose.

21-year-old high jumper Michal Bienik is another good medal prospect. He has already jumped 2.36m this year and confirmed his good form two weeks ago with first attempt clearances at every height and a best of 2.34m at the Polish national championships. That should stand him in good stead to face Olympic Bronze medallist Jaroslav Baba from the Czech Republic in the Steigerwaldstadion.

Runners Daniel Dabrowski (400m) and Ireneusz Sekretarski (1500m) also have medal chances as well as walker Rafal Augustyn and discus thrower Piotr Malachowski. Other hopes amongst the women include national high jump champion Anna Ksok and Karolina Tyminska who has scored over 6000 points in heptathlon.