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World Athletics Relays: Hosts Poland steal the show on opening day 

Joanna Jozwik (L) and Patryk Dobek celebrate after winning 2x2x400m World Athletics Relays gold
Joanna Jozwik (L) and Patryk Dobek celebrate after winning 2x2x400m World Athletics Relays gold
Kaushiik Paul
ANALYST
Modified 02 May 2021
News

Hosts Poland claimed their maiden gold at the World Athletics Relays with Patryk Dobek and Joanna Jozwik winning the mixed team event on Saturday in Silesia. The country made the podium once again on the day with the shuttle hurdles team clinching silver. Meanwhile, several 4x100m and 4x400m heats also took place on the day.

Poland always had the advantage going into the final. With both Dobek and Jozwik in top form pocketing a medal each recently, all eyes were on the duo. Kenya went ahead initially after the first lap, with Naomi Korir handing the baton to Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich.

Getting the baton from Jozwik, Dobek used his tactics on point to take the lead from the rest of the pack to claim the first gold medal of the competition with a timing of 3.40:92s. Fielding the only team in the event, Slovenia didn’t disappoint with Anita Horvat and Zan Rudolf giving Kenya a run for money.

However, the Slovenian pair had to be satisfied with the third place finish after clocking 3:41.95s. Kenya took the silver with 3:41.79s.

Germany pip Poland to clinch shuttle hurdles gold

In the other final of the day, Germany pipped hosts Poland to claim World Athletics Relays shuttle hurdles gold. Monika Zapalska started on a bright note for Germany, taking a slender lead after the first lap.

Although Zuzanna Hulisz covered some ground for Poland on Zapalska at the end of the first leg, Erik Balnuweit gave Germany the lead they wanted opening up a meter on Poland.

Germany
Germany's Anne Weigold, Gregor Traber, Erik Balnuweit, Monika Zapalska pose for a photo after winning shuttle hurdles at World Athletics Relays

Krzysztof Kiljan kept Poland’s second-place position intact after the second leg with Kenya battling for third position. The position remained the same until the race ended as Anne Weigold held onto the lead.

Despite keeping their strongest runner Damian Czykier for the final leg, Poland couldn’t do much damage as Gregor Traber was uncatchable to take home the gold for Germany clocking 56.53s. Poland came second in 56.68s with Kenya completing the podium with 59.89s.

Dutch dominance at World Athletics Relays

The Netherlands topped the women’s 4x100m qualifiers and will be joined by France, Poland, Switzerland, Ecuador, Italy, Japan and Denmark in the final. In the men’s event, Italy will head into the finals as the best in qualifiers with 38.45s.

The Dutch once again blazed the World Athletics Relays track once again with the Men in Orange dominating the men’s 4x400m event in the qualifiers. Joining them at the finals are Japan, South Africa, Belgium, Botswana, Colombia, France and Italy.

In the women’s 4x400m qualifiers, Cuba stole the show. They will be joined by Poland, Belgium, Netherlands, Great Britain, Germany, Italy and France in the final.

The mixed 4x400m event will see Italy, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Ireland, Belgium, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Spain fighting for top honors at the World Athletics Relays.

The top eight in each of the events at World Athletics Relays directly qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

Published 02 May 2021
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