Following Piotr Malachowski's retirement after the Tokyo Olympics, his coach Gerd Kanter looked for a new challenge in Slovenia. After several months, the work has already born fruit, The 23-year old Kristian Ceh shocked the audience at the Diamond League meet in Birmingham! - He has a great future ahead of him – is the prediction of the Polish discus great, currently the sports director of the Silesia Kamila Skolimowska Memorial.
Gerd Kanter worked with the top Polish discus throwers for two years. After the European Championships in Berlin, Piotr Malachowski and Robert Urbanek left Witold Suski's training group and convinced the Polish federation that it is the Estonian who should prepare them for the following major events. The legendary thrower, argued the Polish two-time Olympic medalist, had trained at top level nearly until the age of 40 and thus knew well the reality of working with a worn-out body. Although the effects of the trio's cooperation did not live up to expectations, Malachowski has good memories of the period.
- I know it would have worked out a lot better if my body, run-down by years of workload, had been able to withstand Gerd's training plans. He is a great specialist and is going to do a lot of good as a coach. That is why I was curious when I found out he decided to work with Kristian Ceh. The Slovenian has everything it takes to be successful and his new coach has all the tools to make that happen – were recent comments coming from Piotr, who assumed the duties of the Polish Diamond League meet's sports director this year.
It was also a Diamond League event, albeit in Birmingham this Saturday, that answered the questions on how successful the partnership between Kanter and Ceh could be. The 23-year old had no serious rivals in a competition featuring virtually all the world's top throwers. On his best attempt he reached 71.27! With that result he took the lead on the season's world list and, even more importantly, become a sure medal favorite for the World Championships in Eugene.
- I felt good, I had made a lot of progress through this winter. But the distance really is impressive, especially for myself – commented Ceh after the competition in Britain.
Another highlight of the day in Birmingham was a sensational 7.09 long jump by Olympic champion Malaika Mihambo. Apart from these two, there were also Polish athletes who could feel happy with their performances. Taking third place in the high jump was Norbert Kobielski. In what was his Diamond League debut, as well as season opener, he cleared 2.25.
- It is the best season opening of my career, but I promise I will be able to do better soon. I have no more time for mediocrity, I need to deliver the results and make money out of the sport, as I will become a father in October – said the happy athlete. Another Polish highlight was Damian Czykier's 13.32 in the 110 metre hurdles. The runner from Bialystok thus achieved the World Championships qualifying standard. The time is also the second fastest of his career, just short of his personal best of 13.28.
The next stop on the Diamond League circuit will be Eugene, also the host of this year's World Championships. The Polish leg of the tour is scheduled in the Silesian Stadium on 6 August – soon after the year's top championship event.