RED BULL 400 SERIES 2020 KICKS OFF IN POLAND. Zakopane’s hill record smashed by Przedwojewski
RED BULL 400 SERIES 2020 KICKS OFF IN POLAND. Zakopane’s Poland’s legendary ski jumping hill plays host to the first Red Bull 400 race of 2020 and sees local heroes top the podium, as the Men’s records falls in impressive style.
The wait is finally over. Red Bull 400’s 2020 season has kicked-off in style with a new record set in the Men’s class in the first event in Zakopane, Poland this weekend. The return of the world’s toughest 400m race didn’t fail to deliver, with 550 runners fighting for their chance to be crowned champion.
RED BULL 400 SERIES 2020 KICKS OFF IN POLAND. Zakopane’s
This was the third edition of Red Bull 400 held on the Great Krokiew ski jumping hill, but this year was a brand new experience for everyone involved. The event consisted of three separate races spread over the course of the day: Run-Up, Towards the Sun and Evening Sprints. In the past, athletes have first competed in preliminary race before those with the fastest times faced each other in a dramatic final. This has given competitors the chance to get a feeling for the hill and the chance to determine how to pace themselves in the final. Not in 2020.
This time, competitors first run was their one and only chance to prove themselves. The top three men and women were then chosen based on the fastest race times across all three races, so the top runners from the earlier races had to wait until the final event to see if they would be edged out of their place on the podium.
Anna Ficner wins the women´s
Polish ski jumping hero Adam Małysz inaugurated the event, cheering on the participants and giving them the support they needed as they battled their way up the ski jump. Channeling this energy was Poland’s multi-time Wings for Life World Run winner, Dominika Stelmach, as she launched herself up the 35º incline to the claiming fastest time in the morning’s Run-Up race, finishing in a time of 5m
The elation was short-lived however, as Anna Ficner blasted away the competition in the Towards the Sun race, coming home in at 4m 38s and narrowly missing out on setting a new record for the location. The Polish athlete took first place in the Women’s class in the process. This was the third time Ficner has competed in the Zakopane Red Bull 400, previously finishing both second and third. She believes her success this year was due to a combination of her previous experience and her strenuous training regime.
“My training was mostly focused on running uphill. I found a hill near my house that’s nearly 400m, so I based my training on this and it worked out really well for me,” she said. “I’m so happy that I did this, because my time is much better than in previous years. It wasn’t good enough to break the record, but who knows, maybe next year it will be even better.”
Mirosława Witowska completed the all-Polish Women’s podium, nudging Stelmach into third as she stormed up the hill in 4m 47.30s during the evening event.
Bartłomiej Przedwojewski wins the men´s and sets a new record.
Saving the best till last, the Evening Sprint event was where the fastest times of the day were seen in the Men’s class.
Excitement levels peaked as Bartłomiej Przedwojewski grappled up the ski jump impossibly fast, leaving the rest far below. Despite this being his debut Red Bull 400 appearance, the acclaimed mountain runner flew past the finish line in 3m 36.80s to claim first place and smash the Polish Red Bull 400 record.
“This was my first time running up a ski jump, but I gave it my all and I set a new course record,” exclaimed a triumphant Przedwojewski. “My runs usually last about four hours, but today I was way more tired than normal in just three minutes. I feel very alive.”
Slovakian Jakub Šiarnik came in just 10 seconds behind in 3m 46.45s taking second place and break the Polish stranglehold on the podium places, whilst Marcin Rzeszótko took claimed third.
NEXT RED BULL 400 RACES
Red Bull 400 now moves on to Štrbské Pleso, Slovakia this coming weekend, August 22. This stunning location in the High Tatras boasts beautiful lakes and incredible mountain scenery, not to mention the ferocious 125m ski jump where Red Bull 400 will be staking its claim for the third year running.
Red Bull 400 Zakopane Men’s results
1. Bartłomiej Przedwojewski, Poland, 03:36.80
2. Jakub Šiarnik, Slovakia, 03:46.45
3. Marcin Rzeszótko, Poland, 04:09.10
Red Bull 400 Zakopane Women’s results
1. Anna Ficner, Poland, 04:38.00
2. Mirosława Witowska, Poland, 04:47.30
3. Dominika Stelmach, Poland, 05:01.75