A male runner with an intellectual impairment leads a field of athletes through some woods

Poland impress at home World Intellectual Impairment Sport Athletics Cross-Country Worlds

Hosts Poland are celebrating an impressive performance at the 2019 International Federation for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments (World Intellectual Impairment Sport) Athletics Cross-Country World Championships in Trzebnica from 6-7 April.

Their runners won all men’s and women’s individual events and the men’s short distance team event. Spain were the only country who could break their dominance, pipping them to gold in the men’s long distance team.

Barbara Bieganowska led both the women’s short and long distance races with solid runs. She was joined on the podium both times by teammates Arleta Meloch and Anna Bodziony in a complete sweep of podium places for Poland.

In the short distance, Bieganowska dominated to finish 28 seconds ahead of Meloch to take gold in 07:03.

There was a photo finish for silver and bronze as Meloch and Bodziony both crossed the finish line in 07:31. It was Meloch who had the edge.

Bieganowska (12:21) put in a similar performance in the long distance to round off a great weekend.

Elsewhere on the podium it was Bodziony (12:54) who secured silver this time, ahead of Meloch (13:09).

Daniel Pek (08:04) delighted the home crowds in the men’s short distance after a close race that saw just two seconds separate the top three.

Pek’s win was made even more special by the fact he beat Italian European champion Ndiaga Dieng.

Dieg (08:06) could only manage third as Sylwester Jaciuk (08:05) doubled-up on medals for Poland in second.

Jaciuk really came into his own in the long distance, swapping second for first in 17:19. In doing so, Jaciuk improved on his previous best performance at a World Championships of silver and bronze which came when Poland last hosted the event in 2014.

Spain’s Lucas Manuel Gomez (17:23) claimed silver as Pek (17:27) reached a 100 per cent podium record in third.

Pek, Jaciuk, Mateusz Klebanowski and Daniel Bosy rounded off a successful first day for their country with victory in the men’s short distance team. Gomez, Asier Aguirre Santos, Alejandro Montero Lopez, Jesus Fernandez Perez and Jose Martinez Morote were second for Spain.

But Spain did manage to knock Poland’s winning streak firmly off course in the men’s long distance.

Gomez, Santos, Lopez, Perez and Morote topped the podium to this time beat Poland’s Pek, Jaciuk, Klebanowski and Bosy.

The 2019 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Athletics Cross-Country World Championships were the final event ahead of the 2019 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games in Brisbane, Australia.

Taking place between 12-19 October, track and field stars will compete in what is the world’s biggest high performance sports event for athletes with an intellectual impairment. Brisbane 2019 features nine sports overall.