As Rondo 1 Run Up 2017 is getting closer, we have now confirmed the starting list of elite athletes. While there are lots of big names on the list, the spotlights will certainly be focused on Piotr Lobodzinski and Christian Riedl as these two are coming back to Rondo 1 after their great battle last year during the Towerrunning European Championships 2016. Will Łobodziński take revenge?
The Pole, who has already won virtually everything on the towerrunning scene, seems to be still highly motivated:
- After last year's loss to Christian, I felt angry. It was not my day and I feel I should have done better. Now, it is our first meeting in Rondo 1 after the European Championships so it is the best opportunity for me to take revenge here in Warsaw – says Łobodziński. - This will be our first meeting this season. Last time we competed with each other in Singapore, in November 2016. I managed to win but Christian was not healthy then. I feel a lot of respect towards him and I know I will have to give 100% to beat him in Rondo 1. But I feel good now, my shape is fine and I really look forward to March 11 – he adds.
Yet, Łobodziński is not the only one thinking of winning the competition as Christian Riedl is not willing to step back and he finds their last meeting insignificant:
- Indeed, I was not 100% ready in Singapore. In addition to my cold, I also ran with a broken toe. Now, I am healthy and my aim is to defend my title in Rondo 1. But you cannot forget it is not just between me and Piotr. There are other guys who are going to be very competitive. Of course, for Piotr it is a hometown race and I expect him to be as motivated as ever. It is going to be an interesting day in Rondo 1 – says Christian Riedl.
Apart from Łobodziński and Riedl (world number 1 and 2, respectively), we will have 5 out of 6 leading Towerrunning Tour athletes battling for ranking points in Warsaw, featuring:
- Tomas Celko (Slovakia) – world no. 4;
- Stefan Stefina (Slovakia) – world no. 5;
- Tomas Macecek (Czech Republic) – world no. 6.
In the women's field, current European Champion Anna Ficner (POL) tops the starting list. In her way to another triumph, there will be several obstacles coming from the south:
- Zuzana Krchova (Czech Republic) – world no. 2;
- Lenka Svabikova (Czech Republic) – world no. 3;
- Kamila Chomanicova (Slovakia) – world no. 8.
Meanwhile, race organizers hope for some surprises and dark horses getting to the podium:
- I would love to see someone from the back row on the podium. Sproule Love (USA) is coming to Rondo 1 for the first time. Tehran's Milad Tower winner Ahmad Asadi Dashatan should be confirmed soon as well. Moving to the women's field, I keep my fingers crossed for Dominika Wiśniewska-Ulfik, who has already won our race and is certainly one of the best stair runners worldwide but now she's just coming back to sport after her maternity leave so it is difficult to say how strong she really is – says Piotr Jakóbik, race spokesperson.
Who is going to raise the trophy on Saturday's evening on March 11? We will know that soon!