The story of a modern stadium, the MONDO athletics track and a winning future
With over sixty years of history underpinning its foundations, the Silesian Stadium in the city of Chorzow is now one of the most modern stadiums in Poland.
Without a doubt the reconstruction that began in 2009 has helped to make it a cutting-edge venue.
But what has really kept it alive are the many sporting events that have been held there over the years in a space that is capable of accommodating more than 55,000 people and that, since the installation of a MONDO track in 2017, has become the driving force of newfound emotions in athletics.
The history of the Silesian Stadium
It was in 1956 when a match against East Germany inaugurated the Silesian Stadium and since then its history has been particularly dynamic and eventful.
In 1967, the stadium hosted the Polish Athletics Championships. A few years later, in 1969, Nadieżda Czyżowa made history by becoming the first woman to set a world record in the shot put (20.09 m).
After a long period of achievements and applause, it was decided that the time had come to renovate the Silesian Stadium and in 2009 the first works of modernisation began: new stands, new lighting, a new sound system and a new 43,000 m2 roof. But above all, a new athletics track to host international events.
However, the collapse of the roof caused a major slowdown in the work, which lasted until 2017: after many years of inactivity, the wait for the reopening started to grow.
It was at this time that TAMEX Obiekty Sportowe S.A. signed a contract for the construction of the entire sports arena of the Silesian stadium and the MONDO Sportflex Super X 720 track surface was installed.
In short, the Silesian Stadium received the IAAF Class 1 certificate: there was no way the relaunch could be anything but exciting.
Numbers, records and milestones on the Sportflex Super X 720 athletics track
In 2018 the Silesian Stadium finally came back on the scene with the Janusz Kusociński Memorial and Kamila Skolimowska Memorial editions: the result was a large audience, many medal-winning athletes and several world records. And the athletics track with its MONDO surface was the new stage for these competitions.
The MONDO Sportflex Super X 720 offers athletes an excellent surface for competition (but also for training). It is no coincidence that MONDO tracks have been chosen as the track and field surfaces for 12 consecutive editions of the Olympic Games, including the next one in Tokyo, Japan.
The combination of shock absorption and energy return is what athletes want and what this surface manages to provide thanks to two layers that are perfectly combined through a vulcanisation process. Added to this is the waffle-shaped geometric construction of the bottom layer, which is the secret to storing the energy generated by foot-surface interaction and to providing an immediate kinetic response. Finally, the vulcanised rubber top layer facilitates the athlete's movements and optimises grip.
Beyond the purely technical characteristics, it is the concrete results obtained at the Silesian Stadium that back up the claims.
Results such as Jemma Reekie's seasonal world record in the 800m in a record time of 1:58.63 during the 66th Janusz Kusociński Memorial or the outstanding numbers achieved during the World Athletics Relays on 1 and 2 May 2021 in order to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo and the World Athletics Championships in Oregon22; Femke Bol opened the season in 49.81, ranking as the fastest athlete in the first round for the Dutch women's team.
At the end of May, again at the Silesian Stadium, spectators at the EA Team Championship witnessed a thrilling chase between Poland, Italy and Great Britain.
It was the numbers that spoke in these 2 days, translated into metres and milliseconds.
Johannes Vetter achieved 96.29m in the javelin throw; Lina Nielsen won the 400m hurdles in just 55.59 seconds, pulling away from Germany's Carolina Krafzik who still ran an excellent time of 55.71. And once more Yemaneberhan Crippa set a championship record of 13:17.23 to win the 5000m.
The challenge for the podium of the competing teams was hard fought until the very end, but in the end, it was Poland who took first place with an impressive 181.5 points, followed immediately by Italy with 179 points and Great Britain, who took bronze with 174 points.
One of the stand-out performances was certainly that of the young Polish athlete Pia Skrzyszowska who not only won the 100 metres on the first day of competition, but also achieved victory in the 100 metres hurdles in just 12.99 seconds: an incredible double that also gave her the title of the first woman to win both events in the same edition of the EA Team Championship.
It looks like, after a long and unexpected hiatus, the Silesian Stadium has embarked on an even richer chapter, wrapped in a modern look, a new athletics track and an incredible sequence of achievements. And the sporting adventures aren’t over yet: next 5 September, in fact, a big turnout is expected at the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial. And for 2028, the Silesian Stadium has already been confirmed as the venue for the European Athletics Championships.