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The Warsaw Voice » Comments » September 2, 2009
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From the NEWS editor
September 2, 2009   
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Polish track-and-field athletes won an unprecedented eight medals at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics in Berlin, both delighting and amazing supporters and Polish Athletics Association officials.

The Polish team came in fifth in the overall medal standings, behind the United States, Jamaica, Kenya and Russia. With two gold, four silver and two bronze medals under their belts, the Polish athletes outclassed sports powerhouses such as Germany.

For the first time, two Polish competitors took the podium in the women's pole vault. Anna Rogowska won the gold medal and Monika Pyrek took home the silver. The gold in the women's hammer throw went to Anita Włodarczyk, who also set a new world record and landed a check for $100,000. Poland claimed three other silver medals in the men's shot put, discus and hammer, adding a bronze in the men's high jump and another bronze in the women's heptathlon. The medal count bodes well for the Polish team ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Good news is also in fashion when it comes to the economy. Analysts are predicting a major revival in exports, one of the flywheels of the Polish economy. According to experts, Poland's exports may soon regain momentum unless there is an unexpected deterioration in economic indicators in the European Union, affecting Poland's key commercial partners, especially Germany. Government officials say that, under the present circumstances, it is vital to promote Polish products and introduce legal changes to stimulate trade. A number of regulations have been adopted in the past few months to strengthen the position of Polish exporters and improve the conditions under which Polish businesses operate abroad.

Meanwhile, the Polish death toll in Afghanistan rose to 10 when a captain from the Polish military contingent was shot in an ambush by the Taliban. The death sparked an unprecedented row between senior defense ministry officials and Gen. Waldemar Skrzypczak, Poland's Land Forces commander and one of the highest ranking military officers in the country. In a string of statements and interviews, Skrzypczak lambasted "bureaucrats in the ministry" who he said are responsible for the Polish contingent in Afghanistan being poorly equipped and insufficiently prepared for combat. The general eventually quit the army, while the government promised to buy extra equipment for Polish troops in Afghanistan.
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