Athletics-Polish world champion Fajdek to avoid flying after twice losing gear

Jul 16, 2022; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Pawel Fajdek (POL) celebrates after winning the hammer with a throw of 268-11 (81.98m) during the World Athletics Championships Oregon 22 at Hayward Field. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

(Reuters) - Poland's Tokyo Olympics hammer throw bronze medal Pawel Fajdek will travel to this month's European Championship in Munich, Germany, by car as the five times world champion is keen to avoid losing his gear for the third time by travelling by plane.

"After the last misadventures, I'd rather pick a mode of transport which is a little safer," Fajdek told Polish news outlet Sportowe Fakty.

Fajdek competed in the 2022 World Athletics Championship, which took place in Eugene, Oregon, without his favourite gear but that did not prevent him from clinching his fifth gold medal in a row in the event.

The precious cargo was lost during a flight ahead of an international event in the French city of Sotteville earlier in July in which Fajdek could not compete after his gear was not found.

The 33-year-old could not retrieve his luggage for a second time while flying back to Poland after the World Championship. He received his suitcase a week later only to find out his gear was likely ruined due to water damage, rain possibly.

Other Polish athletes who returned from the global showpiece event also encountered the same problem on their way back home.

"I hope, that the remaining athletes who chose to fly will have better luck than in recent times," he added.

(Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdansk; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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