In the thirties of last century athletics was manly popular in Europe and US so no wonder that in 1934 championship of the Old Continent took place in Turin, Italy. It consisted manly of male cast. Among the 23 national teams the dominant role was played by Germany and Finland. The legendary spearman Matti Jarvinen set a world record of 76,66 meters. In 1966 in Budapest Irene Kirszenstein (later Szewińska) won a gold medal in hundred. Szewińska was also the bigest star in 1974 in Rome (gold medals) at 100 and 200 m.
Historic achievement in 1958 was a double gold in 5000 and 10 000 m for Zdzisław Krzyśkowiak. That beautiful tradition carried on in twenty century when in 1998 polish team landed in fourth place with Artur Partyka, Paweł Januszewski and Robert Korzeniowski winning medals. It took place in Budapest. Robert Korzeniowski achieved a gold medal again for 50 km in 2002 in Munich.