Russian Champs: Day 3

Women’s Long Jump takes centre stage in Tula - Russian Champs day 3

Tula, Russia - A quality showdown for a lone ticket to Osaka in the women’s Long Jump was the key highlight of the third day of action at the Russian National Championships today (2) as nine titles were decided.

Kolchanova, Simagina beyond 7m

The task facing the women long jumpers was a daunting one, with several high calibre jumpers battling for a sole ticket to World Championships later this month. Prior to the national championships, the Council of Coaches had decided that Tatyana Lebedeva and Tatyana Kotova would be included on the World championships squad, thus only the winner here would be named to the team.

European champion Ludmila Kolchanova tried to prove from the very start that the spot would be hers, reaching 7.01 in the first round. Irina Simagina, the 2004 Olympic silver medallist, did even better, reaching 7.08. But Kolchanova won the battle of will, improving to 7.17, the second farthest leap of the season, to take the title and secure her spot. Natalya Lebusova was a distant third with a 6.73 best.

Antyukh threatens sub-50 barrier

Natalya Antyukh, the 2004 Olympic bronze medallist in the 400m, challenged the event’s 50-second barrier for the first time since her Olympic podium appearance with a solid 50.10 victory, to move up to the No. 5 spot on the season’s world list. In a deep race, the first six crossed line in under 51 seconds, illustrating that the 4x400m Relay squad will be a serious contender for gold in Osaka. Tatyana Veshkurova was the runner-up in 50.22 with many-time relay World champion Natalya Nazarova third (50.52).

The men’s 400m was not as fascinating as the women’s but still turned out to be rather encouraging. It was the former World junior relay silver medallist Maksim Dyldin took the unexpected victory with a personal best 45.64, leaving behind Vladislav Frolov (45.80) and Andrei Rudnitzkiy (46.03).

Rybakov content, but not satisfied

The men’s High Jump was dominated by World indoor champion Yaroslav Rybakov, whose 2.30m was enough for the win. Aleksandr Shustov claimed the runner-up spot over European champion Andrei Silnov on the countback as both topped out at 2.27.

“My task is fulfilled,” Rybakov said. “I’m glad that I got the gold but frankly speaking I’m not that satisfied with my result. It won’t be enough for a podium place in Osaka and I’ll try to get back to form closer to the World Championships. The problem is that I got three injuries, one after another, and only now feel myself capable of jumping higher.”


100m winner Ivan Teplykh completed a sprint double after his 20.81 victory in the 200. Roman Smirnov was the runner-up in 20.86 with Denis Alekseev finished third (20.93).

Natalya Rusakova also has a pair of medals in her collection. The former hurdler known as Natalya Kresova added the 200m victory (22.71) to her 100m bronze from the first day. Yelena Bolsun was a close second in 22.74 with Yuliya Guzshina third (22.97).

Ruslan Gataullin was the best in men’s Long Jump, taking the title with a 7.90m leap. He was loudly supported by his elder brother, Radion, the former well-known pole vaulter who is now the president of the Athletic Federation of St. Petersburg. Vladimir Malyavon was just three centimetres behind to take second (7.87), edging Denis Sinyavskiy (7.86) by an even closer margin.

Well-known veteran Olga Konevtzeva won the women’s Hammer Throw was a 73.95 best effort while World and Olympic champion Olga Kuzenkova continued her comeback from maternity leave. Although she already has a spot on the team as defending champion, she decided to compete to regain some competitive experience, and wound up second with a 72.36 throw. Gulfyia Khanafeeva was third (72.22).

Aleksei Zagorniy won men’s hammer with a 77.90 effort, ahead of Igor Vinnichenko (75.54) and Sergei Kirmasov (74.13).

60 entered in women’s 800m

Displaying Russia’s unprecedented global depth, 60 women competed in the opening round of the 800m. The fastest was one of the favorites, European champion Olga Kotlyarova, who clocked a season’s beat 1:58.80. Notable was the performance by Galina Samitova, the World record holder in the 3000m Steeplechase. She clocked 2:01.40.

Nickolai Dolgopolov and Rostislav Orlov for the IAAF

Is she trying to prove something to me, KK? :stuck_out_tongue: