Several new names command attention in Volgograd - Russian Championships day 2
Sunday 11 February 2007
Volgograd, Russia – The second day of the Russian Indoor Championships on Saturday (10) witnessed a rise of lesser known athletes rising to the highest step of the podium. Was this the attack of the younger generation, or caused the absence of recognized favourites who are bypassing the indoor season?
Eleven titles decided on Day 2
In some events the absolute newcomers took the baton from the glorified celebrities. But the most shining star the public at large missd was Volgograd native Tatyana Lebedeva. Lebedeva and her coach decided to avoid any risks due to a recent slight injury, thus she missed the Long Jump competition this weekend.
In her absence, the winner was a relative unknown, 21-year-old Anna Nazarova from St. Petersburg who took the win with a leap of 6.68. Second was Natalya Lebusova, just four centimetres behind, with 20-year-old Yelena Sokolova third with a leap of 6.55. In her third start after her return from maternity leave, Athens Olympic silver medalist Irina Simagina didn’t reach the final after a modest 6.29 in the qualifying round.
In women’s High Jump it was Olympic champion Yelena Slesarenko who was absent. Anna Chicherova took the title with a 1.93 leap ahead of Tatyana Mnatzakanova and Victorya Klugina.
Yuliya Guschina won the women’s 200m in 23.38, with Natalya Murinovich (23.41) and the youngest participant in the final, Kseniya Vdovina (23.79) finishing second and third.
Again and again, the depth of the Russian women’s 400m stable remains very strong. The leaders are changing rather often but the results nonetheless remain rather high. This year, it was the 24-year-old Zhanna Kascheeva who took top honours in 52.38 after a 52.04 in the heats. Tatyana Veshkurova was poised for victory after her 51.66 in the heats, but in the final lost the tactical battle and finished second in 52.49. Olympic bronze medallist Natalya Antyukh finished third here as well clocking 52.61. Natalya Ivanova, who finished fourth (52.80), may turn to be the member of the relay at the European Championships.
Oksana Zbrozhek is the season’s fastest Russian at both the 800 and 1500m. Here she contested the shorter race and dipped under two minutes to win handily in 1:59.46. She was followed by Marya Dryakhlova (2:01.76) and the 20-year-old Marya Shapaeva (2:01.83). Olesya Chumakova won 1500m with one of the best results of the season – 4:10.11.
In Men’s events the attention was centered on the Triple Jump where three athletes passed the 17m mark. Aleksand Petrenko, who is now being coached in Moscow by Evgeniy Ter-Ovanesov (NOTE: Not Igor Ter-Ovanesyan) got the golden win after his 17.13 leap. Evgeniy Plotnir – 17.09 – and Aleksandr Sergeev – 17.04 were left just a bit behind.
Other Men’s achievements were more modest. Roman Smirnov won the 200m (21.35), Vladislav Frolov the 400m (46.87), and in a purely tactical battle of nerves, Yuriy Koldin was the 800m in 1:49.13. Three generations of the runners competed at 1500m, won by 26-year-old Sergei Ivanov in 3:44.05. Vyacheslav Shabunin who is 36, was the runner-up in 3:44.97 while 19-year-old youngster Aleksei Popov finished 3rd in 3:45.87.
Nickolai Dolgopolov and Rostislav Orlov for the IAAF