Preview 1 July 2011 – Zhukovskiy, Russia

Borzakovskiy to continue his return from injury at Znamenskiy Memorial - PREVIEW - IAAF World Challenge

Yuriy Borzakovskiy leads Olympic 800m gold and silver medallists Wilfred Bungei and Ismail Ahmed Ismail in Moscow (Nikolay Matveev)Yuriy Borzakovskiy leads Olympic 800m gold and silver medallists Wilfred Bungei and Ismail Ahmed Ismail in Moscow (Nikolay Matveev) © Copyright

Zhukovskiy, RussiaThe 53rd edition of Brothers Znamenskiy Memorial which is part of the IAAF World Challenge series takes place on Sunday 3 July in the town of Zhukovskiy which is situated in the Moscow region.


Approximately 200 participants from 22 countries are expected to take part in Brothers Znamenskiy Memorial, with the Russian titles also at stake in the men's and women's 10,000m.


Frater vs Collins


Veteran Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis is a regular visitor to Russia, and perhaps the 2003 World 100m champion might this time improve one of the oldest men’s records of Brothers Znamenskiy Memorial. The fastest time for the dash was set in 1986 by Victor Bryzgin (10.03). Collins is in fine form this year (10.12) but even faster is Jamaican Michael Frater who was second last night in Lausanne in his 9.88 sec personal best. Former European 100m champion Francis Obikwelu from Portugal (10.18 so far in 2011) also runs here.


The women’s 400m is one of the most popular athletic events in Russia, and Anastasiya Kapachinskaya (51.03 in 2011), the former World 200m champion, will take on Ukraine’s Antonina Yefremova who’s 50.69 tops the European lists so far this season.


Borzakovskiy on the way back


2004 Olympic 800m champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy, who lives in Zhykovskiy not far from the stadium, continues his return from a serious leg injury. He has a season’s best of 1:45.92 posted in Metz on the 27 April and is said to be approaching top shape. He’ll need to be as World Indoor silver medallist Boaz Lalang and World outdoor finalist Jackson Kivuva are in the field. Ivan Tukhtachev who is regarded by many as the new Russian hope at 800m will also run.


Lyudmila Kolchanova, the 2006 European champion will be the star of the Long Jump, and will have to contend with Veronika Shutkova from Belarus and Brianna Glenn from the USA who made the final of the 2009 World Championships.


Last year three distinguished Cubans Alexis Copello, Yoandris Betanzos and David Girat came to Zhukovskiy and it seems they liked the town so much that they have comeback. They will be challenged in the men's Triple Jump by two Russians Sergei Laptev and Vladimir Chicherov, Teymur Abbasov (AZE), Dmitriry Plotnitski from Belarus, and Victor Kuznytsov from Ukraine.  


In the men’s High Jump, the European champion Aleksandr Shustov will struggle for victory in the company of his compatriot Andrei Silnov, the 2008 Olympic champion, who seems to have got over a persistent period of injuries. Their permanent Russian opponents Eduard Malchenko and Yevgeniy Shishakov are also jumping, as is European bronze medallist Martyn Bernard of Britain.


Ostapchuk and Makarov, the stars of the throws


In the women’s Shot Put, Belarussia’s world season leader Nadezhda Ostapchuk (20.59) takes on US champion Jillian Camarena Williams (19.76), while in the men’s Javelin Throw, the home crowd will be willing-on Sergey Makarov. The 2003 World champion at 38-years-old is in a resurgent vein of form with 87.12m for second place in Lausanne last night.


Ethiopia’s Roba Gari leads the men’s 3000m Steeplechase cast, while in the women’s 10,000m compatriot Sule Utura and Kenyan Pauline Korikwiang are two of a quartet of good Africans who will challenge the Russians including reigning champ Yelena Sokolova in their national title race.


IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge: World record holder on-show


The meeting also hosts a leg of the IAAF World Hammer Throw Challenge - click here for standings -with qualification on Saturday (2) when 8 men and 9 women throwers will make 3 efforts each and then the four best men and women will proceed to the following day’s finals.


Germany's reigning World champion and recent World record breaker (79.42m; 21 May)* Betty Heidler takes on Russia’s Tatyana Lysenko, Yipsi Moreno from Cuba, two sisters from Moldova: Marina and Zalina Marghiev, and another Russian Gulfiya Khanafeyeva. In the men’s competition the current world season leader Aleksey Zagornyi (81.73) faces compatriot Sergey Litvinov, Poland’s former World and Olympic champion Szymon Ziólkowski, who also took the silver in Berlin 2009, Hungary’s Krisztian Pars, and USA champion Kibwe Johnson.


Nickolai Dolgopolov and Rostislav Orlov for the IAAF  


*World record pending ratification