03 MAY 2003 General News Moscow

Borzakovskiy starts season on the streets

Yuriy Borzakovskiy wins Brussels 800 (© Allsport)Yuriy Borzakovskiy wins Brussels 800 (© Allsport) © Copyright

The Russian athletics season was opened by the traditional Moscow road relay on 2 May, in the centre of the city.  20 men and 10 men were running in each team, but the biggest star at this competition was one of the world’s best middle distance runners, Yuriy Borzakovskiy. He ran the first leg of the relay and easily won his distance.

Yuriy is returning on the world stage and wants to participate at all the major competitions, after missing the last World  Championships.

“I am very satisfied with my good running at the relay and feel that my training goes the right way, “ said Yuriy. “Some days ago I successfully ran my annual pre-season  test – 4 000 metres cross at the Russian Cup. I am doing it each year to check my form, and such cross has become very important indicator of my form.”

Yuriy is planning to make his season’s debut on the track on 6 or 7 of June in Turin, Italy, or in Spain. It depends on the decision of his coach, who still very carefully controls the activity of his runner.

Borzakovskiy wants to participate in Golden league competitions but says that he has no ambition to go for the jackpot.

He had rested very well during December and subsequently changed his plans to miss the indoor season and suddenly won the race in Stockholm against all the best. Only Andre Bucher missed this competition.

“I showed first of all to myself that I am in good condition and can beat my main rivals. It was very important for my mental preparation,” says Borzakovskiy. “I saw that it was a big surprise for my opponents. But for me it was quite normal, I knew that I can run in 1.44.

“I had an urge to participate at the World Indoor Championships but stopped myself, my coach also was against it. Some years ago I was trying to run at every competition, but now I became much calmer.”

Yuriy says that it was difficult for him to watch on TV the World Championships. He knew that he could be among the winners of the competitions. There was no problem to get a place in the national team. But he was dreaming to become an Olympic champion. He tells that he sacrificed all other medals to fulfil his great aim.

“I know that now many people look at me like one of the main favorites of the World Championships. But my task is just to show in Paris the result I’ll be ready to produce,” says Borzakovskiy. “I do not think about medals.”

Also among the participants of the Moscow relays was the world indoor champion at 400 m Natalia Nazarova. She will participate at the end of May in the European Clubs Cup and then will forgo other IAAF circuit meetings because she wants to prolong her training to be at the top form at the Russian championships.

Nazarova says that she will have to run 49.80 to be in the medals in Paris.