Cheboksary, RussiaThe second day of Russian Championships were highlighted by the 2.07m national High Jump record from Anna Chicherova, and two other world season leads in the women’s 400m by Anastasiya Kapachinskaya and in the 800m by Maria Savinova.
Anna Chicherova who has only recently returned from maternity leave and celebrated her 29th birthday yesterday (Fri 22) cleared 1.88m, 1.91, 1.97 and 2.00 on her first tries with ease, so equalling Blanka Vlasic’s world lead. She then moved successfully to 2.04 taking that on her second try, and then decided to try 2.07 to improve the national Russian record of 2004 Olympic champion Yelena Slesarenko (2.06).
Chicherova’s first effort at the record height was promising but the two-time World silver medallist looked tired on her second approach to the bar. However, her third and final attempt was faultless – 2.07 – making her the third equal highest high jumper of all-time outdoors and fourth equal both indoors and out. Only Stefka Kostadinova with the World record (2.09), Blanka Vlasic (2.08) and Kajsa Bergqvist (2.08 indoors) have jumped higher.
After Chicherova cleared 2.07 the fans started to shout, ‘two – ten, two – ten’ asking her to attempt the World record but when she asked her coach Yevgeniy Zagorulko and it was decided that the national record was enough of a birthday present.
“Now I’m in the know that to clear 2.10 is possible,” confessed the record holder. “My coach told me today that 2.07 is excellent but I should be patient and should clear the height (2.10) at the due time. My mother phoned me just after the jump and my little daughter was talking. I was so happy!”
Two of her main opponents Svetlana Shkolina and Slesarenko took the minor positions having cleared 1.97m.
Personal best for 'Kapa'
Anastasiya Kapachinskaya or Kapa as she is known in the world of athletics will turn 32 this autumn and it looks like that the 2003 World champion at 200m is only gaining in strength with every coming year. She switched to the longer distance and she really ran her utmost clocking the fantastic time of 49.35 sec PB. This is the fastest time in the world so far this season at 400m.
She left behind World bronze medallist Antonina Krivoshapka, who turned 24 years-old on Thursday (21) and ran 49.92 for second. Third was Kseniya Vdovina (50.67), and split in photo-finish with 50.92 were Lyudmila Litvinova and Kseniya Zadorina. Reigning European champion Tatyana Firova came sixth in 51.08.
“But I must tell you that the resources of my speed are not exhausted,” admitted Kapachinskaya. “I bettered the world lead of Allison Felix by nearly half a second. Now I have to think it all over and weigh it up. The season is in full swing and we all now that the most important part of it isn’t that far away.”
Russia now possesses a choice of athletes who may compete in Daegu, and it has been decided that there’ll be 6 athletes in the women’s 4x400m squad.
Three men went under 46 sec in their one lap race led by Pavel Trenikhin (45.60) and while they do not have the strength of the women with Denis Alekseev (45.83) and Konstantin Svechkar (45.89) following him home the Russia will have some chances in the men’s 4x100m Relay in Daegu.
Savinova goes even faster
Reigning World Indoor and European outdoor 800m champion Mariya Savinova who on Thursday set a world season lead of 1:58.03 in her heat, improved again in the final setting her outdoor personal best with a 1:56.95 clocking. However, the victory wasn’t an easy one (200m – 28sec; 400m – 58.20; 600m 1:28) it took all the stamina of Savinova to make the last effort at the finishing line to beat Yulia Rusanova who crossed with an excellent 1:56.99 PB. Yekaterina Kostetskaya was third in 1:57.17 ahead of Svetlana Klyuka 1:58.03 and Yulia Kofanova 1:58.25, so Russia currently have the four fastest runners in the world this season. We should also mention the results of two other participants of the final: Yelena Kofanova – 1:58.25 and Tatyana Palienko – 1:59.76.
Borza remains supreme
Yuriy Borzakovskiy proved once more that he is second to none in Russian athletics. His winning manner in the men’s 800m is no secret to the public and to the opponents. His final effort was marvellous. He was so far ahead that in the last ten metres he slowed but still the result was good, 1:45.76.
400m runner lands 7m plus in the Long Jump
Olga Zaitzeva landed a 7.01m performance in the Long Jump. She is more known as the excellent sprinter, a sub 50sec 400m runner, but Zaitzeva decided to try her luck in the Long Jump and with great success - 6.85m, 7.01, 6.96, 6.75, foul, 6.95. Her winning second round leap was attained with a slight aiding wind of +0.3m/s.
Zaitzeva has spent most of her life in Saint-Petersburg but she decided to start again from scratch and moved to Moscow and is now being coached by a very well known specialist Yevgeniy Mikhailovitch Ter-Ovanesov who helped Zaitzeva to obtain technique required for the Long Jump.
Olga Kucherenko leapt 6.86 (0.0m/s) and Yulia Pidluzhnaya 6.83 (+0.4) taking second and third respectively, with Ludmila Kolchanova fourth (6.78) and Anna Nazarova (6.76) next.
But we need to remember that European Indoor champion Darya Klishina has already been selected for Daegu and was competing in the Samsung Diamond League meeting in Monaco (6.79, 2nd) last night.
Elsewhere of significance on Day 2, Darya Pizshalnikova was second to none in the Discus (62.09m) and Tatyana Dektyareva won the 100m Hurdles (13.04), while in the absence of Yelena Isinbayeva Svetlana Feofanova took the Pole Vault with 4.40m on her first attempt. Then she cleared 4.55 and tried at 4.65 but the wind was too tricky to concentrate and she failed.
Unexpectedly the women’s Shot Put was won by the 21-year-old Yevgeniya Kolodko with 19.33m; yet another of the athletes celebrating a birthday on Friday. The European Indoor champion Anna Avdeeva was second on the podium – 19.17. European Indoor bronze medallist Maxim Sidorov won the men’s Shot Put with one of the best results of the European season – 21.45m.
2003 World champion Sergey Makarov won the Javelin with his last effort (81.21). Alexandr Ivanov got his traditional silver (80.39) and the 19-year-old Dmitriy Tarabin was third (80.20).
World High Jump champion Yaroslav Rybakov is back in action after injury, and was one of the 12 who cleared 2.15 and will progress to the final on Saturday. The others included Olympic champion Andrei Silnov, European champion Aleksander Shustov, and World and European Indoor champion Ivan Ukhov.
Rybakov’s father-coach Vladimir Rybakov commented on his son’s problems:
“Yaroslav was injured and for a long time abstained from taking part in competitions. More than that: he wasn’t even practicing in the sector. And now it’s high time to be back. That’s why in order to obtain the fighting spirit we decided to take part in the Russian Nationals.”
Nickolai Dolgopolov and Rostislav Orlov for the IAAF
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