Moscow, RussiaThe second day of the “Russian Winter” indoor meeting - IAAF permit - attracted a full house of spectators at the Vladimir Kuts indoor arena, with the men’s and women’s 800m races being the star attractions today.
A nice farewell for a Decathlon veteran
It is one of the well established traditions of “Russian Winter” to say farewell to famous Russian athletes who have decided to retire from the sport. This year it was the turn of the audience to gave a standing ovation to Lev Lobodin, 35, who was three-times a European Decathlon bronze medallist, and three-times a World Indoor Championships medallist (one silver, and two bronze) in the Heptathlon.
Chzhao takes the most applause - World season lead
However, in terms of the competition on offer it was the women’s and men’s 800m races which were the main attractions of the tournament.
In the women's 800m the guest star from Morocco, Sultana Ait Hamou, immediately took the lead but after one and a half laps at a very brisk pace she stopped absolutely out of breath, and failed to finish the distance.
Russia’s 33 year-old Larisa Chzhao who will turn 34 on 4 February, took over in charge and the final result was a World indoor season best of 1:57.53, improving her 1:59 clocking from Volgograd earlier this month.
Today, Chzhao only missed the Russian national indoor record by 0.6 seconds. The time was a personal best both indoors and out, her previous quickest being 1:58.71 outdoors (2003) and 1:59.58 indoors (15 Jan 2005).
Larisa, what prevented you from setting the record? - we asked the winner.
“We started too fast. But believe me, I’ll break the record this season. Everything is going according to the plan that was approved by my new tutor Vladimir Kazanin who has been coaching me since last autumn.”
You have clocked one by one two world indoor season bests – one in Volgograd and then here, in Moscow. Aren’t you a bit tired?
“Not at the least! I got myself very well prepared for the season,” was the confident reply from Chzhao.
Borzakovskiy in winning form
We’ve already got accustomed to the fact that men's Olympic 800m champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy’s start is always rather slow but as usually happens his final effort was brilliant and he finished first today as expected. His winning time was 1:48.02.
Unfortunately, there was no evident opposition given by the other athletes who looked so much in awe of the Olympic champion that his victory seemed certain even before the start!
Long distance 3000m win!
The multiple winner of the Russian national championship at 3000m Vyacheslav Shabunin, kept the audience in suspense running in the middle of a pack of 11 participants. He made a tremendous effort to over-take the leader four laps before the finish of today’s 3000m but Pavek Shapovalov was not one to surrender. He won the distance in 7:51.61, with Shabunin the runner-up in 7:52.88.
“I’m happy not only because of winning,” admitted Shapovalov. “I only landed here in Moscow several hours before the start of the race. It takes so many hours of flying from my city Komsomolsk-na-Amure which is in the Far East, and there is much jet-lag caused by the seven hours flight. Nevertheless, I still set my absolute personal best – I’ve never run so fast even outdoors!”
Chicherova and Polnova take jumping spoils
Anna Chicherova was the favourite in the women’s High Jump but she had some troubles with her injured leg that was bandaged. She performed her jumps with her usual perfect technique but without boldness. Still victory was hers and a well deserved one too at 1.96m.
Tatyana Polnova as expected won the women’s Pole Vault. She cleared 4.40m but still the public was nearly disappointed as they have got so accustomed to the records of Yelena Isinbayeva and Svetlana Feofanova in recent years that the lower heights do not seem to satisfy them anymore!
Dmitriy Valyukevich from Belarussia is always a warmly welcomed guest in Moscow, and he proved once more that he is really capable of performing at the highest level with his winning Triple Jump of 17.11m. The Russian big hope Danila Burkenya was left behind in second with 17.01.
Shevchenko back after Olympic tragedy
Irina Shevchenko got a real shock at the last Olympics. She was knocked over by her Canadian opponent Perdita Felicien in the final of the 100m Hurdles in Athens. Now it looks like she’s already back in confident form. Shevchenko clocked 7.97 seconds in the 60m Hurdles which is not bad at the very beginning of the season. She was even faster in her preliminary heat – 7.96. Nicole Ramalalanirina from France (8.10), and one of the twin sisters from Sweden, Jenny Kallur (8.16), were left behind.
Nickolai Dolgopolov and Rostislav Orlov for the IAAF
1. Freddy Mayola – Cuba – 6.56
2. Simone Collio – Italy – 6.62
3. Andrey Epishin – Russia – 6.65
1. Dmitriy Forshev – Russia – 46.67
2. Aleksandr Larin – Russia – 46.75
3. Ruslan Maschenko – Russia – 46.67
1. Yuriy Borzakovskiy – Russia – 1:48.02
2. Dmitriy Bogdanov – Russia – 1:48.75
3. Vyacheslav Sokolov – Russia – 1:49.83
1. Pavel Shapovalov – Russia – 7:51.61
2. Vyacheslav Shabunin – Russia – 7:52.88
3. Pavel Naumov – Russia – 7:55.30
60 metres Hurdles
1. Sergey Demidyuk – Ukraine – 7.69
2. Igor Peremota – Russia – 7.81
3. Pavel Onischenko – Russia – 7.94
1. Dmitriy Valyukevich – Slovakia – 17.11 (NR)
2. Danila Burkenya – Russia – 17.01
3. Viktor Yastrebov – Ukraine – 16.97
1. Larisa Kruglova - Russia – 7.21
2. Guzel’ Khubbieva - Uzbekistan – 7.23
3. Marya Golikova - Russia – 7.27
1. Svetlana Pospelova – Russia – 51.61
2. Olesya Krasnomovetz – Russia – 51.90
3. Irina Rossikhina – Russia – 52.27
1. Larisa Chzhao – Russia – 1:57.53
2. Irina Vashentseva – Russia – 1:58.48
3. Svetlana Cherkasova – Russia – 2:01.25
1. Irina Shevchenko Russia – 7.97
2. Nicole Ramalalanirina France – 8.10
3. Jenny Kallur – Sweden – 8.16
1. Anna Pyatykh – Russia - 6.57
2. Anastasya Iliyna – Russia – 6.52
3. Tatyana Ivanova – Russia - 6.50
1. Anna Chicherova – Russia – 1.96
2. Irina Mikhalchenko – Ukraine – 1.94
3. Yekaterina Aleksandrova – Russia – 1.88
1. Tatyana Polnova – Russia – 4.40
2. Natalya Belinskaya – Russia – 4.40
3. Julya Golubchikova – Russia – 4.30