07 DEC 1999 General News

Grigorieva clears citizenship hurdle


AFP

7 December 1999 Adelaide, Australia - Russian-born pole vaulter Tatiana Grigorieva has cleared a major obstacle in her bid to compete for Australia at next year's Sydney Olympic Games.

Grigorieva had her Australian citizenship confirmed late Monday after encountering problems meeting requirements that she complete two uninterrupted years as a resident.

She won an appeal on the basis that husband and fellow Olympic pole vaulting medal prospect Viktor Chistiakov was granted citizenship earlier this year.

The news came on the eve of the couple leaving with coach Vitali Petrov for a one-month training camp in Poland, where they will prepare for the European indoor season from next month. Their manager Rick Carter said this week's ruling had lifted a huge emotional burden for Grigorieva.

Russia cleared the former unior hurdler to compete for Australia but the clearance enabled her to represent Australia only at certain events, such as this year's Seville IAAF World Championships, where she won a bronze medal.