03 JUN 2009 General News Moscow, Russia

On eve of season’s debut, Borzakovskiy’s clear priority is Berlin

Yuriy Borzakovskiy strides to 800m gold ahead of Luis Alberto Marco and Mattias Claesson (Getty Images)Yuriy Borzakovskiy strides to 800m gold ahead of Luis Alberto Marco and Mattias Claesson (Getty Images) © Copyright
Yuriy Borzakovskiy, the 2004 Olympic 800m champion and recent winner of the European indoor crown, successfully completed his core training for the summer season and is now ready to go at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene this weekend (Sun 7).

Eugene, the next stop on the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Tour, is going to bejust one more event on his schedule designed to give him excellent readiness before the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Berlin, Germany (15-23 Aug). Borzakovskiy and his coach Viacheslav Evstratov have clearly focused on Berlin as their outdoor season commences.

After his successful performance in Turin, Borzakovskiy took a 10-day holiday in Kislovodsk with his mother and one of his sons. He did not train there, opting instead to climb the nearby mountains and play football.

“The main target for Yuriy this summer will be a successful performance in the World Championships,” said his coach Viacheslav Evstratov.

In his three appearances at the World championships, Borzakovskiy has yet to mount the top podium step, winning two silvers and a bronze.

His first training session after the winter was held for three weeks in April in Cholpon-Ata, a resort in Kyrgyzstan, situated at an elevation of 1600 -1700m above the sea level on the bank of the large beautiful slightly salty lake Issyk-Kul. It is a landmark of Central Asia, surrounded by the snow-capped Tien-Shan Mountains with peaks reaching above 7000m.

“Yuriy started training there slowly after the winter season,” Evstratov said. “After the European Indoor Championships he played football for two weeks. At first he experienced some breathing problems at the high elevation, but did some regular jogging and soon acclimatized. This training session went very well – it was active leisure after the winter competitions. Borzakovskiy then completed all his preliminary work before the main training session in Kislovodsk.

The second training programme for Borzakovskiy and several other of Evstratov’s athletes was held from 8-31 May in Kislovodsk, a resort in the Russian Caucasus with an average elevation 1600m above the sea level. The weather was cool, but excellent for running and training.

“All went well in Kislovodsk,” Evstratov continued. “Yuriy did approximately 100 kilometres weekly, running crosses on the rolling hills at 150-160 beats per minute pulse. This was not speed training, but an accumulation of running volume. He also did special exercises, like running uphill, general muscle work outs, especially for the legs. Sometimes he ran short stretches accelerating, but not at the braking point and without too much exertion.”

Now Borzakovskiy and his coach are heading to Eugene to see the results of his pre-season regimen.

“I did not set any special targets for Yuriy in Eugene. It is just one more step before the world championships. The visit is going to be short, just five days, from fourth to the eighth of June.”

“We do not have any sightseeing program in Eugene,” he added, “and will be glad to accept any proposals from the organizers.”

“I have been training Yuriy for over 12 years already,” Evstratov continued. “He differs a lot from other athletes. God gave him a lot of good qualities. He has good coordination, excellent speed qualities for the 800m distance, good endurance and aerobic abilities, diligence, and a high capacity for hard work.”

“With years of communication we have developed a good understanding of each other. During trainings Yuriy understands me immediately and often asks for advice himself."

"Borzakovskiy sticks to a healthy life style in which sport is the leading theme. That is why he does not smoke and drink alcohol and never did. He is a modest guy. I often tell him: You became an Olympic champion, won several big competitions, but this is all in the past already. After each victory life starts afresh and requires a lot of work again.”

Yelena Kurdyumova and Sergey Porada for the IAAF