27 OCT 2011 General News Moscow, Russia

Race Walk stars given the spotlight at Russian Winter indoor meeting

Gold medalist Olga Kaniskina of Russia celebrates as she crosses the finish line during the women's 20km race walk during day five  (Getty Images)Gold medalist Olga Kaniskina of Russia celebrates as she crosses the finish line during the women's 20km race walk during day five (Getty Images) © Copyright

Olga Kaniskina and Valeriy Borchin, the reigning Olympic 20Km Race Walk champions, will be treated to a rare indoor meeting spotlight at the Russian Winter Meeting, an IAAF Indoor Permit Meeting, on 5 February 2012 in the Russian capital.


Kaniskina, who captured her third straight World 20Km title in Daegu on 31 August will contest the 3000m Race Walk at the meeting while Borchin, who successfully defended his World 20Km title in Daegu, will race over 5000m.


While there is no word yet on whether the pair have any intentions on mounting World record assaults, it should be noted that the men's mark of 18:07.08, set by Mikhail Shchennikov in Moscow, dates back to 1995. Borchin has a hand-timed 18:11.8 personal best to his credit, clearly putting the World record within his reach.


The women's 3000m Race Walk World dates back nearly as far. Romanian Claudia Stef set the current mark of 11:40.33 in Bucharest on 30 January 1999. Kaniskina has no known recent performance over the distance indoors, adding a note of intrigue into her appearance.


Others in the field have yet to be announced, but many of Russia's finest walkers, by default some of the best in the world, are expected to compete.


Besides the Race Walks, the Russian Winter meeting will include the men's 60m, 600m, 60m Hurdles, High Jump, Pole Vault and Long Jump. The women's program will feature the 60m, 400m, 1000m, 60m Hurdles, and Long Jump.


Russian Athletics for the IAAF