Aleksandr Shustov (RUS) (Getty Images) © Copyright
Competitions were held at sport arenas of Moscow, St-Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Omsk, Kemerovo and other cities. Some excellent early season results were produced along with some world season bests.
The men’s High Jump was the most attractive event of the Christmas Starts meeting organised in Yekaterinburg for the 20th time. European champion Alexander Shustov cleared 2.32m, an early season world leader. Mikhail Tzvetkov and 20-year-old Sergei Mudrov each topped 2.30m.
Even a photo-finish failed to determine the winner of the men’s 60m Hurdles where Igor Peremota and the 21-year-old Aleksei Dremin clocked 7.82. Elsewhere on the men’s programme, Roman Smirnov was the winner of the 300m in 33.41 and Valentin Smirnov won the 3000m in 7:55.95. On the womens' side, Marya Bolikova clocked 7.33 to take the 60m and Kseniya Vdovina was the fastest in the 300m clocking 37.92. The 500m was dominated by former 4x400m Relay World champion Olesya Forsheva who clocked 1:09.40. Marya Savinova, the World indoor and European 800m champion, won the 1000m in 2:41.14. The rather rare 2000m distance was won by Olesiya Syreva who stopped the clock in 5:44.89.
But before the competitions in Moscow Bolikova and Savinova participated in the tournament in Omsk where Bolikova clocked 7.30 in the 600m and Savinova won the 600m in 1:29.42.
The situation in the women’s Long Jump began on an interesting note. It started in St. Petersburg where Tatyana Voikina leaped 6.51. A few days later she improved to 6.52m but then at the Christmas Cup in Moscow Anna Nazarove reached 6.61m.
This meet also featured several other quality early-season marks. Anna Sedova won the 500m in 1:10.84 while Yelena Korobkina clocked 5:50.35 over 2000m, a new Russian Under-23 record. In the women’s Pole Vault Yuliya Golubchikova began her comeback from surgery with a 4.40m clearance, topping 19-year-old Ludmila Eremina who cleared 4.30m.
In the men’s events the best results were achieved in the Jumps and Shot Put. Victor Chistyakov cleared 5.55m to win the Pole Vault ahead of 2004 World indoor champion Igor Pavlov (5.50m). In the Long Jump Sergei Nickolaev took the win with a 7.77m leap over Pavel Karavaev (7.71m). Alexander Sergeev won the Triple Jump at 16.60m just one centimetre ahead of Lyukman Adams who had only one fair jump. Maksim Sidorov won the Shopt Put with a 20.25m effort, winning over Yevgeniy Plahin (19.21m) by more than a metre.
At a multi-events competition in Kemerovo, Mikhail Logvinenko tallied 5747 points to win the Heptathlon while Marina Goncharova won the Pentathlon with 4380 points.
Nickolai Dolgopolov and Rostislav Orlov for the IAAF