Kazan, RussiaMore then 1000 athletes from 66 regions of Russia are taking part in the Russian National Championships at the Central Stadium of Kazan. The winners will get not only the usual glories and the medals but also the tickets to the Beijing Olympics.
The only medals at stake were late in the evening of the first day (17) but many good results were registered in the heats and qualification.
Irina Privalova who won Olympic 400m Hurdles title in 2000 has returned back to her first love the flat sprints. She won her 100m heat clocking 11.52 and so qualified for the semifinal.
On questions about Beijing, Privalova wasn’t very talkative reminding her questioners of her age (39!) but she did add that the presence of veterans in the national team was always useful for the younger generation.
Its interesting that one of the 100m heats was won by Yulia Chermushanskaya. Her mother was a former well-known Russian sprinter Galina Malchugina who was a member with Privalova of the 1993 gold medal winning 4x100m relay squad at the World Championships.
The best time in the heats was registered by the leader of the Russian seasonYevgenia Poliakova — 11.29.
In men's 100m heats saw the best performances by Andrey Epishin and Ivan Teplykh — 10.52.
A total of 16 athletes clocked good results in the Women's 400m heats. The best was Yulia Guzchina with 50.80secs. The 2003 World 200m champion of 2003 Anastasiya Kapachinskaya was next best with 51.01. Guzchina improved in the semis to 50.45.
The men's 400m heats were dominated by younger athletes. The 21-year-old Maksim Dyldin clocked 46.10, and lowered that to 45.42 in the semis.
In the women’s 800m heats, Yelena Soboleva ran 1:57.14.
Tatyana Lebedeva has already reserved the place in the Olympic team — but in the long jump where she is the world champion. Now she's trying to get the second berth — this time in triple. She made it very well in her first attempt in qualification landing at 14.49.
Olympic bronze medal winner in Athens Danil Byrkenya is the leader after men's qualification in this event.
Yulia Kondakova was second to none in the women's 100m Hurdles heats, winning in 13.01. She was trailed by Tatyana Dektyreva, 13.04.
13 men’s high jumpers cleared 2.15m and will fight for the medals in the final.
Meet the champions
Ivan Ushkov startled his opponents in the Shot Put qualification with 20.49m with his first effort. And in the final he was at his mighty best. All three of his successful efforts were over 20m and the winning one was 20.85. His constant and permanent opponent Pavel Sofin was the second on the podium with a best of 20.25. Anton Luboslavskiy was lucky to win the bronze with 20.00m leaving behind the youngest participant of the final Maksim Sidorov (19.98).
The old timer Irina Khudorozhkina who'll turn 40 this October won the women's Shot Put with 18.68m. Olga Ivanova got silver medal with the effort of 18.60, and Anna Omarova got the bronze — 18.03.
Abitova shows her ability once again with 30:46.70
We got accustomed to the excellent results by the African and Asian long distance women runners. But here in Kazan Russian women also deserved compliments. The European Champion winner Inga Abitova won the 10,000m in 30:46.70 which is the fourth best result in the world this season. Marya Konovalova was the runner-up in 30:59.40. Tatyana Aryasova got the bronze, 31:04.88.
Russian record in men's 10,000m
Sergei Ivanov was known as the runner who won several Russian nationals at the 1500m and 5000m. His start at 10,000m was kind of his debut, and a lucky one at that. Ivanov was leading the whole distance and clocked 27:53.12 that is the new Russian national record.
The twin Rybakov brothers were just behind him and in the end Yevgeniy Rybekov got the silver medal in 28:05.75 and Anatoliy Rybakov was third, 28:06.54. Never in the rather young history of the Russian Nationals have the results of our distance runners been so good.
Nickolai Dolgopolov and Rostislav Orlov for the IAAF
Click here for FULL RESULTS