Lilya Shobukhova set a new European record in the 5000m to highlight the third day of the Russian national championships on Saturday (19).
The 30-year-old clocked 14:23.75 to eclipse the 14:24.68 mark set by Turkey's Elvan Abeylegesse at the 2004 Bislett Games in Bergen, Norway. It was a substantial improvement for Shobukhova, the 2006 European silver medallist over the distance, her previous best of 14:47.07 coming at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki where she finished ninth. The Russian is now the fourth fastest ever.
3000m Steeplechase World record holder completed a solid weekend with her runner-up finish in 14:33.13, an improvement by more than 20 seconds. In a deep race, Mariya Konovalova was third in 14:38.09 and Yelena Zadorozhnaya fourth (14:43.89).
Lebedeva threatens 15m
Reigning World and Olympic Long Jump champion Tatyana Lebedeva qualified for Beijing in the Triple Jump as well after winning the Triple Jump with a 14.94m effort. It was a season's best for the 31-year-old, who has Olympic silver and bronze from 2000 and 2004 in her massive award collection.
In a close battle for second, it was Anna Pyatykh who prevailed with a 14.88m season's best, just one centimetre ahead of Viktoriya Gurova's 14.83m career best. Oksana Udmurtova was fourth, but well back with a 14.52m best.
Men's action the highlight in the infield
World Indoor Pole Vault champion Yevgeniy Lukyanenko continued his rapid rise with a 5.85m clearance to take the title. The 23-year-old, who joined the event's exclusive six-metre club with a 6.01 vault at the Tamex Cup in Bydgoszcz, Poland, on 1 July, then took a stab at a would-be Russian record of 6.06m.
Also apparently securing Olympic spots were runner-up Dmitriy Starodubtsev and Igor Pavlov who each cleared 5.75m, while Pavel Gerasimov, who topped out at 5.70m, finished fourth.
2004 Olympic finalist and Osaka World Championships silver medallist Yaroslav Rybakov won the High Jump honours with a 2.33m clearance, equalling his season's best. Andrey Tereshin and veteran Vyacheslav Voronin tied for second at 2.30m. European champion Andrey Silnov achieved the same same height to finish fourth, with Aleksandr Shustov and Ivan Ukhov, also at 2.30m, finished fifth and sixth respectively.
Sergey Makarov, the 2003 World champion in the Javelin Throw, punched his return ticket to the Olympics with his 84.81m victory. Ilya Korotkov, who reached a career best of 84.04m, finished runner-up with Aleksandr Ivanov (83.21) third.
Elsewhere, Kiril Ikonikov won the Hammer Throw with a 79.04m effort, with Gulfiya Khanafeyeva, the former World record holder, winning the women's crown with a 75.07m throw, ahead of Yelena Konevtsova (74.81m) and Anna Bulgakova (72.62m).
Sergey Ivanov completed a distance double, adding the 5000m title to his 10,000m crown. As a follow-up to his 27:53.12 national record on Thursday, the 29-year-old clocked 13:43.52.
Rostislav Orlov for the IAAF