The 53rd edition of Brothers Znamenskiy Memorial was highlighted by a huge 20.94m put by Belarussia’s Nadzeya Ostapchuk, while the spectators in the Meteor stadium in this town on the outskirts of Moscow went home especially satisfied by the victory of local lad Yuriy Borzakovskiy who went under 1:44 at 800m.
The Znamenskiy Memorial is an IAAF World Challenge meeting.
Ostapchuk’s unapproachable performance
Reigning World Indoor Shot Put champion Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus, who coming into this meeting held the current world lead this season with the 20.59m heave that took her to victory at the Samsung Diamond League meeting in Eugene, USA on 4 June, only had two valid attempts in today’s four round competition.
The 30-year-old opened with 18.94m, but fouled her second and fourth attempts which ended up sandwiching her giant 20.94m release in the third that won the competition and hurled the season's lead into a territory unapproachable by virtually every other athlete in the world with the exception of arch-rival Valerie Adams, the reigning World and Olympic champion from New Zealand, who currently stands second on the season's lists with 20.55m.
While Adams was not competing in Zhukovskiy, USA’s Jillian Camarena-Williams still did her best to hold-up the respectability of the challengers with a last round 19.15m for second. Third went to Russia’s 21-year-old Yevgeniya Kolodko (18.67).
Heidler hammers 75.54m, while veteran Makarov spears 86.14m
The other throws, the two Hammer competitions - IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge - and the men’s Javelin also produced some good results.
2007 World champion and World record holder Betty Heidler after a 73.10m in qualification yesterday (2 July) blasted out a first round 75.54 hammer today, and backed that up with 75.28 in the third of four rounds. That was enough for a very comfortable victory over Cuba’s Yipsi Moreno, second 73.26 (73.66 Qual), and Russia’s Tatyana Lysenko, third with 71.75 (73.51 Qual).
“Today my relations with my hammer were much better then yesterday” (qualification), said Heilder.
The men’s Hammer Throw contest was by contrast disappointing, Hungary’s Krisztian Pars the best with 79.70m.
However, the men’s Javelin Throw made up for that as 38-year-old veteran Sergey Makarov continued his fine vein of form this season with an 86.14m win with his final throw of the four round competition. The 2003 World champion had been in third place until that point with a previous round 82.54 to his credit. Poland’s Igor Janik had been the leader until Makarov’s last heave and finished second with 82.91, while Turkey’s Fatih Avan took third (82.77, 2nd round).
Of the other two men’s field events, in the High Jump, Olympic champion Andrey Silnov took a comfortable victory with a first time clearance at 2.32m, one of five heights he successfully took in the same confident manner, though he followed with three failures at 2.34m. Runner-up was compatriot Alex Shustov, who had a best of 2.29, which he followed with two failures at 2.32 and one at 2.34. No one else was even near this duo’s quality.
"You expect me to win with the best result of the season," smiled Silnov who is on the comeback trial after injury. "Please give me some more time. I’m back to form but in the High Jump it takes a lot of stamina to return to the heights. Now I have several weeks at my disposal to get prepared for the Russian Nationals and for the major event of the year (World Champs). Just patience and we’ll see what will come out of it."
A low key Triple Jump was won by Russia’s 19-year-old Ruslan Samitov in massive PB of 16.90m (0.5m/s); his previous outdoor best before today had been 16.42m (4 July 2010).
Borzakovskiy is back
Whatever had happened elsewhere in this meeting there was always a feeling that home boy Yuriy Borzakovskiy was going to make the local headlines. The 2004 Olympic 800m champion did not disappoint his fans coming home in 1:43.99 to beat Kenya’s Boaz Lalang (1:44.20) and Russia’s next generation two-lap hope Ivan Tukhtachev (1:45.47).
Today’s victory was the fastest 800m for the 30-year-old Borzakovskiy since his 1:43.58 run for second place in Monaco on 28 July 2009.
Borzakovskiy was very happy after his victory. Normally Borzakovskiy has two tactics either he is running at the very back of a group of runners and then tries to win with his final sprint or he leads the race from the very start. Today he used a third variant. He started his acceleration 300 metres before the finishing line and succeeded in winning: 400m – 50.34; 600m – 1:16.0.
“Yes, I’m quite satisfied with my performance” said Borzakovskiy. “ My main aim is the World Championships in Korea. And I have some more time to obtain my best form. May be not everybody is in the know that I was feeling bad last year. The pain was so intense that sometime it was difficult just to walk. But now I have a feeling that my leg is healed. I started to run only in January. And you see that my efforts to make a comeback were fruitful.”
Yuriy's son tries out athletics...
Today the fans were supporting not only Yuriy but his son Yaroslav Borzakovskiy as well. Thanks to the organizers a new event was launched before the start of the Brothers Znamenskiy Memorial called “The heat of the Champions’ kids”. Eight 7 to 10 year-olds participated in this children’s tournament – they run approximately 350 metres. And to the satisfaction of the public Yaroslav was one of the best.
In the other men’s middle distance race of the main meeting, the 3000m Steeplechase, Ethiopia’s World championships finalist Roba Gari was a relatively unchallenged winner in 8:12.74.
Bryzgin’s record remains
With Jamaica’s 9.88 sec sprinter Michael Frater and St Kitts and Nevis' 2003 World Champion Kim Collins in the line-up for the men’s 100m, it was predicted that one of the oldest men’s records of the Brothers Znamenskiy Memorial, the 10.03 sec set in 1986 by Victor Bryzgin might fall.
However, the wind in the Final did not help (minus 1.6m/s). Frater, the first heat winner (10.25, -0.2m/s) took the victory in the Final in 10.11 sec from Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev, 10.18 (earlier 10.35 for 3rd place in heat 2; +0.3m/s), and heat 2 winner (10.25) Collins, who finished third in 10.22.
"Yes, I do like it here in Russia," said Collins. "Everything is marvellous: the track, the fans who supported me, the food. But can you do little something to tame the wind?" he joked.
The shortest women’s race was the 200m which was taken by USA’s 22-year-old Tiffany Townsend, again with a negative wind (-0.9m/s), in 22.84 sec ahead of compatriot ChaRonda Williams and Ukraine’s Mariya Ryemyen who could not be split in joint second place in 22.89.
"It was one of my first performances of the year," said Townsend. "I didn’t think that much about the time I’d clock. But what was frustrating was the front wind. And I realized afterwards that the only thing I thought about during the race was the wind."
The 100m Hurdles also went America’s way thanks to another 22-year-old, Queen Harrison was flew to a 12.88sec clocking (+1.2m/s) ahead of her compatriot Kristi Castlin, second in 12.97. No one else went below 13 seconds.
Russia’s Anastasiya Soloveva was a distant second (13.36), while Turkey’s European champion Nevin Yanit, remains off-form, fourth in 13.50.
Ukraine's Antonina Yefremova won the 400m in 51.07 sec.
An exceptionally slow time, for the level of meeting, was witnessed in the women’s 1500m won by Russia’s Yekaterina Martynova (4:10.76). The 10,000m was not that much better, the 20 strong start-list ending up with Ethiopia’s Sule Utura as the fastest of the day (32:06.89). Second was her fellow Ethiopian Wude Ayalew (32:07.26). The Russian national title went to third placed Yelena Nagovitsyna (32:08.00).
The women’s Long Jump was taken by Russia's former European champion Lyudmila Kolchanova thanks to a first round 6.84m (1.5m/s). Viktoriya Rybalko of Ukraine was second with 6.78 (0.3m/s), three centimetres ahead of third and fourth placed Belarussians Anastasiya Mironchik (3rd) and Veronika Shutkova (4th), and whose bests today were both 6.75m, but who were eventually separated due to the former’s second best leap of 6.74.
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Nickolai Dolgopolov and Rostislav Orlov (Zhukovskiy) andChris Turner (Monaco)
- Nadezhda Ostapchuk a standout winner in Eugene (Kirby Lee) © Copyright
- The customary come-from-behind tactics pay off for Yuriy Borzakovskiy in the 800m (Getty Images) © Copyright
- Betty Heidler with her World Record numbers in Halle (Mike Schmidt) © Copyright