Yelena Isinbayeva celebrates 5m World indoor record in Donetsk in 2009 (Zepter) © Copyright
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Isinbayeva makes 4.81m comeback in Moscow

The “Russian Winter” IAAF Indoor Permit meeting took place today (6) in Moscow’s indoor arena named after the double Olympic champion Vladimir Kutz. Appropriately marking the 20th edition of the meeting in style this year’s event was a spectator sell-out and attracted athletes from 25 countries. An outside the hall the snowfall was the best evidence that the Russian winter was in full swing!

A glorious comeback

Double Olympic Pole Vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva hadn’t participated in any competitions for 9 months, her last outing being her fourth place showing at the World Indoor Championships in Doha on 14 March 2010 when she had cleared 4.60m.

At the press conference on the eve of the Moscow meet Isinbayeva had admitted that she was very eager to participate in the “Russian Winter” and that it was not by chance that she had chosen the tournament for her comeback.

And to tell the truth everything went smoothly for the 28-year-old World record holder. Isinbayeva started by clearing 4.61m, and with this first effort she not only took the lead but won the tournament as her strongest opponents had already stopped their competitions at 4.56m.

With no competitive pressure except herself the 27 time World record breaker cleared 4.81m and again only one attempt was required. She tried then to added 10cm and asked the bar to be set at 4.91 but could not manage to clear that height. Nevertheless it was a promising comeback as currently 4.81m is the best result of the world indoor season, though it must be remembered that at the same competition on 7 February 2010, she had cleared 4.85.

Today Svetlana Feofanava was second on the podium with 4.56m and third place was shared with the same result by Aleksandra Kiryashova and Jirina Ptácniková (CZE).

“I did the enormous job and do hope it would be useful,” confirmed the victor, who is planning to take part in “The Stars of Pole Vault” in Donetsk on 12 February, in Stockholm on 22 February, and if all goes well at the European Indoor Championships in Paris at the beginning of March.

Fast 1000m and 600m races

The women’s 1000m is rarely run but today we witnessed some fast times. In a ‘B’ Final the 21-year-old Yelena Arzhakova ran 2:35.21 a world season lead and at the same time the Russian U23 record. The old one was set 27- years-ago by Natalya Antonova. The winner of the strongest final “A” Yevgeniya Zinurova clocked 2:36.32 and was second fastest overall, with third place taken by the ‘A’ final runner-up, Olesya Syreva, 2:37.07

The women’s 600m was dominated from the start by Yuliya Rusanova. She was leading (splits 27.59 - 54.69) and finally clocked 1:24.02. Mariya Savinova, the World Indoor 800m champion, using the race for practice for the outdoor season was the runner-up in 1:26.23. Her main target is the World Championship in Daegu, Korea and she’ll miss the Russian Indoor Champs as well as the European Indoor Championships in Paris. Yelena Kofanova took third – 1:26.38.

Jackson Kivuna from Kenya was the best in the men’s 600m – 1:15.69 – a world season lead for this rarely run distance. His compatriot Richard Kiplagat was the runner-up in 1:15.92 with Ismail Ismail from Sudan was third with 1:16.16.

Ivan Tukhtachev (RUS) set the national record for U-23 in 1:16.80, so improving the national record which had been set six months before his birth in 1989!

Close men's dash; Milama dominates

2003 World 100m champion Kim Collins of St Kitts won the men’s 60m in 6.60sec, split on the photo from Joshua Norman the runner-up who was given the same time. Peter Emelieze (NGR) and Marc Burns (TRI) shared third place in a blanket finish.

Ruddy Zang Milama from Gabon, the World Indoor bronze medallist was the fastest in the women’s 60m with a 7.15sec dash. She was followed by Mikele Barber from the USA in 7.22 and Natalya Muriniviych (RUS) in 7.35. Notably, Milama had run 7.19sec in the heats.

Svoboda supreme but unhappy

Petr Svoboda from (CZE) was second to none in the men’s 60m Hurdles winning in 7.61 sec. The tall muscled hurdler was too strong for all other contenders. The easiness with which he dominated his heat and in the final was fascinating. But Svoboda himself was not that much satisfied with his victory.

“The result is not that good,” said Svoboda, “I still have problems with my technique. It prevents me from attacking the first hurdles.

7.94 sec was enough for Danielle Carruthers from the USA to win the women’s 60m Hurdles. Aleksandra Antonova and Anastasiya Solovyova (both RUS) clocked 8.00 and 8.06 respectively.

Ukhov 2.34m; Klishina satisfied

Ivan Ukhov again proved he is the best high jumper in the world at present. Today he cleared 2.34m. Then he tried at 2.41 but failed.

Darya Klishina was at her best in the women’s Long Jump. She leapt 6.82m on her first effort. Cheered by the crowd she remained better than all her competitors in each round which followed – 6.53m – 6.77m – 6.76m. 

I’m quite satisfied by my victory,” said Klishina. “It is only the beginning. And I think a good one.”

Anna Nazarova was second with a best of 6.75m and Yulia Pidluzhnaya got third with 6.70m, her season’s best.

In the men’s Long Jump the rising Russian star Aleksandr Menkov leapt 8.01m. But this season he has already produced a best of 8.17. Anyway his performance was still enough to take the win from Pavel Shalin (7.96m) and Wilfredo Martinez from Cuba (7.93).

The men’s and women’s Shot Put disciplines were included only in the programme of national competitions. Russian champion Maksim Sidorov produced a 20.56m heave which is his season’s best. Ivan Yushkov, a longtime opponent, was second with 20.15.

In the absence of better known athletes, the 23-year-old Irina Tarasova won the women’s Shot Put with her first effort of 18.04m, her season’s best.

Nickolai Dolgopolov and Rostislav Orlov for the IAAF