The Russian Race Walk Championships were held on 14 June in Cheboksary, the capital of the Republic of Chuvashiya, which was the venue for the 2008 IAAF World Race Walking Cup.
The two Republics of the Russian Federation – Chuvashiya and Mordoviya - are world recognised centres of Race Walking. Nearly all members of the Russian national team were brought up in the two national Race Walking Schools opened in these two cities.
Notably all places on the podium of the Russian Nationals were occupied by the athletes from the two Republics!
Besides the two 2008 Olympic champions Valeriy Borchin and Olga Kaniskina who were pre-selected, this year the race walkers were given two chances of getting their places in the national team that goes to the 12th IAAF World championships in Athletics, Berlin.
The first opportunity was at the European Cup at Metz (France) earlier this month and Petr Trofimov, Denis Nizhegorodov, Yuriy Andronov, Anisya Kirdiapkina succeded in getting their ticket this way.
The second chance was to win, and only to win, at the Russian Nationals.
Competing in terrible heat Andrei Krivov who is 23-years-old, and was unlucky in Metz (27th place) won the national 20km title in 1:23:23. Andrei Ruzavin got the silver medal in 1:23.57. And the 20-year-old Alekesei Bartzaikin was third. All three are from the city of Saransk, the capital of Mordoviya.
In the women’s 20km, the 22-year-old Vera Sokolova, who started her sport career in Chevashiya but now is being coached in Saransk, won in 1:27.33. Tatyana Shemiakona lost by exactly two minutes (1:29.33) and 22-year-old Olga Mikhailova from Chuvashiya finished third (1:31.56).
The men's 50km race started on Sunday (14) at 7am. The heat was unbearable even at that early hour and explains why the results were not as good as expected.
2005 world champion Sergey Kirdyapkin won in 3:49:04. The 22-year-old Sergei Bakulin was the runner up, 3:54.57, while Sergei Leontiev was the third– 4:04.46
Nickolai Dolgopolov and Rostislav Orlov for the IAAF