Tatyana Lysenko wasted little time in reclaiming the World Record * in the women's Hammer Throw, after her 77.41 throw at the Znamenskiy Memorial in Zhukovskiy, Russia, today.
On 12 June, Gulfiya Khanafeyeva improved Lysenko's previous global standard by 20 centimetres after a 77.26 effort to win the national title in Tula. Here, competing in conditions which many Russians are not accustomed to - 32 degrees and 60 percent humidity - Lysenko illustrated her intentions early after a 74.48 in the first round, and improved to 74.90 in the second.
Yelena Konevtsova then took the lead with a 74.93 effort, which motivated Lysenko to reach her 77.41 with her third throw. She did nearly as well in the next round, reaching 77.06, equalling her previous World Record. She skipped her fifth and sixth throws, but filling out a sterling competition, Yekaterina Khorishikh didn't surrender. In the sixth round she nearly reached 77 metres herself with a 76.63 throw, to finish second.
Konevtsova continued the battle in the final round and improved to 75.07 to finish third. Khanafeyeva appeared to be doing her utmost though it was evident that it wasn't her day. Nonetheless she managed to improve round by round, and eventually reached 74.52 in the final round, to finish fourth.
Asked if she could hit the 80 metre mark soon, an overjoyed Lysenko, said the barrier would be possible in the future.
"If men can do it with the hammer that is even heavier, then why should our record remain under 80 metres?"
But Lysenko refused to offer a guess as to when that barrier might be reached.
Lysenko lives nearly full time in the training camp of the Russian national team in the town of Podolsk. Her parents live in Cheliabinsk, far from the main athletic crossroads, so she prefers to be under the close eye of the national team coaches. Lysenko said she doesn't idiolise the hammer throwers of the past but does consider the technique of the legendary Sergey Litvinov and Yuriy Sedykh to be the best.
The Hammer Throw, not part of evening's main meeting programme, was witnessed by just a few spectators who chose to avoid the afternoon heat. The strong line-up also included Kho Shiai of China.
Kolchanova leaps to 7.10m
Lyudmila Kolchanova is progressing with nearly every start this summer but weather conditions today were by no means the best with a strong head wind for most of the women’s Long Jump competition. Yet still Kolchanova, the 26-year-old World Student Games champion, was not to be upset, producing an opening series of four solid efforts: 6.69 (-0.9m/s wind); 6.82 (-0.7); 6.80 (-1.3); 6.84 (-1.3).
On her fifth attempt Kolchanova switched on her speed, landing at 7.04m (-0.4), a world season’s lead which improved Oksana Udmurtova's previous best by 2cm. But her sixth attempt was even better. Into a 0.3m/s headwind, Kolchanova leapt to 7.10m. The athlete who started 2006 with a personal best of 6.79m is now a firm favourite for the European title last this summer.
Vlasic's 2.02m defeats Olympic champion
The Olympic High Jump champion Yelena Slesarenko has changed her permanent place of residence: she left the city of Rostov-on-Don and is now living in Zhukovskiy, the new home of the Znamenskiy Memorial meeting.
But she did not begin her competitive life in her new home city with much luck, as the World Indoor champion could ‘only’ leap 1.95m which was good enough for second. Slesarenko, explained her lapse by the fact she is concentrating on the European title in August – “My main aim is to win the gold medal in Sweden. And I’m trying to obtain my best form for the middle of August only.”
Whatever the reason, the Russian was well beaten on this occasion by Croatia’s Blanka Vlasic, the World Indoor silver medallist, who cleared 2.02m. It was a season’s best for the 22-year-old who has outdoor and indoor personal bests of 2.03 (2004) and 2.05 (2006). Vlasic also tried 2.04m and was very close to conquering it.
Significantly, Vlasic’s 2.02m beat the meeting record held since 1986 by Bulgaria’s retired World record holder Stefka Kostadinova, and took home a 3000 Euro bonus for accomplishing feat.
In third place came Ekaterina Kutsevitch with 1.85m.
Olsson improves to 17.46m into the wind
26-year-old Christain Olsson of Sweden, continued his impressive comeback from maore than a year of persistent injury with a 17.46m (-0.9m/s) win in the Men’s Triple Jump, so adding 6cm to his season’s best after three meetings.
The reigning Olympic and European champion beat World silver medallist Yoandry Betanzos from Cuba (17.16m), and Russia’s Aleksandr Sergeev (17.00m).
However, in the press conference afterwards Olsson confirmed he still feared further injury and so was doing his best to concentrate on his opening two leaps in each competition, so not to put extra pressure on his recovery.
Olsson’s compatriot Alhaji Jeng took victory in the Men’s Pole Vault clearing 5.80m, and leaving behind Pawel Czerwinski (POL) who also cleared 5.80m but lost on count-back.
Soboleva - 1:57.28 for 800m
There was no doubt that Yelena Soboleva’s 1:57.28 personal best victory in the women’s 800m was the middle distance performance of the day, taken ahead of Ukraine’s Tetyana’s 1:57.91, who was in turn better than Russia's Svetlana Cherkasova (1:58.08) and Natalya Panteleyeva (1:59.21 - PB).
Borzakovskiy honours home crowd with win
However, Russia’s Olympic hero Yuriy Borzakovskiy’s win in the men’s 800m was perhaps the more favoured by the audience, especially as his original plan had been to take a rest this entire summer and not compete at all. However, the Moscow World Indoors in March, and the attraction of the Memorial being run in his home town of Zhukovskiy, was just too much for Borzakovskiy to resist.
“When I found out that Brothers Znamenskiy Memorial would be in my home town, I failed to resist the strong desire to participate,” confirmed the Olympic 800m champion. “I wished to express my gratitude towards the authorities of the Moscow Region who practically rebuilt the old stadium “Meteor” transforming it into a brand new arena specially designed to answer the needs of athletes. So I made up my mind to run 800m in order not to disappoint the public.”
And the public was not disappointed at all when their favourite won. Borzakovskiy left it to a short finishing burst to secure the win in 1:45.31, beating Latvia’s Dmitrijs Milkevics (1:45.43).
“It was my first start of the outdoor season. So it was not easy for me to obtain the fighting spirit that matters so much for me,” said Borzakovskiy at the press conference afterwards at which he appeared with his little son Yaroslav in his arms. “But I think that I’ll improve with each new start.”
In other events…
The men’s 5000m was the distance at which the brothers Znamenskiy dominated but unfortunately they have no Russian heritors of their tradition anymore, and this year’s Memorial race was dominated by guest stars from Kenya. Joseph Ebuya was first in 13:32.62.
Yuliya Gushchina (RUS) finished first in the Women’s 100m. Natalya Rusakova who is a specialist in the sprint hurdles was the runner-up (11.21), with veteran Larisa Kruglova, third (11.23).
Christian Malcolm from Great Britain won the men’s 100m in 10.32; Tatyana Veshkurova took the women’s 400m in 50.64, with Natalya Nazarova, second – 51.09.
Rostislav Orlov and Nickolai Dolgopolov for the IAAF
*pending usual ratification procedures
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