On a day with 12 titles on the line, Yekaterina Martynova’s victory in the 1500m highlighted the final day of the Russian championships in Cheboksary on Sunday (24).
Martynova, the European indoor bronze medallist last winter, clocked 4:01.68, the fastest time by a European this year and a personal best by nearly three seconds. The 24-year-old ran her previous best of 4:04.64 in Sollentuna, Sweden, on 28 June. In fast race, Yekaterina Kostezkaya, who finished third in the 800m, finished runner-up in 4:01.77 ahead of Olesya Syryeva (4:02.73).
There were notable performances on the men’s side, with Russian leader Valentin Smirnov prevailing in 3:36.14, also bettering his previous personal best of 3:38.89 set at the European Team Championships last month. Vyacheslav Sikolov was a close runner-up in 3:36.79 with Egor Nickolaev third clocking 3:37.84.
There was an upset in the men’s Hammer Throw with current world leader Aleksei Zagorniy suffering a major setback. The 2009 World bronze medallist’s best effort was just 75.22m, only good enough for fifth overall, putting question mark on his appearance in Daegu. The title went to Kirill Ikonnikov who reached 79.06m, with Sergei Litvinov (78.87m) and Dmitriy Velikopolskiy (75.61m) finishing second and third.
The women’s title went to Tatyana Lysenko who dominated the competition with a 73.26m best effort. Oksana Kondratyeva was a distant second at 69.87m with Mariya Bespalova (68.23) third.
Alsu Murtazina notched a big personal best of 14.55 (wind +0.5) to win the Triple Jump. The 23-year-old’s previous best of 14.44m was set back in 2009 but prior to today her best this season was just 14.29m from Saturday’s qualifying round. Anna Kuropatkina twice reached 14.24m to finish second with Yekaterina Koneva third at 14.20m.
The men’s title went to 20-year-old Aleksandr Fedrov who leaped 16.88m. The 2010 World junior champion and national junior record holder at 17.12m from last year, Fedrov’s 2011 season’s best stands at 17.01m. Alexander Petrenko, eight years Fedrov’s senior, was second at 16.64 with Igor Spasovkhodskiy third at 16.60m.
Roman Smirnov was the fastest in the men’s 200m for many years running, but not this time, finishing a distant third in 21.30 behind a pair of 22-year-old sprinters, Alexander Hutte and Anton Urtayev. Both clocked 21.14m but it was Hutte who was given the edge.
Elizaveta Savlinis took the 200m title clocking 23.02, well ahead of Julya Chermoshanskaya (23.21) and Julya Katsura third (23.49).
The relays are very popular in Russia and in Cheboksary the fans enjoyed them. Hutte, running for St-Petersburg team in Men’s 4x100m Relay, got his second gold of the day courtesy of his team’s 39.86 run. The Moscow tem quartet dominated the women’s full-lap, clocking 44.20. The team included Aleksandra Fedoriva and Yevgeniya Polyakova, Olympic champions in this event.
Most national teams may envy the 4x400m quartet from the region of Sverdlovsk. Kseniya Ustalova, Tatyana Veshkurova, Olesya Krasnomovetz and Anastasiya Ott produced a 3:27.56 run, comfortably inside the season’s top-10. The men’s 4x400m Relay, won by the Tumenskiy region team in 3:07.90, concluded the championships.
Nickolai Dolgopolov and Rostislav Orlov for the IAAF
- Yekaterina Martynova at the 2011 European Indoor Championships (Getty Images) © Copyright