It’s quite a Championships! The competition is fierce, with 750 participants from 56 Russian cities and towns taking part.
Irina Privalova back on the track
One of the athletes best known and loved by the fans is the Sydney Olympic champion Irina Privalova. A lot of people gasped when they saw the runner on the start of women’s 100 metres. It is a year and a half since Privalova last ran the distance. This time out, she clocked 11.51 and qualified for the semifinal, but didn’t start because of injury.
It was Julia Tabakova from Tula who won the women’s short sprint –11.16 to the joy of the home crowd. And her time in qualifying was even better - 11.10. Irina Khabarova finished second – 11.21 and Larisa Kruglova was third – 11.27. All three medal winners showed rather good results by Russian standards.
For Epishin Winning is a family tradition
There were no surprises in the men’s 100 metres. Andrei Epishin was first, as expected, in 10.32. The son of the former world champion Ekaterina Podkopaeva and the ex-USSR champion in steeple Sergei Epishin seems to be the only 100 metre runner from Russia who’ll go to Athens. But let’s repeat that the final composition of the team will be definitely determined on the 1st of August.
On the other hand, the results at men’s 110m hurdles were surprising. The recognized leader of the team Evgeniy Pechonkin lost by 0.09 seconds to the newly emerged winner Igor Peremota – 13.59. The bronze medallist Andrei Kislykh stopped the clock at 13.97
The men’s 3000 Steeplechase was won by Roman Usov – 8:28.19. The Russian record holder at this distance, Pavel Potapovich, finished second – 8:30.60 and Andrei Fornosov was third – 8:34.19.
The women’s 3000m Steeplechase was much anticipated, But the new world record Gulnara Samitova who was expected to improve her record didn’t start. She has already got her Olympic ticket by winning the 5000 metres several days ago and this is likely the reason to miss the non-Olympic distance. In her absence it was Lubov Ivanova who won with a good time of 9:39.56. Tatyana Velisova was second – 9:50.14.
Good results in qualifying
Several excellent results were shown at preliminaries. Tatyana Kotova is leading after the qualifying in the women’s Long Jump –6,86. Irina Simagina is only one centmetre behind her and Tatyana Lebedeva to whom the notion of tiredness seems unknown is third for the moment with 6.82.
Danil Bukenya led the qualifying in the men’s Triple with 17.12m and six pole vaulters equalled the standard established by the All-Russian Athletic Federation of 5.30.
The biggest battle - and no other word can be chosen - is expected in the women’s 400 metres. Seven runners made better then 51 seconds in the heats. The best for the time being is Natalya Antukh (not yet so widely known) – 50.28. It is even difficult to imagine what it will be like in the final where six participants of the Russian Olympic relay team will be determined.Anton Galkin is fastest after the qualifying at men’s 400 metres – 45.82.
Yuriy Borzakovskiy’s performances are always admired by the public that adores suspense. 70 athletes took part in qualifying for the men’s 800 metres. Borzakovskiy is leading the field with his time of 1:47.99.
The experienced 800 metres runner Tatyana Andrianova is topping the women’s best list.
Nickolai Dolgopolov and Rostislav Orlov for the IAAF