Saransk solo for Olga Kaniskina, the World champion (Paul Warburton) © Copyright
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Russian Walkers shine at national champs

The Russian National Race Walking were held in Adler which is a suburb of the city of Sochi, host of the 2014 Olympic Games, from 23 to 25 February.

Athletes of four age groups (U-18, U-20, U-23, and senior) participated.

Kaniskina faster than ever

The women's 20km race walk turned out to be the main event at the Russian Winter Race Walking Championships. Four athletes were much faster then all others from the very start. World champion Olga Kaniskina was ahead of the quartet. And for the first 5km she was followed by Anisia Kirdyapkina (Kornikova), Tatyana Shemiakina and Tatyana Sibileva.

After intermediate times of 20:46 at 5km 42.15 at 10km and 1:03.35 at 15km Kaniskina took the definite lead in the last 5km. She was rushing alone towards the finishing line and clocked 1:25.11, the best time in the history of world athletics; faster than the previous World record of her Russian compatriot Olimpiada Ivanova that was set at the World Championships in Helsinki in 2005.

But Kaniskina’s result cannot be registered as the World record as only Russian and no international judges were present.

18-year-old Anisia Kirdyapkina took second place in 1:25.30 and 22-year-old Tatyana Shemiakina got the well-deserved bronze. The last of the leading quartet was Tatyana Sibileva who clocked 1:26.16.

Under-18 athletes competed at 5000m with Tatyana Khainulina the fastest in 21.54. 18-year-old Tatyana Kalmykova was the best at 10km with a time of 42.29 with 17-year-old Irina Umanova only two seconds behind the winner.

In the men’s races, Dementiy Cheparev won the 10km event in 42.39 despite being only 15 years of age while Edict Khabullin won his category’s 10km in a neck and neck rivalry with his opponents in 39.43. The race walker who took the 4th place was only 4 seconds behind the winner.

Valeriy Borchin won the 20km race in 1:17.55 ahead of Sergei Bakulin (1:18.18) with Andrei Krivov third at 1:19.06. More well known athletes like Ilya Markov (1:19.18), Victor Buraev (1:19.27) and Vkadimir Stankin (1:20.06) were never in contention.

The 35km distance was dominated by World record holder Vladimir Kanaikin in 2:25.59 (43.36- 1:24.43- 2:05.22). ahead of Igor Erokhin (2:27.12), Andrei Ruzavin (2:27.59), Denis Nizhegorodov (2:28.00), Sergei Kirdyapkin (2:28.28) and Yuriy Andronov (2:29.36).

Nickolai Dolgopolov and Rostislav Orlov for the IAAF