Aleksandra Fedoriva (RUS) (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Cheboksary, Russia

Team Russia is ready for the London Olympics – Day 4, Russian Champs

On the fourth and final day of the Russian Championships, eight gold medals were at stake (6 July).

The women’s 200m final was one of the most thrilling finals. Aleksandra Fedoriva inherited all the best from her mother who was part of the national team. Fedoriva showed no mercy to her opponents today setting a European season lead of 22.19 (+1.0) to win the title. She clocked 22.43 in her heat which is further proof of her stable form.

Fedoriva’s opponents Natalya Rusakova who ran 22.49 (22.42 heat) and Elizaveta Savlinis - 22.65 (22.62 heat) may turn out to be important running tools in the Russian 4x100m Relay team.

And please do keep in mind the newcomer Olga Belkina - 22.73 (4th) and the Olympic champion in the Women’s 4x100 Yuliya Chermoshanskaya – 22.82 (5th). And one further historical note, Yuliya’s mother also belonged to the past generation of famous runners in Russia.

In the women’s 1500m, Yuliya Chizhenko was leading for the first 500m but then Yelena Soboleva took the leadership and at 1300m there was an impression that the game was done. But the impression was totally false for Yekaterina Kostetskaya’s final rush was so strong and unexpected that Soboleva lost control for a short while, and that was enough for two other runners Yekaterina Martynova and Tatyana Tomashova to take advantage too in their final acceleration.

Kostetskaya was first across the finishing line – 3:59.28 that is the best result by a European and the third quickest in the world this season. The runner-up was Martynova – 3:59.49 and Tomashova took the bronze – 3:59.71. Soboleva was fourth in 4:00.09.

Kostetskaya’s mother Olga Dvirna was the European champion at 1500m and her father was one of the best national runners at 800m, so their daughter has certainly inherited their talents.

The result of the men’s 200m was not that good and even the winner Konstantin Petriashov 20.73 (+2.3) was slower than the Olympic B standard.

The men’s 1500m was a thriller resembling the scenario of the women’s race though this time the final result was happier for the early race leader Yegor Nickolaev. Pavel Khvorostukhin produced tremendous acceleration in the final 100 metres and nearly crossed the finishing line first but Nickolaev was still controlling the race and managed to win with a final desperate "dive" at the line, 3:39.25. Khvorostukhin was second in 3:39.28.

The relays were composed of the representatives of national regions of Russia, and it was nice to watch the women’s relay team of the distant Irkutskiy region in Siberia that won the 4x100m Relay– 44.81 sec, and the rather distant Sverdlovskiy region team who clocked 3:32.32 in the 4x400m women’s Relay.

In the men’s 4x100m Relay of Karelia Republic clocked 40.63, with the 4x400 going to the team of Moscow team in 3:08.11.

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Nickolai Dolgopolov and Rostislav Orlov for the IAAF