Yulia Chizhenko's 1:57.07 victory in the 800 metres provided the highlight of day four (14) at the Russian National Championships.
In close finish, four under 1:57.25
The final turned out to be a magnificent performance by a superb soloist Yulia Chizhenko who was accompanied by the whole orchestra of finalists. Chizhenko’s 1:57.07 personal best is the fastest in the world this year, overtaking Kenya's Commonwealth champion Janeth Jepkosgei's 1:57.22 from Gateshead last Sunday. In an extremely tight battle for the remaining podium spots, Svetlana Kluka was the runner-up in 1:57.21, just ahead of Svetlana Cherkasova's 1.57.23 who in turn edged Olga Kotlyarova (1:57.24) by the narrowest of margins.
It seems that this season may turn to be extremely successful for Chizhenko. Her favourite distance is the 1500m, and she is already included in the national team as the reigning World indoor champion. Thus her world leader over two laps may only be a prelude to her future performances at 1500m.
Olympic Champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy watched the men's 800m final sitting in the tribune of the “Arsenal” stadium. He was evidently satisfied by the victory of his friend Dmitriy Bogdanov who clocked 1.46.88 to win by nearly half a second over Ivan Nesterov. But the 21-year-old runner is the real revelation of the season. He is training for future titles in the same group with the double World 1500m champion Tatyana Tomashova. Nesterov recently won the “Governor's Cup" in Samara, and in Tula, with his 1:47.30 performance, left behind the experienced runner Ramil Aritkulov.
Zaytseva moves down to capture 200m title
Olga Zaytseva, until today known primarily as a 400m specialist, won the 200 with a personal best 22.67. The 21-year-old has a 50.06 PB over the full lap from last year, and in January, ran a leg on the Russian quartet that lowered the indoor 4 x 400m World indoor record to 3:23.37.
Natalya Rusakova, who prefers the 100m Hurdles but missed her favourite event due to injury, took the silver with a promising 22.72. Anastasiya Kapachinskaya, who returned from a two-year doping suspension, finished third in 23.02. Seven-time 4 x 400m Relay gold medallist Natalya Nazarova was a distant seventh in 23.44, while Yuliya Gushchina, who clocked 22.52 in the semi-finals, the fastest among Europeans this year, did not start in the final.
Roman Smirnov was considered to be the favourite in the men's race after he clocked 20.84 at the semis. But it was Ivan Teplykh who took top honours in 20.81 after Smirnov's poor start. Oleg Zuev got the bronze in 21.07.
Men's Discus Throw decided by two centimetres
The winner of the men’s Discus Throw, Stanislav Alekseev, won by the tiny margin of just two centimetres! His best effort of 62.03 narrowly edged that of the favourite, Bogdan Pizshalnikov, who reached 62.01. Aleksandr Birichevskiy was third with a 61.68 best.
The men’s Hammer Throw was won by Vadim Khersontsev. His last attempt throw of 77.08 brought him the much-desired victory. His new coach leads the mighty group of female hammer throwers headed by the former World record holder Tatyana Lysenko and Ekaterina Khoroshikh. The experienced Ilya Konovalov, who was leading up to the last round, got the silver (76.88) with Sergei Kirmasovs third (76.24).
The results in men’s Pole Vault left much to be desired, with the three medallists clearing just 5.55. Perhaps it was the strong wind that prevented them better performances? Igor Pavlov won on the count back, leaving behind Dmitriy Starodubtzev and Andrei Chemov.
Yekaterina Savchenko and Anna Chicherova cleared 1.95 in the women's High Jump, with Savchenko winning on the countback. Tatyana Kivimiagi was third with a 1.92 clearance.
The finals of the 10,000m were won in starkly different ways. The men's race was dominated by Dmitriy Maksimov who took the lead after the first two kilometres en route to a 28:36.34 win. Pavel Shapovalov (29:01.13) and Oleg Kulkov ( 29:10.49) remained far behind.
The women's race wasn't decided until the final sprint. It was Galina Bogomolova who won the distance with her heroic final effort to clock 31:31.58, leaving Inga Abotova on the second step of the podium (31:32.24). Lydia Grigorieva finished third in 31.33.27.
Nickolai Dolgopolov and Rostislav Orlov for the IAAF