Two national records and a team of 38 athletes for the IAAF World Youth Championships was the outcome of the Russian Youth Trials that finished on Sunday (23) in Chelyabinsk.
On the first day of competition, 16-year-old shot putter Alena Bugakova set a national record and the second-best performance in the world by a youth athlete with the 3kg Shot. Bugakova added almost two metres to her previous outdoor PB of 17.56m set last month, throwing 19.17m.
All six of her attempts were farther than her previous best, and the young Russian managed to throw over 19m twice – 19.17m in the second round and 19.02m with her final throw.
It ranks her second in the world this year behind Turkey’s Emel Dereli, who has thrown 19.90m this year – just 62cm shy of Corrie de Bruin’s World youth best. Dereli and Bugakova are the only shot putters to break 19 metres this year.
As the 3kg implement only last year became the official implement for youth athletes, Bugakova has confirmed her position as the national record-holder.
She has been doing the Shot Put only for a couple of years. She started her career as a swimmer and even became a champion of her native Tver region, which is in the central part of Russia. Shortly after she was spotted at a school lesson by athletics coach Nadezhda Berezutskaya and moved to Moscow to start doing athletics.
Bugakova currently combines Shot Put with Discus, where she also won the national youth title with a PB of 47.19m. However, Bugakova has been selected just for the Shot in Donetsk and will focus on the Discus later at the European Youth Olympic festival in Utrecht.
Another Russian youth best performance was set by Anatoliy Ryapolov in the Long Jump. The 16-year-old produced an impressive series – 7.78m, 7.90m, 7.37m, 7.81m, x, 7.80m. The wind during the competition was strong and changing, and as a result only three of Ryapolov’s jumps were wind-legal – the first, the second and the last one.
Ryapolov, born in Armavir, improved a very old national record – 7.76 m, set by Igor Lozinskiy back in 1996. Ryapolov’s 7.90m jump is also now the second best jump in the world this year by a youth athlete with only China’s Wang Jianan ahead of him with 7.92m.
Another new name to watch is the second-place finisher, Maxim Yunyakin, who produced the third-best mark in the world this season with 7.63m (1.2m/s).
Tolokonnikov is ‘the new Borzakovskiy’
The impressive sprint double by Kristina Sivkova came as no surprise. Having won the 100m at the recent junior trials (11.70), the 16-year-old prodigy won the 200 (24.80) and continued her winning streak in the 100m (11.70). Earlier in the month Sivkova set a 200m of 23.80 at the Moscow Challenge meeting after being called in as a last-minute replacement.
Though Sivkova now clearly dominates the national scene, in Donetsk she will compete only in the 100m. The coaches decided to save her energy for the competition in Utrecht where Sivkova is set to run both sprint distances and the relay.
Elsewhere on the track, Konstantin Tolokonnikov produced a great 800m run. His time of 1:49.13 now ranks him third in the world and first among Europeans this year. Due to his energetic style and speed, Tolokonnikov has already earned the nickname “the second Borzakovskiy”, after the Olympic 2004 champion.
What makes Tolokonnikov’s result even more notable is that he was running in extreme heat – 34°C in the shade – and practically without any real competition as the second-place finisher, Konstantin Kholmogorov, finished almost two seconds behind in 1:51.08.
In the girl's 100m Hurdles, Yulia Sokolova was an impressive winner in 13.87, despite a strong headwind of 2.7mps.
To see a video of Yulia Sokolova inviting you watch and follow the 2013 IAAF World Youth Championships click here.
At the end of the championships, 38 athletes (22 boys and 16 girls) out of more than 700 participants managed to achieve qualifying standards for the World Youth Championships.
For the first time in years, the team for Donetsk contains more boys than girls. Although Russian athletes still generally perform better on the women’s side, the situation on the senior level is starting to change with the emergence of athletes like Sergey Shubenkov and Alexander Menkov. It seems that trend has now continued at the youth level too.
Natalia Maryanchik for IAAF