The Russian youth indoor championships finished on Friday (30) after three days of competition in Smolensk and witnessed a number of good performances from potential medal contenders at this summer’s IAAF World Youth Championships, which will be held in the Colombian city of Cali between 15-19 July.
Jumpers made most of the headlines, not least 16-year-old Alexandra Krasina, who won a thrilling competition in the girls' triple jump.
Krasina produced a personal best and world youth-leading mark of 13.23m with her final attempt, flying beyond 13 metres for the first time.
The effort also snatched the gold medal away from pre-event favourite Elena Drozhilina, who had to settle for the silver medal with 12.83m.
Krasina tried to double and took the bronze medal in a close long jump content with 5.83m. The winner was Polina Lukyanenkova who reached 5.93m.
Yelizaveta Bondarenko – whose older 19-year-old sister Kristina is also a junior international pole vaulter – jumped a personal best and world youth-leading height of 4.15m to take the title in what has become her family's specialist event.
Valeria Nikonova, who comes from the same training group as world junior champion Alena Lutkovskaya, was second with 4.05m.
In a traditionally strong event for Russia, the girls’ high jump gold went to Tatyana Ermachenkova with a personal best of 1.82m. Worth noting is that Valentina Ulyanova, who was second on count back and jumped a best of 1.82m, is still only 14 (although she turns 15 on 9 February).
On the track, Valeria Chapkayeva posted a world youth-leading time of 55.26 over 400m, though this distance hasn't been widely run indoors by youths in Russia to date.
The talented 16-year-old already ran one lap in 54.68 last summer, when winning the Russian youth title outdoors, and in Smolensk came home almost two seconds ahead of her nearest rival.
Another 16-year-old, Anzhelika Zavarzina, posted a confident victory over 800m, running an absolute personal best of 2:10.12, more than three seconds faster than she has ever run before, even outdoors.
No Sivkova but still swift sprinting
In the absence of the European 4x100m bronze medallist Kristina Sivkova, who will run at the Russian Winter meeting on Sunday, Yulia Dovzhenko won the 60m in 7.64.
On the boys' side, Ilya Demyanets was the fastest sprinter in 6.92. Andrey Belokon was previously known as a steeplechaser but switched to 800m and won it handily in 1:54.96.
Four athletes cleared 2.02m in the high jump. Azat Gaynutdinov was first on countback ahead of Dmitry Bobkov, who just turned 15 two weeks ago.
Roman Glazkov became the national champion in the shot put with an impressive effort of 18.52m with the 5kg implement.
In the long jump, Alexey Lukashin won with 7.05m, beating Oleg Mirzoyants by three centimetres.
Maxim Kosyukov won the 60m hurdles in 8.02 with Kirill Baranovskiy just 0.02 in arrears.
The national youth indoor championships were held for the first time in Smolensk at the brand new indoor hall built under a federal development program for sports infrastructure.
Natalia Maryanchik for the IAAF