Tatyana Chernova (© Getty Images)
Heptathlete Tatyana Chernova showed that she is in good shape ahead of the defence of her World title in Moscow next month when she produced a world-leading total of 6623 points at the World University Games on Thursday (12).
Chernova, the overnight leader, increased her advantage with the longest leap in the opening event of the second day, 6.48m in the Long Jump, and after a Javelin throw of 47.90m there was never any question she was going to triumph on home soil in Russia.
She also won the last event, the 800m, in 2:11.58.
“This University Championships was an important test for me ahead of the World Championships next month. I could perform relaxed and saw this competition as important training. I feel I am ready for it. I look forward to perform well in Moscow,” said a happy Chernova.
Silver went to Latvia’s Laura Ikauniece with 6321 points and Hungary’s Gyorgyi Zsivoczky-Farkas was third with 6269, after improving her personal best marks in both the Long Jump and Javelin.
IAAF Combined Events Challenge implications
The Heptathlon in Kazan also counted towards the 2013 IAAF Combined Events Challenge, and the results there could have a significant effect on the final standings when the Challenge comes to an end in September.
All three medallist have now completed two competitions and are expected to have their third qualifying competition in Moscow, the next event in the Challenge which will then be followed by the final two meetings in the series in September.
After her win in Kazan, Chernova will not only have her eyes on the podium in Moscow but also on retaining her Challenge crown for the four consecutive year, which comes with an annual first prize of US$30,000.
Another outstanding win for a home athlete went to triple jumper Yekaterina Koneva, who successfully defended her title from two years ago when she bounded out to a championship record and personal best of 14.82m in the fifth round.
Koneva started with 14.39m, which itself would have been good enough to win, and improved to 14.59m in the next round, and then 14.72m in the fourth round before her big winning leap one round later.
Second was Poland's Anna Jagaciak with 14.21m and Romania’s Carmen Toma got the bronze with 14.14m.
Russia’s Irina Tarasova had a battle in the Shot Put but won with her fifth round effort of 18.75m, with China’s Liu Xiangrong also over 18 metres but taking second with 18.58m.
Safiullin steeple success
Former European junior champion Ilgizar Safiullin won the 3000m Steeplechase in 8:32.53 for another gold for the host country, in the end winning well from Spain’s Sebastian Martos, who was second in 8:37.94.
Another Russian gold medal was expected from 2012 European champion Sergey Shubenkov, who sped to a time of 13.10 in his semifinal that was only slightly wind-assisted (+2.2 metres-per-second).
However, mistakes at the start of the final meant he was only third in 13.47, with the gold medal going to US Virgin Islands’ US Eddie Lovett in 13.43 with Russia’s Konstantin Shabanov second in 13.46.
Sam Kendricks won the Pole Vault with 5.60m, the US athlete winning by virtue of a first-time clearance as he had done at every height after coming into the competition at 5.00m. Second was Japan’s Seito Yamamoto at the same height but he only made it on his third attempt. Both men failed at 5.70m. The bronze medal went to Kazakhstan’s Nikita Filipov with 5.50m.
Romania’s Roxana Birca clocked 15:39.76 to win the 5000m, leaving the European champion Olga Golovkina trailing in her wake on the last lap, the Russian finishing second in 15:43.77
Ukraine was fastest in both the 4x100m Relay heats with 38.75 and 42.88 for their men and women’s teams respectively. In the Long Jump qualification rounds, Russia’s Sergey Polyanskiy achieved the best mark with 8.12m with favourite Aleksandr Menkov also qualifying with 7.83m.
Hans van Kuijen for the IAAF