Report18 Feb 2014

Ryzhova improves 400m world lead, Ukhov dominates high jump at Russian Indoors


Kseniya Ryzhova on her way to winning the Russian indoor 400m title (© Alexander Kiselev /

Thirteen sets of medals were awarded on the second day of the Russian Indoor Championships, held at the CSKA Indoor Arena in Moscow on February 17-19.

Kseniya Ryzhova further improved on her 400m world lead and personal best of 51.06 she set yesterday in the preliminary round of the women’s 400m. In the final, the world 4x400m champion clocked 51.03 to move to equal 10th on the Russian indoor all-time list.

European 400m hurdles champion Irina Davydova placed second in 52.51 and World University Games silver medallist Alena Tamkova was third in 52.86.

“I wanted to dip under 51 seconds today, but the first lap was too fast,” said Ryzhova, who went through 200m in 23.60. “I gave it my all until the last meters of the race, because I still remember how I lost by a narrow margin at the Russian Winter. In the World Indoor Championships final, it will be mostly about tactics, not about the time, I think.”

European under-23 champion Lev Mosin, who was the fastest in the 400m preliminary round on Monday, confirmed his status as the national leader, winning the men’s final in a personal best of 46.32.

Aleksandr Khyutte, who switched from short sprints to the 400m just this year, finished second in 46.56, his first sub-47-second clocking. National 400m hurdles champion Denis Kudryavtsev finished third in 47.15.

Ukhov is on the hunt for records

World leader and Russian indoor record-holder Ivan Ukhov was the only athlete to clear 2.38m in the high jump. Afterwards he made two unsuccessful attempts at a would-be world indoor record height of 2.44m and passed his final attempt.

“The qualifying mark was 2.18m, so there were just too many people. I wanted to enter at 2.30m, but realised that by that time I might as well fall asleep in the sector,” joked the Olympic champion after having to face 37 rivals in the final. “The competition lasted forever, that’s why by 2.44m I couldn’t focus properly.”

Daniil Tsylplakov placed second with an outright personal best of 2.34m, while European indoor champion Sergey Mudrov was third with a season’s best of 2.32m. Aleksey Dmitrik, who cleared 2.40m earlier this year, had to settle for fourth place on count-back with the same height as Mudrov.

Long jump world leader Svetlana Biryukova won the national title in a face-off with Darya Klishina, jumping 6.87m. Two-time European indoor champion Klishina jumped 6.67m in both the first and second round to take silver.

Olympic silver medallist Yevgeniya Kolodko gained a confident victory in the shot put with 18.88m to move to equal second on this year’s world season list. Silver medallist Irina Tarasova sent her implement out to 18.31m to achieve the entry standard for next month’s IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot.

“If I could achieve this kind of result with my technique today, it means I can go further if I execute attempts properly,” said Kolodko. “Today I felt sleepy all the way. It feels good to win, but this level of performance wouldn’t be enough to be a medal contender at the World Indoors, especially compared to Christina Schwanitz’s 20.05m.”

In the men’s shot put, Maksim Sidorov took yet another national title, winning with a season’s best of 20.78m. Aleksandr Lesnoy surpassed the 20-metre mark for the first time indoors, placing second with 20.51m, while Valeriy Kokoyev took the bronze with 20.34m.

Shubenkov tears the track – and his spikes – on the way to victory

World bronze medallist Sergey Shubenkov confirmed his dominance at the national level, winning the 60m hurdles and equalling his season’s best of 7.55. Shubenkov didn’t have a remarkable start, but managed to avoid major mistakes in the race.

“I had to work really hard,” said the European champion. “I even tore one of my spikes in the preliminary rounds! Last year I ran faster at the Russian Championships, but I feel great, so let’s say it’s all about timing. I’ll get to Sopot and do my best.”

Konstantin Shabanov took the silver in 7.64, while Shubenkov’s training partner Aleksey Dryomin finished third in 7.70.

In the women’s 60m hurdles, victory went to Yekaterina Galitskaya who improved her personal best three times in one day.

In the heats, she dipped under eight seconds for the first time in her career with 7.99, then in the semi-final she went event faster with 7.98. In the final, Galitskaya registered a winning time of 7.93, taking her to third on this year’s world season list.

World finalist Yuliya Kondakova placed second in 8.04, also achieving the World Indoors qualifying standard.

The women’s 800m final at the Russian Championships was, as always, competitive. The strongest finishing spurt among all contenders brought Anna Shchagina the victory with a personal best of 2:01.29, the second-best time in the world this season behind Britain’s Laura Muir (2:00.94).

Yekaterina Kupina was second in 2:01.46 and Svetlana Karamasheva won the bronze in 2:01.64. Schagina is expected to go for the 1500m title on the last day of the Russian Indoor Championships.

None of the men’s 800m finalists had the World Indoors qualifying standard of 1:47.00, so the final had to be fast. The main rivalry unfolded between Stepan Poistogov and Ivan Nesterov. They were close with one lap to go, but Poistogov was the one who managed to maintain the pace.

Poistogov stopped the clock in a lifetime best of 1:46.53 with Nesterov also clocking a PB, taking silver in 1:47.18. Daniil Strelnikov won the senior bronze and the under-23 gold with a personal best of 1:47.67.

“We changed our training during the off-season, made it more endurance-based, rather than speed-based. I never had a strong finish before,” said Poistogov, husband of Olympic 800m bronze medallist Yekaterina Poistogova. “My goal for Sopot is not to exit in the first round.”

In the men’s triple jump, world indoor bronze medallist Lyukman Adams won the national title with 16.97m. Although it takes him to third on this year’s world season list, it is three centimetres shy of the qualifying standard for the World Indoor Championships.

Elsewhere, the 200m national titles went to Yekaterina Vukolova (23.60) and Vyacheslav Kolesnichenko (21.23).

Elena Dyachkova and Alla Glushchenko for the IAAF