Gulnara Galkina strides towards the finish line to win steeplechase gold (© Getty Images)
Sochi, RussiaAn impressive middle distance double by Olympic 3000m Steeplechase champion Gulnara Galkina was the chief highlight of the Russian Team Championships which concluded in Sochi on Sunday (31 May).
Galkina, also the World record holder in the 3000m Steeplechase, opted to try her luck with some speedwork and was the heroine of the meeting. First she took the 1500m in 4:03.62, a world leader, leaving behind Natalya Yevdokimova (4:04.43). Then Galkina produced a personal best at 800m of 2:00.29. Its worth mentioning that Galkina used in both races her usual winning tactics, leading from start to finish. Her 200m splits: 200m – 30.0; 400m – 59; 600m – 1:31.
Yuliya Gushchina, an Olympic gold medallist in the 4x100m Relay, collected a double as well. First she won the 400m in 51.11 ahead of Yelena Voinova (51.85) and Kseniya Vdovina (52.30), then followed up with a 22.63 victory over the half-lap, the fastest among Europeans this year. Ludmila Litvonova (22.83) was second and Yelena Bolsun (23.00) third.
Yevgeniy Zagorulko is a man in charge of preparing some of the world’s finest high jumpers. He produced three Olympic champions – Andrei Silnov, Yelena Yelesina and Victor Klugin – and now it was his disciple, Aleksandr Shustov, who took top honours with a 2.31m clearance.
European champion Ludmila Kolchanova was incomparable in the women's Long Jump, reaching 6.72m. It was the best result of the Russian season, achieved against a menacing wind of 1.66.
Yes? As we've already mentioned the headwind was the obstacle for many, sprinters included. But still, another Olympic relay champion, Yevgeniya Polyakova won 100m in 11.47 (w-1.7). Yekaterina Shtepa won 100m Hurdles in 13.48.
Elsewhere, Julya Zaitzeva who won 3000m Steeplechase in 9:34.47and 22-year-old Stepan Poistogov won the 800m in 1:48.61. Oksana Kondratyeva, the daughter of Olympic champions Yuriy Sedykh and Ludmila Kondratyeva, won the Hammer Throw with a 67.18m throw. Dmitriy Velikopolskiywas won the men’s hammer (72.83).
The multi-event titles went to Svetlana Ladokhina and Aleksey Sysoyev. Ladokhina tallied 600s points, her series: 14.10 – 1.73 – 15.06 – 25.09 -6.14 – 37.84 – 2:15.57.
Sysoyev tallied 8030 ( 11.28 – 6.76 – 15.40 – 2.06 – 50.09 – 15.39 – 52.62 – 4.80 – 58.09 – 4:36.17)
Nickolai Dolgopolov and Rostislav Orlov for the IAAF