News08 Jan 2004

Russia's Nazarova breaks 16-year-old 500m record


Natalya Nazarova (RUS) celebrates winning the women's 400m (© Getty Images)

Russia's Natalya Nazarova set a World Indoor best over the seldom-run 500 metres, clocking 1:07.36 at a Moscow athletics meet today.

Nazarova, World 400 metres Indoor champion, beat the time of 1:07.67, set by compatriot Olga Nazarova 16 years ago.

“This record is very important for me because it gives me mental and moral strength to run 400m, says Nazarova.

“I do not want to make any predictions for the future, but today’s 500m showed that I can reach a new level at 400m. Now I know how to make all the necessary work for the preparation for the Indoor World Championships.”

Pechonkina says no to Budapest

World 400m Hurdles record holder Yulya Pechonkina will miss indoor season for the first time in her career.

“She’ll begin running with hurdles only in May,” says Pechonkina’s coach Valentin Maslakov.

“She is healthy at the moment but we do not want to get the same problems like last year. It was a mistake to train so hard and to compete during the winter. Now she makes only special training to improve her speed and strength. She is going to compete in May, June and at the first part of July then she’ll start the final preparation for the Olympic Games.”

Polnova clears 4.50m

The winner of the World Athletics Final, pole vaulter Tatiana Polnova opened her winter season at the Moscow Christmas Cup with 4.50m.

She said the competition was just a training test without any goal to achieve her best result. And it is quite clear that she is going to enter the team and fight for the gold in Budapest.

“She could have jumped a World record last year at the University Games in South Korea,” said her husband and coach Sergey. “She jumped 4.70m at her first attempt but heavy rain stopped her.”