The Cup of Russia is a traditional tournament organised annually by the All-Russian Athletic Federation, and this year for two days (7 – 8 July) it was the best athletic stadium in the country the “Arsenal” that hosted athletes from all over Russia.
The top world-class stars of the Russian athletics have already been included in the national team that will fly to Osaka next month for the World Championships, but unfortunately the rainy, windy weather did its best to prevent many of those who hoped to accompany them to Japan from doing their best.
Yet there were still some performances that shone out in the gloomy conditions.
In the Women’s Hammer the former World record breaker Gulfiya Khanafeyeva impressed with 75.39m leaving behind Yelena Konevtzeva (75.13) and Anna Khoroshikh (72.07). By these throws the first two athletes should have booked their places to Osaka to accompany World record holder Tatyana Lysenko.
The women’s 400m, because of the huge depth of talent in the country, is always an attraction in Russia. This time it was Natalya Antyukh, the Olympic bronze medallist, who was victorious in 51.45 seconds. Tatyana Firsova came second (52.20) and Yelena Migunova got third (52.32).
Natalya Rusakova won the women’s dash in 11.50 seconds preferring that to the 200m, while the local star from Tula Olesya Zykina, ran that distance instead of the one lap at which she was European champion in 2002. Another specialist at 400m, Svetlana Pospelova joined Zykina in the 200m and the final turned out to be quite a battle. To the joy of the locals Zykina won the Cup title clocking 23.35 seconds. Yelena Bolsun was the runner-up in 23.42 and Pospelova came third in 23.61.
The women’s 100m Hurdles was dominated by Tatyana Pavliy in a time of 13.22 seconds, while Yelena Ivanova won the Triple Jump with 14.01m.
In the women’s Long Jump, Olympic silver medallist Irina Simagina continued her promising comeback season after maternity leave with a 6.83m leap which while below her current 2007 best of 7.11m (Sochi on 27 May) was still more than enough to hold off Natalya Lebusova (6.73).
In the absence of Yelena Isinbayeva and Svelana Feofanova it was Yuliya Golubchikova who dominated the Women’s Pole vault with a leap of 4.70m and this may well be enough to gain her a ticket to Osaka.
In men’s Pole Vault, Victor Chystyakov cleared the bar at 5.65m.
Vladimir Malyavin secured the men's Long Jump with 7.88m. Kirill Sosunov who is trying to get back in form and lost by only two centimetres from the winner (7.86). Dmitriy Safinskiy was third - 7.80.
Roman Smirnov was the fastest man at 200m (21.06), Ivan Teplykh was the best at the shorter dash (10.68), while Vladimir Frolov was the best at 400m (46.46).
Anton Luboslavskiy won Men’s Shot Put – 19.81.
Nickolai Dolgopolov and Rostislav Orlov for the IAAF