The Znamensky Memorial All Russia meeting was held on June 4-5 and was one of the most impressive competitions in the beginning of the summer season.
About 500 of the best Russian athletes competed in Moscow in an attempt to get a place in the national team for the European Cup and other major competitions of the summer.
The results of Russian athletes at today’s Znamensky Memorial were much higher than two years ago, when Memorial had Grand Prix 1 status.
The competitions began with an outstanding achievement in the women’s hammer, Olga Kusenkova finished with a Russian record – 74.30 and Tatyana Konstantinova achieved 72.09.
The former 1500 m runner Tatiana Motalova finished the 3000m steeplechase with a world leading 9:56.6. She is planning to run 5000 m at the World Championships.
Natalia Tsyganova clocked 1:57.87 in the 800m a personal best outdoor and the best in the world so far this season). Her aim is to run at the World Championships in 1.55 – 1.56 and win a place on the podium. Natalia says that her main rivals in Seville will be Svetlana Masterkova and Maria Mutola.
Liudmila Galkina in the long jump is also going to fight for the first place in Seville. At the Znamensky Memorial she jumped 6.95 and said she was ready to jump better than 7 metres. In the women’s triple jump Tatiana Lebedeva jumped 14.89.
The runner from Krasnoiarsk Yulia Nosova ran the 400mhurdles in a sensational 53.98 (another best in the 1999 season). She is only 20 years old and hopes to take a full half-second of this time at the World Championships in Seville.
Andrei Bragin won the men’s long jump with 8.12, while the European champion Kiril Sosunov took third with 7.98: he has yet to recover fully from some injury problems this winter. Nonetheless, he was selected in the team for the European Cup because he is more consistent than Bragin.
In the triple jump, the place in the team will be given to Denis Kapustin. He shows very good results in training with the jumps over 17.00.
In men’s pole vault the former world leader Rodion Gataulin is trying to return in the team, but came second (5.50) after Evgeni Smiriagin (5.60). The best Russian pole vaulter Maksim Tarasov got the permission from the chief coach of Russian team to pass Znamensky Memorial and National championship, he hopes to jump 5.90 –6.00 and to get a place in the national without selection.
Nikolai Ivanov for IAAF