Rybakov proves his dominance

Rybakov proves his dominance
The rain had subsided by the time the men’s high jump competition started, but the wet surface undoubtedly jeopardized the level of performance. Four jumpers cleared 2,25, with Aleksey Krysin doing so on his first attempt. When the bar was set at 2,28, however, Yaroslav Rubakov proved that he could concentrate best by clearing that height on his first try. Pavel Fomenko managed a 2,28 clearance as well. Krysin, who looked so brilliant in clearing 2,25, seemed to have his spirit broken. Rybakov and Fomenko were both close to clearing 2,30 but the bar just would not stay put, causing the audience to erupt in sighs of disappointment.

Nature does not break break the runners’ spirits
As though to confirm the popular saying that athletics and rain go hand in hand, skies turned dark on the third day of the Russian championships, gusting winds set in and first raindrops came down onto the track, compelling the spectators to seek refuge under the shed overhanging the main stand. And it was right at that time that the participants of the women’s 400 m final were called to the track. Everyone was eager to see the heat go ahead, before the rain got a chance to ruin it, but the starter’s gun, unluckily, misfired twice. After all, the runners were on their way, but the results were objectively hampered by the nature. Olesya Zykina went powerfully through the entire distance, erasing every doubt from anyone’s mind as to who the prima of the country’s long sprint is today. She won in 50,94, almost a full half-second off her preliminary time of 50,46 run in more favorable conditions. Natalya Nazarova, defying the weather, managed her season’s best effort – 51,15, fighting off Anastasiya Kapachinskaya for second place. Unfortunately, injury did not allow Natalya Antyukh, who finished a distant fifth, unleash her full potential.

Semyonov defeats Borzakovskiy
Following the women’s heat, the men took track to compete over 400 m, and by that time the rain really started coming down but, luckily, did not turn into a downpour. The race had a twist of its own: will Yuriy Borzakovskiy manage to prevail over the distance that is not traditionally ‘his’? Andrey Semyonov responded on behalf of the pure quarter-milers, going out fast. Borzakovskiy had an unusually fast start as well and was unoficially clocked at 22,13, still going through the halfway point behind the leader and a few other runners. By the time they reached the homestretch, Borzakovskiy had moved into second position and started gradually catching up to Semyonov, albeit at a rate slower than usual. Tension in the stands reached its peak, as the runners were getting closer to the tape, but Yuriy came up half a meter short, and ended in second place. Semyonov ran his best race of the season - 45,90, only 0,05 seconds short of his PR time from 2000, and was overjoyed. It was Andrey’s first National title and his first victory over Borzakovskiy. Yuriy later said that his elevated blood pressure, just like it did in Lausanne, caused him headaches when he would try to pick up the pace, but that he tried his best to win anyway.