Isinbayeva leads Russian athletics team
MOSCOW, July 10: Russia’s track and field athletics chief Valentin Balakhnichev said on Tuesday he had high hopes for his country’s chances of winning medals at the London Olympics which start on July 27.
Unveiling the country’s athletics squad, Balakhnichev said that results from last week’s national athletics championships in Cheboksary boosted his optimism ahead of the Olympics.
“Our athletes performed season’s best results in six disciplines at Cheboksary,” Balakhnichev said. “I believe we did everything right and we’re still moving the right direction.”
Russia’s pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva, a 30-year-old two-time Olympic champion, who is also the world record holder, is one of the country’s red hot favourites for gold at the London Games.
Isinbayeva will be looking for her crowning achievement next month at the Olympics. If she wins the gold medal in the pole vault, she will become the first woman to win three straight individual Olympic track and field titles.
‘’I will do all possible — and impossible — things to achieve this goal,” Isinbayeva said.
Reigning world champions Maria Abakumova in javelin, Tatiana Chernova in heptathlon, Tatiana Lysenko in hammer, Maria Savinova over 800 metres, Anna Chicherova in high jump are also among Russia’s gold medal hopes.
Four 2012 European champions — Irina Davydva, Olga Golovkina, veteran Yury Borzakovsky and Sergei Shubenkov — also have serious medal chances.
Balakhnichev added: “We did everything we could in these four years after the Beijing Olympics. We’ve chosen the country’s best athletes to compete at the main event of the four-year period.—AFP