Shubenkov and Kasyanov set out their Göteborg goals | 22.02.2013
|Russian hurdler Sergey Shubenkov will be among the favourites for
the 60m hurdles title in Göteborg.
Shubenkov won the 110m hurdles at the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki last summer and Kasyanov took silver in the heptathlon at the world indoor championships in Istanbul.
Ahead of the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Göteborg which start a week today, March 1, Shubenkov will not underestimate his rivals while Kasyanov is happy that his decision to compete in only the long jump is the right one.
Shubenkov won the outdoor European title in last year in 13.16 and he has carried on his domination this winter. He leads the European rankings with a personal best of 7.50 and though he would like to have run quicker, he is aware that he cannot rest on his laurels in Göteborg.
Shubenkov, 22, said: "I am really satisfied with my season's results. Certainly I would like to run under the world record (7.30) but 7.50, that's time I was ready for."
Speaking with the Russian media, he added: "I know I will be one of the medal favourites in Göteborg but all my rivals are not very far from me and everyone of them can improve.
"That is why I don't want to predict any medalists. My goal is to surpass myself first of all. I go there to run quickly."
Kasyanov might have been part of the historic heptathlon at those World Indoor Championships as American Ashton Eaton broke the world record with 6645 ahead of the Ukrainian with 6017, but it will be all about the individual event in Göteborg.
"It's my own decision to compete this winter in individual events," said Kasyanov, 27. "I had some problems with my knees and I couldn't show my real potential in my favourite event, even a few months ago.
"Now I don't feel any discomfort and I am ready to jump far enough."
His best of the winter was 7.81m in Sumy a week ago but he will surely have to break eight metres to be in with a shout of a medal.
Eight European men have gone beyond that mark this winter with Aleksandr Menkov, of Russia, leading the way with 8.22m.
But that distance will not be new territory for Kasyanov because his personal best is 8.04m from 2010 and, speaking with the Ukrainian media, he said: "I'll not make any predictions as my rivals are so strong but I am not going to be just a tourist at the European Indoors. I go there to fight.
"I definitely needed a little break from heptathlon or decathlon but I will return to the combined events in the summer, aiming for a medal at the World Championships in Moscow."