Athletics celebration continues as Russia recognises stars

The Moscow Diaries part 2
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For years, those who were present at the Luzhniki stadium will talk about the time Yelena Isinbayeva won gold in front of her own people.

After Germany crowned two throwers as sports personalities of the year, it was Russia’s turn to name two jumpers as theirs at the National Physical Culture and Sports Awards ceremony in Moscow.

The decision to reward two athletes for the prize was this time less surprising with the 2103 World Championships in Moscow still so present in Russian people’s minds.

It was the inevitable pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva was chosen on the women’s side. Her memorable performance in the Russian capital was the absolute highlight of the week.

She stunned the rest of the field by clearing 4.89 at her first attempt. She had not won a major outdoor title since the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. She shared her return to glory with her fans that had piled into the stadium to witness this moment.

Isinbayeva suggested that this third world title would not be the end. After starting a family, she plans to be back for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

She was joined by fellow long jumper Aleksandr Menkov as the best sportsman of the year.

He made quite an entrance on the main stage of athletics as he stormed to victory in Moscow with an impressive 8.56m performance, a new national record. In fact he broke the record twice during the competition as he had previously leapt to 8.52m.

At only 23, Menkov became the first European athlete to win a long jump gold medal in outdoor World Championships, and this is just the beginning.

He confirmed the promise he had shown throughout the year, winning gold at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Gothenburg as well as the long jump event at the European Athletics Team Championships in Gateshead.

Added to this celebration, Chuvashia, which will host the 2015 European Athletics Team Championships in its capital city of Cheboksary, was named best sports region in Russia from 82 candidates.