Russian athletes in shape before Sopot

Russian athletes in shape before Sopot
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Back in the city where he won the world title last summer, Russia's Aleksandr Menkov also produced a world leading mark at the Russian Winter Meeting in Moscow by opening his long jump season with 8.30m an impressive way to start as he equalled the meeting record.

We left Aleksandr Menkov on a high note after his brilliant 2013 season as he dominated his discipline earning gold medals at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Gothenburg and IAAF World Championships in Moscow.

It seems like the same is to be expected from him for the upcoming season as he took the world lead and equalled the meeting record with 8.30m in his first outing at the Russian Winter meeting in Moscow on Sunday 2 February.

“I was surprised to jump so far, I was not feeling my best and it’s still early in the season,” Menkov said.

He hopes that the Russian federation will exempt him from taking part in the Russian indoor championships 17-19 February, which will be used to select the team for the World Indoor Championships in Sopot in March, so that he can quietly prepare.

Fellow countryman Ivan Ukhov has been relieved from this selection process by the federation, and he continued his strong performances in the high jump when he won in Moscow with 2.36m. But he has chosen a different approach to Menkov’s as he will compete in the national championships to prepare for the world championships.

“Ivan planned to have a good result at the Russian Winter meet but wasn’t able to set a new world record because he was over motivated,” his coach Sergey Klyugin told the national media.

Since last year Ukhov has been modifying his jumping approach and results are starting to show. He recently broke the national indoor record with 2.41m in Chelyabinsk and now has the four leading marks of 2014.

“This season Ivan is adopting motions in his jump which will allow him to achieve new heights in the future,” Klyugin continued.

As for Darya Klishina, the two-time European indoor champion in the long jump reached 6.51m in Moscow, but will need to improve her result at the national championships if she is to make the team for Sopot.

“There’s no reason to panic, I still have time to correct my technique until nationals. I hope to make my fans happy by winning there and in Sopot,” Klishina said.