Aristarkhova and Akhmadiyev take first titles at Russian Championships


Many of Russia’s top athletics stars have been pre-selected for the IAAF World Championships, but there are still plenty of spots on the team available for the global showpiece on home soil in Moscow next month.

The National Championships, which are also being held in the capital this week (22-25), is one of the last opportunities for athletes from the host nation to impress selectors.

Action got underway today with most of the programme being heats and qualification rounds. But there were two finals on the track – the men’s 5000m and the women’s 3000m Steeplechase.

The latter was won by Natalya Aristarkhova. Having finished ninth in this event at the past two National Championships, it marked something of a breakthrough for the 23-year-old, who also triumphed at the European Team Championships in Gateshead last month.

She won here in 9:34.33, finishing more than five seconds ahead of European finalist Natalya Gorchakova, who clocked a season’s best of 9:39.47. European under-23 cross-country silver medallist Lyudmila Lebedeva was a close third, setting a PB of 9:39.98.


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