Athletics Week will be held in the Russian capital from 5 to 10 June. For six days, fans of the queen of sports will be able to watch the competitions of the best Russian athletes, as well as guests from Belarus and Turkey.
The series will open with an unusual running tournament, which will be held in the very center of Moscow - on Nikolskaya Street. The uniqueness of the competition lies not only in the venue, but also in the distances: traditionally, 60 m races - both smooth and hurdles - are held in winter, indoors.
In this regard, it will be very interesting to watch the performance of the ex-world champion Sergey Shubenkov, who last competed at this distance in March 2014 - at the winter world championship in Sopot. The main competition for the titled hurdler will be the current champion of the country in the 60-meter hurdle Artem Makarenko, who almost defeated Sergey at the recent tournament in Sochi. The winners of the country's winter championship Anatoly Kiselev and Semyon Manakov, as well as the record holder of Belarus in the 110 m hurdles Vitaly Parakhonko, can join the dispute for awards.
In a smooth run, the focus will be on another former world and European champion, Ramil Guliyev, representing Turkey. He will be opposed by the best sprinters of Russia - Yaroslav Tkalich, Danila Ten, Igor Obraztsov and Alexander Nikolaev.
The protagonist of the women's races will be the multiple champion of Russia in the hundred-meter Kristina Makarenko, and at the barrier distance it is worth paying attention to Irina Boldyreva and Victoria Pogrebnyak, who will confront strong Belarusians Elvira Graborenko and Ruslana Romanovskaya.
In addition, the audience on this day expects a rich show program - demonstration races of athletics stars of different years, athletes from other sports, journalists and artists. The full list of participants is still kept secret, but it is known that figure skaters Alina Zagitova, Kamila Valieva, Sofia Akatyeva, Adelia Petrosyan, Alexei Yagudin, chess player Sergey Karjakin, weightlifter Mikhail Koklyaev, world record holder in high jump Javier Sotomayor, as well as Olympic champions Dayron Robles and Asier Garcia will take to the start. A separate race of football players is also expected.
"I'm sure many will agree with me: last year, the costume race in which I participated was the icing on the cake of Athletics Week. It was both fun and exciting. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to win, I ran only sixth. But this time there are much more chances: the distance is 40 meters shorter, and there will be not seven, but only two or three rivals, so let's fight! Friends ask if I'll run again in a Chewbacca costume. Come to Nikolskaya and see for yourself!" — shared his expectations from the show race Yagudin.
On all other days, the competition will be held at the Southern Sports Core of Luzhniki. As the First Vice-President of the All-Russian Athletics Federation Irina Privalova noted, based on last year's experience, the tournament was moved from the Northern Core for the convenience of spectators.
"There were complaints that from one part of the stands it was not visible what was happening on the opposite side of the stadium. Now this problem will be solved, "the representative of the VFLA emphasized.
Competitions in Luzhniki will open with High Jump Day on June 6. Two finals - both men's and women's - will be held simultaneously. An unusually sharp fight is expected among the stronger sex, where the bronze medalist of the 2019 World Championship Ilya Ivanyuk, who repeated the best result of the season in the world (2.2 m) in Bryansk on June 33, and Danil Lysenko, who returned to action last summer after a four-year suspension, will meet in a face-to-face confrontation.
"It's great when you have someone to fight with. I can say from last season that it was very difficult to pull everything alone. And in rivalry, the result grows: no one wants to lose. And there is also a desire to take revenge on Dani for recent defeats," Ivanyuk said before the start of the summer season.
Unfortunately, Olympic champion Maria Lasitskene, who again had problems with her Achilles, which tormented her before the Games in Tokyo, will not be able to take part in the tournament. She felt discomfort in her ankle during the Russian Team Championship in Sochi, and after the examination, it was decided to take a break for recovery. In the absence of a leader, former world junior champion Natalia Spiridonova, silver medalist of the 2018 Youth Olympics Maria Kochanova, as well as Belarusian Karina Demidik will compete for victory.
The next day after the high-altitude climbers, long jumpers and triple jumpers will join the fight. Ekaterina Koneva will try to take revenge on the Belarusian athlete Violetta Skvortsova, who snatched her victory in the last attempt at the tournament in Sochi, setting a personal record of 14.41 meters. The Russian woman lost seven centimeters to her opponent. At the same time, both entered the top 10 leaders of the season in the world.
On June 8 and 9, the Sprint Festival will be held, which will bring together all those stars that were previously on Nikolskaya. In addition, they will be joined by specialists in the 200 and 400 meters, in particular Savely Savlukov. Last year, a young athlete at the Athletics Week spectacularly won with a score of 45.18 seconds, and many experts started talking about the fact that Savely is able to break the country's record of Viktor Markin (44.60), which has been held since the Moscow Olympics. However, faster than in Moscow, Savlukov no longer ran in the season. However, his coach Sergey Klevtsov still hopes that sooner or later the student will be able to run out of 44 seconds.
In addition to individual races, the tournament will also include 4x100-meter relays. Now that the VFLA has been restored in its rights and foreign athletes can be invited to Russia, this type of program will become even more attractive for spectators, because the teams of Turkey and Belarus will compete with domestic runners.
The Athletics Week will end with the Znamensky Brothers Memorial on Saturday, June 10. In addition to all the disciplines already mentioned, awards will be played in the men's pole vault, as well as in the women's 800 meters and men's 1500 meters.
In addition, in parallel, the Salyut Heraklion stadium will host a "Celebration of Power", where shot putters will fight. So, the Belarusian athlete Alyona Dubinskaya, who is in the top 20 leaders of the season, as well as her compatriot Elena Trus, will perform there.
It is worth noting that all tournaments are included in the standings of the "Queen of Russian Sports" series, which is held by the VFLA for the second season. The best athletes will be able to qualify for the final, which will be held on August 17-19 in Yekaterinburg as part of the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the city.