Koneva triumphs, pleads for Russian Olympic reprieve
February 15 2016 09:07 PM
Ekaterina Koneva


World and European indoor triple jump champion Ekaterina Koneva  swept to victory at the Russian Winter indoor meet Sunday and pleaded for Russia to be allowed to compete at the Rio Olympics.
Koneva triumphed with a distance of 14.10 metres to see off Olesya Tikhonova (13.78m) and Veronika Semashko (13.71m).
But Koneva’s joy was overshadowed by the likelihood of her and the country’s track and field squad being banned from the Olympics.
Russia was suspended from international athletics in November after a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) independent commission found evidence of “state-sponsored” doping in the country.
“We do not want to think about a possibility of missing the Olympics but it’s not easy,” Koneva admitted.
“I hope justice will eventually triumph and we will have a chance to make our fans, our country happy. The Olympics without Russia is an unfair event.”
World champion Maria Kuchina, 23, recorded a season best 1.98m to win the women’s high jump. Kuchina finished ahead of Irina Gordeyeva (1.89m) and Kristina Koroleva (1.85m).
“I’m happy to achieve the season’s best result but I’m still on the way to my top form,” Kuchina said. “I hope to reach it at the national indoor championship. I want to perform a serious result there.”
In the absence of pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva, who was forced to miss the indoor season with a leg injury, Angelika Sidorova cleared 4.71m to win.  
Angelina Krasnova performed cleared 4.66m to finish second, while Olga Mullina was third with 4.50m.
Antonina Krivoshapka, a world and European champion in the 4x400m relay, who has returned to competition after giving birth to a daughter, was in complete command in the 400m.
She clocked a time of 51.75sec to finish ahead of Yekaterina Renzhina 53.00sec and Yana Glotova, 53.07sec.

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