Athletics: London – Kazan – Moscow – Rio

Natalia Antyukh – champion of the Olympic Games in London, 400m hurdles, silver medalist in the relay 4 x 400 m. Natalia Antyukh – champion of the Olympic Games in London, 400m hurdles, silver medalist in the relay 4 x 400 m.

The national team of Russia in athletics made its debut at the international sports arena in 1993. Exactly that year Russian sportsmen for the first time performed as a separate team, opening up new pages in the history of domestic and international sports.

Valentin Balakhnichev
President of the All-Russia Athletic Federation

In the last five Olympic cycles All-Russia Athletic Federation has elaborated the most optimal scheme of strategic, organizational and practical measures, which absorbed the most valuable positive experience for the preparation and performance at the largest international competitions – World, European Championships and Olympic Games of the national teams of the USSR and the Russian Federation, which is the pillar of our work planning at present.

Flexible combination of the centralized and individual types of sportsmen’s training with obligatory emphasizing of the priorities in each competitive season is the basis for building the schemes of interaction among all links, responsible persons for assuring the preparation of the national team.

Planning and implementation of the measures on the preparation of Russian athletes for the main official international competitions is based on the continuous analytical work, which makes it possible to follow the trends in the development of elite sports in Russia and the world, target the prospects of the national team for the short and long-time periods, track the processes taking place in Russian athletics at the federal and regional levels, as well as pay attention to the factors, which might influence the success of the national team and its further prospects.

The preparation of Russian athletes for the 30th Olympic Games of 2012 was carried out with the close collaboration of All-Russia Athletic Federation with the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation, Federal State Budgetary Institution Center of Sport Training of Russian National Teams, Federal Medical and Biological Agency of the Russian Federation, Federal State Budgetary Institution of Healthcare Center of Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine, executive organs in the field of physical training and sports of the subjects of the Russian Federation, departmental sports associations and organizations of Russia and territorial athletic organizations.

The Olympic Games of 2012 proved that the national team of Russia in athletics possesses in the world total team rating a firm second position. In London Russian athletes managed to win the record in their history number of gold Olympic medals – 8, at the same time having closely approached the main rival and a permanent world leader of the last 20 years – the team of the USA (which gained an extra gold medal reaching 9 in total).

The successful performance of the Russian national team in athletics was determined by a number of factors, among which we can single out the main ones:

1. Commissioning of athletic facilities at the constructed federal centers of sports training (Yug-Sport, city of Sochi – since 2010; Yug-Sport, city of Kislovodsk – since November 2011; Training Center Novogorsk – since May 2012).

2. Improvement of material and technical provision, supply of the enumerated federal and some of the regional sports centers (in the cities of Cheboksary, Saransk, and Moscow) with necessary modern sports and athletic equipment.

3. Considerable improvement of medical assistance as well as medical and biological assurance of the national team preparation.

4. Maximally efficient scheme of the organizational structure of the national team, worked out with close collaboration between the Federation and the Center of Sports Training, which ensured the most optimal combination of the administrative and training personnel.

The results of the Olympic cycle 2009-2012 didn’t introduce any considerable changes in the list of the main countries competitors of the national athletic team of Russia. As before a special attention should be paid to the national teams of the USA, Kenya and Jamaica. They are followed by yet less important, but demonstrating stable trends for the improvement of their results European countries Germany and Great Britain. There still remain in sight the most stable teams: the main competitor of the national team of Kenya in endurance sports – national team of Ethiopia, one of the main competitors of Russian team on the European arena – the team of France and progressing in many sports national team of China.

2012 Olympic Games confirmed main processes to this or that extent influencing the development of the world athletics as a whole and, consequently, having influenced the results of the Olympic competitions in London. Such processes can be referred to as follows:

  • activities of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) aimed at the development of the said sport in the lagging behind from the point of view of athletics countries;
  • attraction of foreign specialists (mainly in throwing and jumping disciplines) to train sportsmen in the countries with a low level of athletics development;
  • active work of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), introduction of the blood certificate of sportsmen, development and collection of biological material for steroid and endocrine certificate;
  • naturalization of sportsmen – ongoing practice of athletes moving from the countries with high level of competition in separate athletic disciplines to other countries (economically more developed);
  • 2012 Olympic Games were not only the culmination of the hard four-year preparatory work, but they gave the impetus to a new Olympic cycle, new targets and new tasks.

The results of Rio de Janeiro 2016 as the finish of the Olympic relay will depend on the correctness of covering each stage of the four-year distance. While working out long-term plans for future work, having in mind the main goal, we tried to take into account the peculiarities and main tasks of each subsequent competitive season.

The summer of 2013 will be marked by two large international competitions: in the beginning of July Kazan will host World Universiade and in the middle of August Moscow will hold World Championship in athletics. Our main efforts will be directed at the successful organization of the said home competitions and dignified performance of sportsmen at them.

The following years of a new Olympic cycle will solve their own strictly determined tasks, the realization of which should help the national team of Russia to improve its high status on the international athletic arena.

2012 Results

97 Russian sportsmen (39 men, 58 women) participated in the athletic competitions of the 30th Olympic Games of 2012.

59 sportsmen (or more than 60% of the team) took part in the finals.

41 sportsmen (more than 40%) took places from 1st to 8th making their contribution in the unofficial count of the points gained by the team.

23 sportsmen (about one fourth of the team) became medalists of 2012 Games.

Out of 47 kinds of the Olympic athletic program Russian sportsmen performed in 42 (19 men, 23 women), herewith in 15 of them they won medals.

In total Russian Olympic team in athletics won 18 Olympic medals (8 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze). This brought second team place.

Gold medalists: Yulia Zaripova (3,000 m, steeple chase); Ivan Ukhov (high jump); Natalia Antyukh (400 m, hurdles); Tatiana Lysenko (hammer), Sergei Kirdyapkin (50 km, walking); Elena Lashmanova (20 km, walking); Anna Chicherova (high jump); Maria Savinova (800 m).

Silver medalists: Evgenia Kolodko (shot put); Daria Pishchalnikova (discus); Elena Sokolova (long jump); Olga Kaniskina (20 km, walking); 4 ? 400 m relay (participated in the final: Yulia Gushchina, Antonina Krivoshapka, Tatiana Firova, Natalia Antyukh and the participants in the heat: Natalia Nazarova, Anastasia Kapachinskaya).

Bronze medalists: Ekaterina Poistogova (800 m); Svetlana Shkolina (high jump); Elena Isinbaeva (pole vault); Tatiana Chernova (heptathlon); Tatiana Arkhipova (marathon).


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