07/06/2021   Sumy (UKR): Lyudmyla Olyanovska and Nazar Kovalenko win the 20km Ukrainian Championships




On June 6, Sumy hosted one of the most dramatic championships in history in Ukraine - the Ukrainian 20km walk championship.
20km women
Six women in Ukraine had achieved the Olympic standard and therefore competed for access to the squad for Sapporo.
The first two athletes of the Ukrainian toplist - Maria Saharuk (UKR) and Anna Shevchuk - did not take part in the championship, and their fate during these almost an hour and a half was in the hands and feet of the rivals. After all, if they had passed faster than their time, Saharuk and especially Shevchuk, who was second, would have stayed out of the Olympic team.
It was after him that it became clear which of the six Ukrainian women who have standards will go to the Olympics. And it was he who in many respects had to determine the Olympic fate of men-speeders in this distance.
According to the selection conditions for the 20 km march, the champion and champion of Ukraine-2021 (under the conditions of selection of athletics) will come to the Olympic Games. Two other athletes - for the toplist.
The first two issues of the Ukrainian toplist - Mariya Saharuk (1:28:47 obtained in Antalya on 6.3.2021) and Hanna Shevchuk (1:29:09 obtained in Lutsk on 20.3.2021) did not take part in the championship, and the their fate during these nearly an hour and a half has been in the hands and feet of their rivals.
After all, if opponents had achieved a shorter time, Saharuk and especially Shevchuk, who was second, would have remained out of the Olympic team.
Coronavirus prevented Nadia Borovska (1:30:41 obtained in Lutsk on 20.3.2021) from competing for the opportunity to achieve the standard of participation in the fourth Olympic Games. Khrystyna Yudkina also did not take part in the championship. She did not have a standard yet, because she the athlete competed in the distances of 50 and 35 km, but in Sumy Khrystyna she intended to compete with the aim of achieving the standard in the 20km.
Unfortunately for her, problems with her back thigh muscles prevented her from competing.
The other contenders for the Olympics were at the start.
Lyudmyla Olyanovska and Olena Sobchuk immediately made a head race.
The first 10km the two athletes went hand in hand and passed half the race in 44:30, which means that if the athletes had covered the second half of the distance at the same pace, the time could have been faster than Anna's. Shevchuk.
The doubt lasted up to 15km when Lyudmila Olyanovska started forcing the pace. It was difficult for Olena Sobchuk to keep up with her opponent, even though she didn't lose sight of her. And when it seemed that the victory was already in Olyanovskaya's pockets and she was less than a kilometer away from the finish line, Ludmila Olyanovska felt muscle aches; she stopped, but then she still managed to overcome herself and continue the distance. Olena Sobchuk narrowed the gap, but she was unable to overtake her opponent.
Victory then for Lyudmyla Olyanovska in 1:29:27.
Second place in 1:29:37 to Olena Sobchuk who was only ten seconds away from victory. But the result of 1:29:37, unfortunately, is not enough for her to go to Sapporo.
In third place came Kader Dost (TUR) in 1:34:40, followed by Inna Loseva (Kashina), for whom this was the first competition in almost two years. She was the first in the Ukrainian team to achieve the Olympic standard. Less than a year ago, Inna had given birth to a baby girl and she had recently returned to racing. Neither she nor the coach had set priority goals, realizing that everything should go gradually. But in the first race after a long break Inna Kashina was already fourth in 1:36:20. Certainly a good start.
20km men
At the time of the start of the Ukrainian championship, only two athletes, Eduard Zabuzhenko and Ivan Losev, had Olympic standards.
They therefore did not compete in Sumy.
Three other athletes competed to get tha pass to the Games. The highest in rank was Viktor Shumik, the second among the Ukrainians was Serhiy Svitlychny, and the third was Nazar Kovalenko.
It was this trio from the start that fought for the championship win.
In the lead position, the athletes took turns during much of the race, but as the finish line was approaching Nazar Kovalenko broke away from rivals.
At 18km Victor Shumik made an attempt to close the gap, but with negative results.
At 19km Victor Scumik fell behind once again, but just before the end of the race he was able to pick up and once again got close to the leader but didn't overtake.
Victory to Nazar Kovalenko (UKR) in 1:22:20.
Second place to Victor Scumik (UKR) in 1:22:28.
Third place to Serhij Svitlichny (UKR) in 1:22:36.
Whether Kovalenko goes to the Olympic Games now will depend on his position in the world rankings and the decision of the World Athletics.