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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bubka Salvages Victory From Sub-Par Vaulting

Ukrainian pole vaulter Sergei Bubka had only himself to blame for his sub-par performance during the "Russkaya Zima" international track and field competition at Moscow's CSKA indoor track facility.


The night's top result belonged to Venuste Niyongabo of Burundi in the men's 1,500 meters, who ran the third-best indoor time in history -- 3 minutes, 35.19 seconds Wednesday night.


After going over the bar at 5.80 meters on his first attempt with a huge clearance, Bubka skipped 5.90, then failed at 5.96 three times. The six-time world and Olympic champion still won the competition by virtue of fewer misses, edging Russians Igor Trandenkov and Maxim Tarasov, the 1992 Olympic champion, and Igor Potapovich of Kazakhstan.


At the same meet last year, Bubka complained about the quality of the vaulting pit. He said it was not a factor this year after renovations.


"I'm not satisfied with the result," Bubka said. "I should have jumped those heights in my sleep. The pit was fine, it just didn't go as I planned."


The night didn't go as planned for another Olympic winner as well. Fermin Cacho of Spain, 1,500-meter gold medalist in 1992, arrived in Moscow with the announced intention of trying for a new world record in the so-called "metric mile." However, he came up short with the time of 3:36.72, more than 2.5 seconds off the mark set by Algerian Nourredine Morceli in 1991 and a good 10 meters behind Niyongabo.


"The Moscow cold affected my performance tonight," said Cacho after the race. "It's much warmer in Spain."


Apparently, the Russian winter had no affect on the African, who easily outkicked Cacho on the last lap. Vyacheslav Shabunin of Russia was a distant third, despite setting a national record at 3:39.47.


While some pre-tournament favorites had disappointing finishes, others came through on top. World champions Irina Privalova of Russia and American Allen Johnson had easy wins in the 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles, posting times of 7.04 seconds and 7.50 respectively.


Nigerian twins Osmond and Davidson Ezinwa finished one-two in the men's 60-meter dash with times of 6.56 and 6.61. Russia's Pavel Galkin was third at 6.64, while American 100-meter Olympic bronze medalist Dennis Mitchell was a disappointing fourth at 6.67.


World champion Stefka Kostadinova of Bulgaria was another disappointment in the women's high jump, clearing only 1.90 meters, 19 centimeters off her best. Russian Tatyana Motkova won with a jump of 1.97.