World championship silver medalist Olga Kucherenko and former European indoor champion Darya Klishina have failed to make the cut for the Russian Olympic squad, Russia’s head athletics coach Valentin Maslakov told R-Sport on Friday.
Kucherenko jumped 7 meters 3 centimeters in May to place herself firmly in the top ten this year, while 21-year-old Klishina’s personal best of 7 meters 5 centimeters last year was the longest jump by a junior since 1983.
Both jumped 6 meters 81 centimeters at the Russian championships on Wednesday, with Kucherenko finishing fourth and Klishina fifth.
Anna Nazarova, who jumped 7 metres 11 centimeters last month, will travel, alongside Elena Sokolova, who won the Russian championships with a leap of 7 meters 6 centimeters, and third-placed Ludmila Kolchanova.
The decision to drop Klishina provoked disputes among Russian athletics coaches, Maslakov said.
“We had arguments. For example, it was suggested to take Darya Klishina to the Olympic long jump in place of bronze medalist Ludmila Kolchanova,” he said.
“But I stick to the sporting principle. That’s why the strongest three will travel to the Olympics.”
Klishina was “very talented”, Maslakov said, but suggested she deserved a share of the blame for failing to translate her junior form into world-beating jumps.
“Of course, she trained a lot, but she couldn’t get into competitive shape. It seems to me that it’s high time she became a grown-up athlete.”
As well as her European indoor title, Klishina has a raft of titles at age-restricted events, including the European junior and under-23 titles and a gold medal at the world youth championships.
Kucherenko won silver at the world championships in Daegu last year with a leap of 6 meters 77 centimeters, and has bronze medals from the European indoor and outdoor championships.