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Borzakovskiy awaits Cheboksary 2015

Yuriy Borzakovskiy

Yuriy Borzakovskiy

In his illustrious career, Yuriy Borzakovskiy has created a reputation for being the most extraordinary of distance runners because of the manner in which he times his final sprint to perfection.

It is no surprise then that the next few laps of his career have a glorious symmetry to them as the man from Russia prepares to run on home soil.

Borzakovskiy, the Olympic 800m champion in Athens in 2004 and the current European champion, may now be 31.

But far from thinking about retiring, he has revealed he is carrying on in the sport until 2015.

With Moscow staging the World Championships next summer, Borzakovskiy will be one of the stars of the show.

He was born just outside of the city in Kratovo in the Ramensky District and has brought the country so much glory since first winning the 800m gold medal at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Ghent in 2000.

Then, in 2015, track and field will be a focal point in Russia again when the European Athletics Team Championships will be held in the Northern city of Cheboksary.

The Russian star was a part of the delegation that successfully bid for the 2015 edition of the championships during the European Athletics Council meeting in Bucharest last weekend.

If anyone thought his power to deliver would be on the wane, this summer’s European Athletics Championships in Helsinki proved his strength when he finally won gold over the two laps.

He delivered a trademark performance to triumph – just as he did when the sport knew very little about him in his first year as a senior in Ghent.

Even indoors, there was no need for panic as he stayed at the back of the field before launching a late burst to win the title in 1:47.92 from Germany’s Nils Schumann, second in 1:48.41, with Balazs Koranyi, of Hungary, third in 1:48.42.

And so began a relationship with the sport where Borzakovskiy, a former welder from near Moscow, would never give up on what he knew best – to leave it as late as possible to triumph.

Borzakovskiy came storming through in Helsinki in June in 1:48.61 to win his first outdoor European title having never previously competed at the distance at the Championships.

It was the one major medal missing from his set in a career that puts him alongside some of distance running greats.

He has four World Championship medals – two silver and two bronze – to go with his Olympic and European glory and after that success in Ghent in 2000, he regained the indoor crown nine years later in Torino.

But his delight in Helsinki this summer was shown as he said after winning: “I had good tactics today. I came here to check my condition before the Olympics. Now I’m happy that I got my first gold at the European Athletics Championships.”

As it turned out, the speed of Kenyan David Rudisha was too much for anyone at London 2012.

Rudisha broke the world record as he won gold in 1:40.91 – a time ratified today by the International Association of Athletics Federations – with Borzakovskiy failing to make the final.

But it was not the end. Far from it, with a glorious time ahead for the runner who has done Russian so proud.

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