Klishina seeks Russian redemption in long jump final
By Jack Stubbs and Gene Cherry
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Russia's Darya Klishina booked a place in the Olympic long jump final on Tuesday, keeping alive her country's slim hopes of an athletics medal in Rio following the exclusion of its track and field squad over doping allegations.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) banned Russia's track and field team in June over allegations of state-sponsored cheating but initially allowed Klishina to compete as she trains and undergoes drug testing in the United States.
She was suspended on Saturday because of what the IAAF described as new evidence before having the ban over-ruled on Monday by sport's highest court, one day before she was due to compete.
Shouldering the expectations of her excluded Russian team mates, Klishina jumped 6.64 meters to qualify for the final in eighth place.
"I'm just happy that I'm here at the Olympic Games," she told reporters. "I passed the qualification round and I'm going to jump tomorrow in the final, of course I'm happy.
"I would like to have a big Russian team around me as usual. Unfortunately I am here alone and this is a great responsibility."
Klishina's coach, American Loren Seagrave, said he was unsure how the 25-year-old would perform in the qualifying round after recent events.
"The neurophysiology of stress depletes the body. You may come down and want to explode off the board but it may be like a pop gun," he said. Continued...