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LONDON, August 8. /TASS/. A silver medal grabbed by Russian runner Sergey Shubenkov at the 2017 IAAF World Championships is of a high importance for Russia, the head coach of the national track and field team told TASS.
Shubenkov, who is taking part in the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London as a neutral athlete, won silver on Monday in men’s 110 meters hurdles. Shubenkov, the gold medalist in this discipline at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, is the first among the 19 Russian athletes cleared for the tournament as neutral to win a medal.
"This medal is very important for us as it is the first one to be won at the World Championship," Yury Borzakovsky said in an interview with TASS. "IT is important for the rest of our athletes, who are preparing for their starts and I am also happy for Sergey Shubenkov as I had been confident that he would be fighting for the medals."
Shubenkov finished second, with a result of 13.14 seconds, after Omar McLeod of Jamaica (13.04). The bronze medal went to Balazs Baji of Hungary (13.28).
"It eventually turned out to be the silver, although he was capable of taking the gold, but the conditions, which he trained under, allowed him to show the second result only," Borzakovsky said. "I will try to call Sergey and congratulate him with another medal and I am sure that he will be able to fight for the gold at the next World Championship."
Shubenkov, 26, is the bronze medalist of the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, and a two-time medalist of European championships in 2012 and in 2014. He holds Russia’s record of 12.98 seconds.
He skipped the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro after the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspended membership of the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) in November 2015 over a series of doping scandals in Russian track and field athletics. In April 2017, he was cleared by the IAAF for international competitions as a neutral athlete.
Nineteen Russian track and field athletes have been cleared to take part in the 2017 IAAF World Championships, held in London between August 4 and 13. However, they are performing as neutral athletes as the RusAF remains suspended. Russian track-and-field athletes are banned from wearing gear of the national team or wear any apparel symbolizing the Russian flag at competitions.