MOSCOW, October 29. /TASS/. Russia’s 2019 World Champions Maria Lasitskene (high jump) and Anzhelika Sidorova (pole vault) have decided to share their 10 million rubles (some $157,000) of bonuses among all Russian track and field athletes, who participated in the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha.
The Russian Boxing Federation (RBF) awarded on Tuesday Lasitskene and Sidorova each with a certificate for five million rubles and a car for winning the gold medals of the 2019 World Championships in Qatar.
The ceremony to award the prize money to the track and field athletes was held in Moscow within the frames of the awarding ceremony of the winners and medalists of the 2019 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. Members of the Russian national women’s boxing team asked the RBF management earlier to include the female track and field athletes in the awarding ceremony as well.
"This award came as a total surprise," Lasitsekene said during the awarding ceremony in the Russian capital. "We [Lasitskene and Sidorova] decided to share this award with all medalists and participants of the [2019 IAAF] World Championships. All those, who went to Doha, will receive a part of our prize money. I hope they will be happy and grateful."
"I was very surprised that the Russian Boxing Federation made a decision to take a notice of our achievements," she continued. "I cannot accept the gift of this scale, because it is an enormous responsibility."
"We have discussed this situation together with Anzhelika [Sidorova] and decided that it would be the only right thing to do [to split the prize money among all track and field athletes]," Lasitskene said. "We will be staying friends with the Russian Boxing Federation, the girls are very pleasant there and they can count on our support."
The three-time world champion in high jump also said she decided to give the car, which was also presented by the Russian Boxing Federation, to her coach Gennady Gabrielyan.
"All the medals I have won are the achievement of my coach," Lasitskene said speaking to her coach Gabrielyan, who was also attending the awarding ceremony in Moscow.
"I want you to move around Moscow riding this car from now on," Lasitskene said as she presented the car keys to her coach Gabrielyan.
Late last month, the 26-year-old Russian athlete won gold in high jump at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Qatar’s Doha. Lasitskene became the first-ever female athlete to win three world championships in high jump (2015, 2017 and 2019).
Three more female athletes won the world championships in high jump twice and they are South Africa’s Hestrie Cloete (2001, 2003), Croatia’s Blanka Vlasic (2007, 2009) and Bulgaria’s Stefka Kostadinova (1987, 1995), who also holds the high jump world record of 2 meters and nine centimeters.
Sidorova, 28, won her first ever gold of the world championships last month clearing the height of four meters and 95 centimeters.
The 2019 IAAF World Championship was hosted by Qatar’s Doha between September 27 and October 6.
Lasitskene, Sidorova and the rest of track and field athletes from Russia are competing at the international track and field tournaments under the neutral status.
The IAAF suspended RusAF’s (the All-Russia Athletics Federation) membership in November 2015, following a wave of anti-doping rules violations and formed a special mission on the issue. The IAAF Taskforce Group, led by Norwegian expert Rune Andersen, was set up to oversee Russia’s implementation of requirements for RusAF’s membership reinstatement with the IAAF.
However, the IAAF permitted clean athletes from Russia to participate in the international tournaments under the neutral status or the Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) until the membership of the RusAF was reinstated. The ANA status prohibits Russian athletes from participating under the national flag.