Chambers marginally misses out on win to Josh Norman in Moscow

Dwain Chambers has got off a season that could well spell a return to the Olympic arenas after 12 years on the front foot as he was marginally beaten by American Josh Norman in the 60m at the Russian Winter in Moscow on Sunday, a mere hundredth behind in a fast 6.64 secs.

The world indoor champion wasn’t the quickest out of his blocks and looked a little heavy-legged, rather expected due to the cobwebs of a lengthy warm-weather training spell in South Africa, but his strength saw him emerge at the top of the race from the inside lane 30m out, looking destined to a victorious opener.

However, Norman had different ideas this time, disqualified down to a false-start last year, as he came through strongly on the outside to steal the win out of the hands of the Briton at the death.

Despite the defeat, that was a promising outing for Chambers, substantially faster than his season debut last year, and he will be looking to move up a gear at the UK Trials in Sheffield this weekend where he faces a tough challenge by burgeoning Richard Kilty, who shot to a massive PB and UK-leading 6.61 secs in Birmingham.

The anticipated first British duel with Simeon Williamson since 2009 incorporated into the final never took shape, at the same time, as the former UK champion slipped to a false-start to leave the arena empty-handed, having qualified considerably faster in 6.65 secs out of the heats to Chambers’s 6.68 secs, for a let-down in a British point of view – but that won’t have to wait long as he is also lining up at the UK Trials.

In the backdrop of the duel, evergreen Kim Collins (SKN) pulled up around 20m before the end to simply hobble across the line in 7.11 secs  which may have well brought his indoor season to a premature end by the sight of it. Hopefully, it isn’t going to dent his summer ambitions.

Shara Proctor looks far more at home indoors than last year, maybe due to the ever sunny skies of Florida, as she showed sound consistency to sneak ahead of her week-old indoor best to 6.60m for third on countback, coming in the first round just like in Glasgow. But this time round she went on to back it up with a 6.56m in the fourth and final attempt, her third farthest leap under a roof ever.

Ironically, 2cm more would have nicked her second place over Yuliya Pidluznhaya (RUS), level at 6.60 but on a slightly superior 6.58m second best effort, while before her at the top was once again Russia’s sensational, in every sense, long-jump prospect Darya Klishina (U23) who nailed the competition from day one on a SB of 6.86m, almost replicating it with 6.85m in her final effort.

The Russians had a good feeling about reserving the curtain-drawer of their show for the odd 600m albeit on far different grounds, seeing fit that great Yuriy Borzakovsky wrapped up affairs, as Adam Kszczot burst on the track to snatch the thunder out of the former Olympic champion’s hands and deliver a thumping 1:15.26, second fastest all-time and narrowly shy of German Nick Motchebon‘s world record of 1:15.12 (1999).

That was a display that is certain to draw a sensation and may have ruffled the feathers of even the very top in the business like David Rudisha or Abubaker Kaki, who might have to start looking over their shoulder for the young Pole henceforth.

Borzakovskiy was no slouch either to clock a fast 1:16.08 in second place behind but his performance was meant to fall into the shade of the winner’s searing run.

Lolo Jones, double world indoor champion, demonstrated that she has not only shrugged off her injury woes but she may also be hitting her best form ever to flow over the hurdles to a world-leading 7.89 secs for a comfortable third victory in as many outings this term. Fellow Americans Yvette Lewis and Deagu silver medallist Danielle Carruthers followed some way behind in 8.03 and 8.05 secs respectively.

Andrei Silvov picked up from where he left off in his previous outing to claim the global summit for his sole possession over an impressive 2.36m before trying once at a potential national record of 2.41m, having come on terms with Aleksandr Shustov‘s 2.35 a few days earlier. The latter was forced into runner-up on 2.30m in this instance with Daegu bronze medallist Trevor Barry (BAH) third at 2.27m.

Dmitriy Starodubtsev seems like fizzling out after a startling brace of 5.90m clearances in December to stall at 5.65m behind winner Bjorn Otto (GER), who set a SB of 5.77m, whereas Aleksander Menkov sprang up a screamer of a last-gasp 8.24m (WL), by stark contrast, having suggested nothing of the like in the build-up in the long jump.

In the women’s 400m, in-form Vania Stambolova (BUL) stumbled to a rather surprise defeat, given her world-leading 51.26 secs just days earlier, at the hands of home favourite and moving up from sprints and hurdles Aleksandra Fedoriva in 51.59 to a total PB of 51.46 secs respectively, Berlin bronze medallist Antonina Krivoshapka getting third in 51.88 secs for a sound strength in the affair.

The hosts did not fail to highlight their abundant talent in race walking as Valeriy Borchin, Vladimir Kanaykin and Sergey Bakulin lined up an impressive array of times in the specially held 5000m in 18:16.54, 18:17.13 and 18:26.82 – amazingly enough, not a PB for anyone of the three.