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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Athletics ‘Battle of the Sexes’ brought Lyssenko to victory over Lasitskene: ‘I didn’t wait’

Danil Lysenko showed the best result of the world season in the high jump and won the Battle of the Sexes tournament, which was held in Moscow. He took the main title of “Battle” from Olympic champion Maria Lasitskene. However, it is also necessary to clarify: he surrendered to himself from the distant 2018.

It was the sixth battle of the sexes. Game tournament, high jump competitions in which six-person men’s and women’s teams compete. The heights taken are assessed with points, it is clear that the discount for the difference in sex is taken into account. The winner of the team is determined by the sum of the three best results for women and men. The team leaders were clear: Danil Lysenko and Maria Lasitskene. The men won.

But no one canceled the personal struggle. It was in 2018 that Lyssenko won the first tournament. Then Maria Lasitskene won the championship for three consecutive years. Ilya Ivanyuk won last year. All these years, Lyssenko did not compete due to a well-known disqualification.

Then, in 2018, Danil gained speed: he became the world indoor champion, and in July in Monaco he reached a height of 2.40, applying for the summer season. But three missed doping tests, and above all, a worldwide scandal with the falsification of medical certificates, led to monstrous troubles for all Russian athletics and a long suspension of the athlete himself. There was a story for which there is no forgiveness for anyone.

Last summer, Lyssenko returned to the sector. Four years of absence is not a moment. During this time, it was possible to walk away from athletics and be done with yourself. On his return, he began to win, each time sincerely surprised at the heights he had taken. According to him, this time he never imagined what he was capable of.

Lyssenko really started from the beginning. And he said he felt incomprehensible emotions: “as if I had returned a few years ago, when I had just started playing in youth tournaments.” He again learned to perform in internal tournaments. How a good actor collected and memorized emotions.

In the “Battle of the sexes”, Lysenko, already left alone in the sector after Maria Lasitskene, who had abandoned the fight, first repeated the record for the competition – 2.36. And he did it with a margin, spending only one attempt to rebuild the body to immediately take off five cm higher after 2:31 a.m. He asked the room for silence, but wanted to leave the music.

At the second attempt, Danil Lysenko also took this height – 2.38. And he once again has the best result of the season in the world, and the gap with the performance of foreign athletes is 11 cm. His wife cried on the podium, his colleagues hugged him. Danil himself did not hide: for four years it was not possible to perform, so now it is a buzz with every departure.

To assess Lyssenko’s result, it is enough to compare it to the last victorious heights of major international tournaments: at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, all the medalists conquered a height of 2.37. And at the World Indoor Championships, the championship bar did not exceed 2.34. At the summer world championship, Mutaz Barshim again won with a height of 2.37.

Even then, having returned to the sector in the summer, at the end of the season, Danil Lysenko said: “To be honest, I am ready not to rest at all and continue training. I’m not going anywhere. And in winter I will start playing immediately. All possible starts are in the plans. Gourmands burst into the area.

Is he hoping for international departures today? He says he would like to show what our athletes are capable of. And he has a good feeling.

Lyssenko himself has not applied for neutral status yet (no one in athletics has canceled it for our athletes), but he will in the near future. Can problems arise due to a past disqualification? “I don’t know, I don’t want to think about it.” And about performances in Asia, if there is such an opportunity for all Russian athletes, he just thinks.

Danil repeated – he did not expect such a result from himself. And the audience was waiting. And in general, it all looked like a fascinating performance of an actor.

And Maria Lasitskene looked unhappy with the tournament. I was delighted with the party organized by the organizers, but not with my own results. And she also asked for silence in the room. If at this moment the confused mosquito suddenly woke up, he would not have survived. Maria stopped at a height of 1.93. Already jumped in January and higher, but this time 1.97 held up.

The Olympic champion said that she does not assess her form, as usual – she just listens to the coach, following his instructions. And he doesn’t scroll through any numbers in his head: “It’s hard, I don’t want to waste energy.”

Regarding the IOC’s proposals for Russia to play in a neutral status and the OCA’s invitation (the Asian Olympic Council has invited Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the Asian Games, which will be held in Hangzhou, China, September 23 to October 8), Lasitskene doesn’t think about it either. He says: I do what is up to me – I need to practice. But “until there is clear information, I will not settle down – the experience of past years shows that people can change their minds”.

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