Vanya Stambolova, the European 400 meter champion, will be aiming for the world indoor best in the 300 meters at Saturday’s Akademik meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The 23-year-old Bulgarian, last year the world’s No. 2 in the 400 meters behind American Sanya Richards, will be gunning for the 35.45 mark set by Irina Privalova of Russia in 1993. Rarely contested, the event's 36-second barrier has only been cracked three times, most recently by Privalova 14 years ago, and twice by sprint legend Merlene Ottey, who ran 35.83 and 35.96 in 1981.
Stambolova produced a stellar 2006 season, setting eight national records and running under 50 seconds six times. In March she ran to the silver medal at the World Indoor Championships, and capped her season with a runner-up finish to Richards at the World Cup in September and ended the season with a 49.53 career best.
Stambolova is also scheduled to contest her first race ever in the 60 meters, where she’ll face Bulgaria’s Tezdzhan Naimova, the reigning world junior champion at 100 and 200 meters.
Earlier this week organizers of the Tyson Invitational announced that Allyson Felix, the reigning world 200m champion, will also be gunning for Privalova's long-standing mark at the February 9 meet in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The U.S. record of 36.96 was set last year by Virginia high schooler Francena McCorory. The IAAF, the world's governing body for track and field, does not recognize the event for official world record status.
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