Olympics: Supermodel long-jumper Darya Klishina is Russia's lone Olympic hope

Long-jumper Darya Klishina is the only Russian track and field athlete allowed to compete at the Rio Olympics. Photo / Getty Images.
Long-jumper Darya Klishina is the only Russian track and field athlete allowed to compete at the Rio Olympics. Photo / Getty Images.

Russia's only track and field athlete to be competing in Rio is training at the same facility as Australia's team in Florida.

Long-jumper Darya Klishina has been based in America for the past three years at the IMG Academy in Bradenton under the guidance of renowned coach Loren Seagrave.

While Russia's track and field team has been banned from Rio, Klishina received special consideration as she was able to prove she hadn't been involved in the state-backed doping system and was subjected to drug tests outside the country.

The 25-year-old, who is also a super model, was the only one of the 68 athletes selected by the Russian Federation to be cleared by the IAAF to compete internationally as a "neutral".

Klishina finished 10th at last year's world championships in Beijing.

Seagrave said his charge was determined to put the Russian scandal behind her.

"She's keeping the blinders on and staying focused," he said. "That's basically been the plan all the way through, just don't let all the other stuff get in the way.

"She's in great shape. The situation is, and this is on the public record, she's had three competitions.

"She jumped in Russia in June at the Brothers Znamensky meet in Zhukovsky.

"There was another competition on the 11th and then we went back to the national championships 10 days later in Cheboksary.

"She won all three of those competitions and jumped 6.84 during the national championships.

"She is competition-ready. She opted not to petition to compete at the European championships so she could better prepare for the Olympics."

Seagrave, who has worked with NFL team the Atlanta Falcons and Olympic 100m champion Donovan Bailey, described the IAAF's stance on Russia as a "bold move".

"For the athletes and the coaches who have respecting the rules, if (the Russians) were in violation, the IAAF moved in a very decisive manner to show they're really cracking down on people who are using performance-enhancing drugs," he said.

"The IAAF came up with a criteria which shows that as long as an athlete has not been in the system for a long period of time and was subjected to the same rigours (of testing) that all of the other athletes were in the world relative to WADA or IAAF testing (they could compete).

"I still don't know exactly what will happen but the Russian Olympic Committee has entered her. We feel fairly certain that she will compete in a Russian uniform. And if she's fortunate enough to win a medal I strongly imagine that they will raise the Russian flag.

"All of our dealings have been through the Russian Olympic Committee."

- news.com.au

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