– I woke up on February 24 and read the news that almost all of Ukraine was under bomb attack from Russia. We packed all our bags and tried to escape quickly from Sumy since it is so close to the Russian border, says Bislett Games current Olha Ljakhova two days before she goes into action in Oslo. The last few months have been full of contrasts. She was with her husband, one-year-old daughter, mother and brother in the Sumy region when the war broke out. There she charged up for the indoor championship in Ukraine. But then the sport became unimportant. BLUE AND YELLOW: Olha Lyakhova posed for a press conference with headbands in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. Photo: Fredrik Varfjell / NTB – There were daily plane alarms in my city. We hid in the bomb rooms every day. We did not think about competition, we only thought about being alive, says Ljakhova. When the war entered its fourth week in Ukraine, she fled with her one-year-old daughter Nikol and family to Warsaw in Poland. They stayed for three weeks in the Polish capital before she got help from Nike to go to Portugal to restart training. She is now based in Bern, Switzerland with her immediate family. Lost grandmother in Russian attacks The father is still left in Ukraine. He is part of the country’s response to the Home Guard and is ready to defend his hometown Krementsjuk, southeast of Kyiv. It was here that she stayed for the first few weeks of the war. Lyakhova put pillows and blankets in the bathtub so that the family could hide while they waited for the plane alarm to stop howling. She says everyone was affected. Including her one-year-old daughter, who she could notice was more nervous than usual. APPLIED FOR REFUGE: Olha Lyakhova and her daughter hid in the bathtub, in the basement and in the corridors when the sirens rang in their hometown of Krementsjuk. Photo: Instagram/@lyakhova.olga.800 They escaped the attacks of Russian forces. But the grandmother, who lived in her hometown of Rubizhne, was among those who lost their lives. – We tried many times to move her to us, but she did not want to. Before the war, she became so ill that she could no longer walk, so a neighbor helped her. The first ten days of the war we heard nothing from her, but then the neighbor called and told us that she had passed away, Ljakhova tells news. The city’s communications network was cut off on March 9, so Lyakhova says they do not know how or exactly when it happened. On March 17, she posted a post on Instagram in which she said goodbye to her grandmother: “The worst thing is that we can not reach her, bury her in the usual, human way. All the services have left the city and the bodies are strewn on the ground. Nobody buries anyone … And my dear grandmother is alone, all alone … In a cold apartment without windows … Without electricity, water or heat … Forgive me for everything ». Before Bislett Games, she elaborates on the message to news: – The funeral homes do not work and it is impossible to bury people. My grandmother lay alone in the apartment for eight days. It was so cold there because they had no electricity or water. We do not know how she died, the only thing we know is that a bomb shattered her window. Maybe she froze, maybe she was hungry, we do not know, she says character. IN PLACE IN OSLO: Hedda Hynne (left), Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal, Olha Ljakhova and Keely Hodgkinson posed for a press conference on Tuesday. Photo: Fredrik Varfjell / NTB According to Ljakhova, after eight days the neighbors have buried the grandmother. Runner for the European Championships Ljakhova runs 800 meters against, among others, Hedda Hynne and Olympic silver winner Keely Hodgkinson during Thursday’s Bislett Games. Bislett Games 2022 National exercises: 17.25 400 meters hurdles 17.38 4×100 meters men 17.50 4×100 meters women 18.00 1500 meters men 18.10 1500 meters women 18.45 200 meters men 18.56 200 meters women 19.06 100 meters men 19.16 100 meters women 19.26 100 meters men International exercises: 18.51 Sledge men 19.53 Race to Zero 100 meters para men Diamond League: 17.31 Cool women 18.45 Stick 20.04 400 meters hurdles women 20.14 500 meters men 20.15 Length men 20.19 5000 meters women 20.39 100 meters men 20.44 200 meters women 20.48 Diskos women 20.49 5000 meters men 21.13 110 meters hurdles 21.25 800 meters women 21.38 400 meters hurdles men 21.50 Dream mile men 22.07 4×400 meters women The Ukrainian has a personal record of 1.58.64 minutes set in 2015. Her best record from this year is 2.01.58 and the goal for the Oslo competition is to get under two blank. She says she is extra motivated. – I run for my country, for my family and the whole of Ukraine, says Lyakhova. The Ukrainian says that she has managed to focus on sports despite the war because that is her job. – I love athletics and it is the first season after the birth, so of course I have high goals for the season. It is the World Cup and my main goal is to take European Championship gold. I want to work hard and do my best in this competition (Bislett) and in the future, says the Ukrainian. Athletics on news This you can see of athletics on news in 2022: June 16: Diamond League in Oslo June 18: Diamond League in Paris 24-26. June: NM in Stjørdal June 30: Diamond League in Stockholm 15-24. July: Eugene World Cup August 6: Diamond League Chórzow August 10: Diamond League Monaco 15-21. August: European Championships in Munich August 26: Diamond League in Lausanne September 2: Diamond League in Brussels 7-8. September: Diamond League final in Zurich October 9: NM cross-country, long course in Bergen Ljahova ran in for a bronze medal in the 800 meters at the Berlin European Championships in 2018, and she has a silver medal in the 4×400 meter relay from the European Championships in Zurich in 2016. She also has one bronze medal from the same exercises in the indoor European Championships.


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