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Medal record
Women's Athletics
Competitor for  Russia
Olympic Games
Gold 1996 Atlanta 800 m
Gold 1996 Atlanta 1500 m
World Championships
Gold 1999 Seville 1500 m
Bronze 1999 Seville 800 m
European Championships
Gold 1998 Budapest 1500 m

Svetlana Alexandrovna Masterkova (Russian: Светлана Александровна Мастеркова) (born January 17, 1968 in Achinsk) is a Russian former middle distance runner and current world record holder for the mile. At the 1996 Summer Olympics, she won the gold medal in both the 800 and 1,500 metres.

Born in Achinsk (Siberia), Masterkova started out as an 800 meter runner. Her breakthrough came in 1991, winning the national championships of the Soviet Union, which also qualified her for the World Championships. In Tokyo, she placed eighth in the final. During the following seasons, she had some minor successes (silver at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics in 1993), but also suffered from injuries. In 1994 and 1995, she took a break from running, giving birth to a daughter (Anastasia).

In 1996, she returned to athletics. Instead of only running the 800 meter, Masterkova also decided to compete in the 1500 metres, a distance she hadn't competed in for years. At the Russian Championships, she won both distances in top times. However, she wasn't considered as a real favourite for the 800 m Olympic gold; Maria de Lurdes Mutola and Ana Fidelia Quirot were expected to fight for the title in Atlanta. But Masterkova took the lead from the start, and led the entire race to become Olympic champion. After this surprise, Masterkova caused a major upset by also winning the 1500 m in a similar fashion, thereby equalling Tatyana Kazankina's performance at the 1976 Olympics (Kelly Holmes would repeat the performance in 2004). She completed her season by also setting two new world records at the 1000 metre and mile distances.

Masterkova couldn't repeat her feat at the World Championships the next year, as an achilles tendon injury caused her to drop out in the heats of the 1500 metres. Her 1998 season was great again, crowned by a win in the 1500 m at the European Championships. At the 1999 World championships, Masterkova again contested both middle distance events. She was beaten in the 800 m by Ludmila Formanova and placed third, but comprehensively won the 1500 metres title. This would be her last major success. Although Masterkova participated in the Sydney Olympics, she abandoned her 1500 metres heat, retiring at the end of the season.

Svetlana married to Russian professional road racing cyclist Asiat Saitov (from 1994) [1].

Records

Distance Time
mile 4:12.56 WR

External links

Records
Preceded by
Romania Paula Ivan
Women's Mile World Record Holder
August 14, 1996 –
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
?
Women's 1000 m World Record Holder
August 23, 1996 –
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Republic of Ireland Sonia O'Sullivan
Women's European Athlete of the Year
1996
Succeeded by
Germany Astrid Kumbernuss
Preceded by
Republic of Ireland Sonia O'Sullivan
Women's Track & Field Athlete of the Year
1996
Succeeded by
United States Marion Jones

References

  1. ^ See biography (russian)
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