Nadezhda Olizarenko - U.S.S.R. - Olympic 800m gold on home soil in W.R. time

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 27 July 1980

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      Saturday, 28 November 1953
      Bryansk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union.
  • U.S.S.R.

Nadezhda OLIZARENKO - U.S.S.R. - Olympic 800m gold on home soil in W.R. time

Competing under her maiden name of Mushta, Nadezhda Olizarenko made a rapid improvement as a middle distance runner during the 1978 season. Prior to that year, Nadezhda had an 800m personal best of 1min 59.76sec, but this quickly improved in a number of steps including a 1min 58.09sec victory in Dortmund on 30 June, followed by 1min 57.6sec at Vilnius on 20 July, and a further reduction to 1min 57.2sec at Podolsk on 12 August. This was a mere prelude to the European Championships in Prague on 31 August, where Nadezhda won the silver medal in another new personal best of 1min 55.82sec, finishing a mere 0.02sec behind her teammate Tatyana Providokhina. Three days later Nadezhda won another silver medal as a member of the Soviet Union's second-placed 4 x 400m relay team. Shortly afterwards, Nadezhda married Soviet steeplechaser Sergey Olizarenko, and she competed under her married surname during the latter part of her career. In 1979, her major achievements in the 800m were a win at the World University Games, and a second place at the World Cup in Montreal. On 12 June 1980, at a meeting in Moscow, Olizarenko set a new world record for 800m of 1min 54.85sec, defeating a field which included the existing world record holder Tatyana Kazankina. This made Nadezhda the favourite for the 800m title at the Moscow Olympic Games on 27 July, and she did not disappoint, leading all the way, and racing away from the field off the final bend (see photo above) to win the gold medal. In the process she smashed her own world record setting a new global mark of 1min 53.43sec. Not content with that achievement, Olizarenko came out five days later and won the bronze medal in the 1500m won by Kazankina. (Ron Casey)
Women's 800m. Final. Olympic Games 1980
1. Nadiya OLIZARENKO  SOV  1: 53.43 WR
2. Olga MINEYEVA  SOV  1: 54.81
3. Tatyana PROVIDOKHINA  SOV  1: 55.46
Women's 1500m. Final. Olympic Games 1980
1. Tatyana KAZANKINA  SOV  3: 56.6 OR
2. Christiane WARTENBERG  GDR  3: 57.8
3. Nadiya OLIZARENKO  SOV  3: 59.6