Ravilya Agletdinova was one of the seemingly endless crop of top Soviet
middle distance runners in the late 1970's and early 1980's, who found
it just as difficult, if not more so, competing on the domestic scene
than against international competition. Prior to the 1983 World
Championships in Helsinki, Agletdinova had recorded the fastest time
that season of the three Soviet 1500m entrants, but in an 800m race at a
warm-up meet at Leningrad two weeks before Helsinki, she finished
behind the other two Soviet entrants, Yekaterina Podkopayeva, and Zamira
At Helsinki, the three Soviet runners finished second, third
and fourth behind Mary Decker (USA), with Agletdinova the unlucky one
who missed out on a medal. Agletdinova maintained her position as one
of the world's top 1500m runners during 1984, but was denied a possible
chance at an Olympic medal due to the Soviet boycott of the Los Angeles
Olympics. Ravilya's first major international victory came in the 1500m
at the 1985 European Cup in Moscow, which she followed with a second
place finish at the World Cup in Canberra. In the 1500m at the 1986
Soviet national championships, Ravilya finished a close second to
Tatyana Samolenko, with both athletes dipping under four minutes. This
performance made them two of the favourites for the 1500m title at the
European Championships in Stuttgart, together with Doina Melinte
(Romania) who had recorded the two fastest times of the season.
Stuttgart, on 31 August, Zola Budd (No.283) led the field at the bell,
with Samolenko (No. 852), Melinte (No. 641) and Agletdinova (No. 819 see photo above)
all at her shoulder and ready to strike. In her last appearance at a
major international championships, Agletdinova produced a devastating
58.9sec final lap to win the gold medal from Samolenko and Melinte. (Ron Casey).
Agletdinova died in a traffic accident in 1999 near Žlobin in Belarus at the age of 39.
Her daughter Marina Kotovich (Maryna Arzamasava) was also a runner and like her mother
won the European 1500m championship.