Sergey Litvinov - U.S.S.R. - Olympic & World champion hammer thrower.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 11 July 1986

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      Thursday, 23 January 1958
      Tsukarov, Krasnodar. Died 19th. February 2018 aged 60.
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Sergey LITVINOV - U.S.S.R. - Olympic & World champion hammer thrower.


Sergey Litvinov and Soviet compatriot Yuriy Sedykh dominated the world of hammer throwing during the 1980's, fuelling an intense on-field rivalry that saw them frequently exchanging world records and victories at major championships. Litvinov's first major success came in 1979 when he won the Soviet hammer throw title, and then scored an easy victory at the World Cup in Montreal. On 16 May 1980, Sedykh set a new world record of 80.64m, but only eight days later, Litvinov broke this world record when he threw 81.66m. At a showdown of the recent world record-breakers at the Moscow Olympics on 31 July, Litvinov won the silver medal behind Sedykh, who also reclaimed the world record from Sergey.


This record stood until 4 June 1982, when Litvinov regained the world record with a first round throw of 83.98m in Moscow. However, at the European Championships in Athens on 10 September, it was Sedykh who prevailed, with Litvinov winning the bronze medal. The following year, Litvinov improved his world record to 84.14m at the Spartakiade in Moscow on 21 June. Less than two months later, at the inaugural world championships in Helsinki on 9 August, Sergey won the gold medal with a throw of 82.68m, relegating his old rival Sedykh to second place.


Both Litvinov and Sedykh missed the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles due to the Soviet boycott, and their next opportunity to continue their duel was at the 1986 European Championships in Stuttgart. In the lead up to the Championships, Litvinov scored an impressive victory at London on 11 July (see photo above) with a best throw of 85.14m, but at Stuttgart on 30 August, his best throw of 85.74m was again only good enough for second place behind Sedykh who threw a new world record of 86.74m. (Ron Casey)


Litvinov died on 19th. February 2018 in Sochi at the age of 60. It was reported by Russia's athletics

federation that he suddenly fell from his bicycle as he cycled home from a coaching session.