Tatyana Samolenko - U.S.S.R. - Gold and silver at 1991 World Champs

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 26 August 1991

Click on image to enlarge

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Tatyana SAMOLENKO - U.S.S.R. - Gold and silver at 1991 World Champs

Tatyana Samolenko had established herself as the world's premier middle-distance runner in 1987 and 1988, winning the 1500m/3000m double at the 1987 World Championships, and respectively winning the gold and bronze medals in the 3000m and 1500m at the 1988 Olympic Games. Seemingly at the peak of her career, Tatyana married Soviet walker Viktor Dorovskikh after the Olympics and went into semi-retirement, giving birth to a son, Nikolay, in January 1990. Tatyana returned to competition in 1991, competing under her married name of Dorovskikh, and quickly demonstrated at the World Championships in Tokyo that her athletic powers had not diminished during her absence from the track.


Dorovskikh only raced sparingly in 1991 prior to Tokyo, although she won the 1500m and came second in the 3000m at the Soviet national championships. At Tokyo, she was attempting to successfully defend both the 1500m and 3000m world titles that she had won at Rome in 1987. The 3000m final, held on 26 August, was run at a solid pace, and at the bell, there were only four athletes, including Dorovskikh, and teammate Yelena Romanova in the leading pack. Romanova made her move with 200m to go which Tatyana quickly covered. The two battled briefly down the home straight before Tatyana eased ahead (see photo above) to win the gold medal and successfully defend her title. Five days later, Tatyana attempted to also retain her 1500m title, and the slow early pace certainly helped her chances. Tatyana was in the leading group of four that raced around the final turn led by Doina Melinte (Romania).


Coming into the straight, Hassiba Boulmerka (Algeria) sprinted to the lead with Dorovskikh right behind her. However, on this occasion, the Algerian's sprint was too strong for Tatyana, and she had to be content with the silver medal. (Ron Casey).


Women's 1500m

Final. World Athletics Championships 1991

1. Hassiba Boulmerka   ALG   4: 02.21
2. Tatyana Samolenko-Dorovskikh   URS   4: 02.58
3. Lyudmila Rogachova   URS   4: 02.72
4. Doina Melinte   ROM   4: 03.19
5. Ellen Kiessling   GER   4: 04.75
6. Kirsty Wade   GBR   4: 05.16
7. Susan Sirma   KEN   4: 05.47
8. Malgorzata Rydz   POL   4: 05.52



Women's 3000m

Final. World Athletics Championships 1991

1. Tatyana Samolenko-Dorovskikh   URS   8: 35.82
2. Yelena Romanova   URS   8: 36.06
3. Susan Sirma   KEN   8: 39.41
4. Paivi Tikkanen   FIN   8: 41.30
5. Margareta Keszeg   ROM   8: 42.02
6. Roberta Brunet   ITA   8: 42.64
7. Judi St. Hilaire   USA   8: 44.02
8. Annette Peters   USA   8: 44.02