Olga Kaniskina

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Olga Kaniskina
Olga Kaniskina Osaka07 2.jpg
Kaniskina at Osaka 2007
Personal information
Born (1985-01-19) January 19, 1985 (age 29)
Height 1.59 m (5 ft 2 12 in)
Weight 43 kg (95 lb)
Country  Russia
Sport Athletics
Event(s) 20km Race Walk

Olga Nikolayevna Kaniskina (Russian: О́льга Никола́евна Кани́ськина; born January 19, 1985 in Napolnaya Tavla, Kochkurovsky District, Mordvin ASSR, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union) is a Russian race walker. She won the silver medal in the 20 km walk at the 2006 European Championships, gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. She is a three-time World Champion, having won at both the 2007 World Championships, 2009 World Championships and 2011 World Championships.

She also won the 20 km walk at the 2008 IAAF World Race Walking Cup, setting a Championship record of 1:25:42

She has been part of a training group coached by Viktor Chegin. More than a dozen members of that group have been suspended for doping violations.


At the 2006 IAAF World Race Walking Cup she finished in fifth place and won her first major medal, a silver, at the 2006 European Athletics Championships later that year. She won her first global title the following year, taking the gold in the women's 20 km walk at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics, beating compatriot Tatyana Shemyakina to the finish.

The 2008 season saw Olga Kaniskina break her first world record in the 20 km Walk at the Russian Championships. She lowered the mark set by her compatriot Olimpiada Ivanova in August 2005. However, IAAF rules dictate that 3 official judges must be present at the race, for a world record to be ratified, making it unlikely that this record will be ratified, as there were not 3 judges present.[1] She went on to set the 20 km championship record at the 2008 IAAF World Race Walking Cup held in Russia, finishing with a time of 1:25:42.

At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, she broke the standing Olympic record for the fastest 20 km walk. She walked 20 km in 1:26:31 to beat the silver medalist by 36 seconds.[2] The previous Olympic record was 1:29:05 set by Wang Liping in 2000 at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

She continued her run of success by winning her second World gold medal at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, becoming the first woman to win the title consecutively.[3][4]

Kaniskina's first win of 2010 came at the Na Rynek Marsz! competition in Kraków, Poland, where she beat Melanie Seeger by two seconds.[5] She improved one position from her 2006 performance to top the podium at the 2010 European Athletics Championships, claiming the women's 20 km title. Her 2011 started with a win on the 2011 World Challenge circuit in Rio Maior in April.[6]

At the 20km walk during the 2012 Summer Olympics she was leading the walk from the start, but on the last kilometer was overtaken by Elena Lashmanova and won silver.


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev awarding Olga Kaniskina in Moscow Kremlin.
Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
2006 World Race Walking Cup La Coruña, Spain 5th 20 km 1:28:59
European Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 2nd 20 km 1:28:35
2007 European Race Walking Cup Leamington Spa, Great Britain 2nd 20 km
World Championships Osaka, Japan 1st 20 km 1:30:09
2008 World Race Walking Cup Cheboksary, Russia 1st 20 km 1:25:42 CR
Olympic Games Beijing, China 1st 20 km 1:26:31 OR
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 1st 20 km 1:28:09
2010 European Championships Barcelona, Spain 1st 20 km 1:27:44
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 1st 20 km 1:29:42
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 2nd 20 km 1:25:09


  1. ^ iaaf.org - Kaniskina speeds to 1:25:11
  2. ^ "BBC SPORT | Olympics | Athletics | Kaniskina beats rain to win walk". BBC News. 2008-08-21. Retrieved 2011-09-03. 
  3. ^ Powell, David (2009-08-16). Kaniskina follows in Borchin’s footsteps. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-08-17.
  4. ^ Landells, Steve (2009-08-16). Event Report - Women's 20Km Race Walk - Final. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-08-17.
  5. ^ Kaniskina and Chu take 10Km wins in Krakow – IAAF Race Walking Challenge. IAAF (2010-05-30). Retrieved on 2010-05-30.
  6. ^ Fernandes, António Manuel (2011-04-09). Borchin and Kaniskina on cruise control in Rio Maior – IAAF Race Walking Challenge. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-04-10.

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