Velikaya at the 2014 European Championships
|Full name||Sofiya Aleksandrovna Velikaya|
8 June 1985 |
Alma-Ata, Kazakh SSR
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Weight||68 kg (150 lb; 10.7 st)|
|National coach(es)||Christian Bauer|
|FIE Ranking||current ranking|
Sofiya Aleksandrovna Velikaya (Russian: Софья Александровна Великая; born 8 June 1985) is a Russian sabre fencer, silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics and gold medal in the 2012 World Fencing Championships. She is also four-time World team champion (2004, 2010, 2011, and 2012).
Velikaya began fencing at the age of 13 after her elder brother took up the sport. Her first coach was Valery Dyakokin.
She placed fourth in the 2008 Beijing Games after losing to Rebecca Ward by one point in the bronze medal match. On October 12, 2011, she become the World Champion after beating two-time Olympic champion Mariel Zagunis in the final. One year after, she took part in the Summer Olympics in London, where she advanced to finals after defeating Olha Kharlan of Ukraine. She lost however to South Korea's Kim Ji-Yeon and captured silver.
After the Olympics Velikaya took a break in her career. She had a son with Olympic wrestler Aleksey Mishin. She came back to international competition in March 2014 at the Antalya World Cup, where she was defeated in the second round by Hungary's Anna Várhelyi. At the European Championships in Strasbourg, she was stopped in the second round again, this time by Italy's Rossella Gregorio. In the team event, Russia defeated Germany and Hungary to meet France in the final. After being led 30–35 Russia overcame France in the last two relays to win the gold medal. At the World Championships in Kazan Velikaya made her way to the quarter-finals, where she met reigning World champion Olha Kharlan of Ukraine. After a good beginning Velikaya could not prevent Kharlan's comeback and was defeated 9–15. She was however pleased by her return to form. In the team event, Russia overcame Canada easily in the round of 16 and met France in the quarter-finals. Surprised by France's outright attack, Russia did not manage to regain control and suffered a shock 41–45 defeat. They entered placement rounds and finished 5th after prevailing over South Korea and Poland.
- "Софья Великая: моя пауза должна пойти девчонкам только на пользу". allsportinfo.ru (in Russian). 24 June 2013.
- "КМ-2014. Софья Великая – на дорожке, Юлия Гаврилова – на пьедестале". Russian Fencing Federation (in Russian).
- Patrick Issert (13 June 2014). "La France en argent". L'Équipe.
- Mary Staroverova (19 July 2014). "Софья Великая: думаю, что приблизилась к своему максимуму". allsportinfo.ru (in Russian).
- "http://www.allsportinfo.ru/index.php?id=84654". allsportinfo.ru (in Russian). 21 July 2014.