Svetlana Masterkova

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Svetlana Masterkova
Personal information
Full name Svetlana Alexandrovna Masterkova
Nationality Russian
Born (1968-01-17) 17 January 1968 (age 47)
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)[1]
Weight 59 kg (130 lb)[1]
Sport Middle-distance running
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)

800 m: 1:55.87
1000 m: 2:28.98 WR
1500 m: 3:56.77

1 mile: 4:12.56 WR[1]

Svetlana Alexandrovna Masterkova (Russian: Светлана Александровна Мастеркова; born 17 January 1968 in Achinsk) is a Russian former middle distance runner and current world record holder for the mile. At the 1996 Summer Olympics, she won the gold medal in both the 800 and 1,500 metres.


Born in Achinsk (Siberia), Masterkova started out as an 800 meter runner. Her breakthrough came in 1991, winning the national championships of the Soviet Union, which also qualified her for the World Championships. In Tokyo, she placed eighth in the final. During the following seasons, she had some minor successes (silver at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics in 1993), but also suffered from injuries. In 1994 and 1995, she took a break from running, giving birth to a daughter (Anastasia).

In 1996, she returned to athletics. Instead of only running the 800 meter, Masterkova also decided to compete in the 1500 metres, a distance she had not competed in for years. At the Russian Championships, she won both distances in top times. However, she was not considered as a real favourite for the 800 m Olympic gold; Maria de Lurdes Mutola and Ana Fidelia Quirot were expected to fight for the title in Atlanta. Masterkova took the lead from the start, and led the entire race to become Olympic champion. After this surprise, Masterkova caused a major upset by also winning the 1500 m in a similar fashion, thereby equaling Tatyana Kazankina's performance at the 1976 Olympics (Kelly Holmes would repeat the performance in 2004). She completed her season by also setting two new world records at the 1000 metre and mile distances.[citation needed]

Masterkova was not able to repeat her feat at the World Championships the next year, as an achilles tendon injury caused her to drop out in the heats of the 1500 metres. Her 1998 season was great again, crowned by a win in the 1500 m at the European Championships. At the 1999 World championships, Masterkova again contested both middle distance events. She was beaten in the 800 m by Ludmila Formanova and placed third but comprehensively won the 1500 metres title. This would be her last major success. Although Masterkova participated in the Sydney Olympics, she abandoned her 1500 metres heat, retiring at the end of the season.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Svetlana married Russian professional road racing cyclist Asiat Saitov in 1994.[2] Their daughter Anastasiya Saitova is a professional tennis player, ranked number 511 in the world in 2014.[3][4]


Distance Time
1000 metres 2:28.98 WR
1 mile (1609 m) 4:12.56 WR

Honours and awards[edit]

This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the Russian Wikipedia.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Romania Paula Ivan
Women's Mile World Record Holder
August 14, 1996 –
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Mozambique Maria Mutola
Women's 1000 m World Record Holder
August 23, 1996 –
Succeeded by
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Republic of Ireland Sonia O'Sullivan
Women's European Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
Germany Astrid Kumbernuss
Preceded by
Republic of Ireland Sonia O'Sullivan
Women's Track & Field Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
United States Marion Jones