24 November 1943 |
Viktor Alexandrovich Sidyak (Russian: Ви́ктор Алекса́ндрович Сидя́к; born November 24, 1943) is a successful left-handed sabreur from the Soviet era, pupil of Mark Rakita and David Tyshler. As a fencer, Sidyak was famous for his aggressive style. He was one of the best known exponents of the "Russian preparation" or the "one-and-a-half tempo attack".
Sidyak was born in the town of Anzhero-Sudzhensk in Kemerovo Oblast but spent most of his childhood in Donetsk. He started fencing at age fifteen. Sidyak trained at Armed Forces sports society. In the 1960s, training in Lvov, he represented Ukraine on the internal Soviet circuit. In 1970, he moved to Minsk and joined the then mighty Belarusian fencing lobby (whose other luminaries include Elena Belova, Alexandr Romankov, and Nikolai Alekhine).
At the 1972 Summer Olympics, Sidyak became the first Soviet sabreur to win individual Gold. At the same Olympics, he famously fenced in the team final with his right eye bandaged over after having a fragment of the Italian Michele Maffei's blade removed from his eye the previous day. Besides Sidyak, the team consisted of Vladimir Nazlymov, Eduard Vinokurov, and Viktor Bazhenov. The Soviet and Italian teams met again in the finals, Italy taking Gold, and USSR Silver. In 1994, Maffei's 1972 team-mate Mario Aldo Montano invited Sidyak to coach the young fencers, including his own son, at his club in Livorno.
World Championship Records
Apart from the Olympics, Sidyak's victories include:
- 1969 World Championship (individual)
- 1969 World Championship (team)
- 1970 World Championship (team)
- 1971 World Championship (team)
- 1972 World Cup
- 1973 World Cup
- 1974 World Championship (team)
- 1975 World Championship (team)
- 1979 World Championship (team)