Marina Cherkasova

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Marina Cherkasova
Personal information
Full nameMarina Evgenievna Cherkasova
Country represented Soviet Union
Born (1964-11-17) 17 November 1964 (age 54)
Moscow, Soviet Union
Former partnerSergei Shakhrai
Rashid Kadyrkaev
Former coachStanislav Zhuk

Marina Evgenievna Cherkasova (Russian: Марина Евгеньевна Черкасова; born 17 November 1964) is a Russian retired pair skater. With Sergei Shakhrai, she won the 1979 European title at the age of 14. At 15, she was the 1980 Olympic silver medalist and 1980 World champion.


Cherkasova and Shakhrai trained in Moscow with Stanislav Zhuk. Their main rivals included fellow Soviets Irina Rodnina / Alexander Zaitsev, whom they never defeated, Irina Vorobieva / Igor Lisovsky, Marina Pestova / Stanislav Leonovich, and Veronika Pershina / Marat Akbarov.

Cherkasova and Shakhrai were 12 and 18 respectively when they were paired together. Initially, there was a 35 cm height difference between the pair, with Cherkasova only 138 cm tall.[1]

Cherkasova was 12 when the pair captured the bronze at their first European Championship in 1977. Their height difference facilitated innovation in twist and lift elements; they became the first pair to perform the split quadruple twist in 1978. Later, the judging standards were changed to value physical harmony between the partners, which handicapped Cherkasova and her partner.

They won the European title in 1979. By 1980 Cherkasova had grown 20 cm.[1] The change affected their technical elements, however, the pair managed to win silver at 1980 Europeans, silver at the 1980 Olympics, and gold at Worlds.[2][1] At the age of 15 years, 93 days, Cherkasova was one of the youngest figure skating Olympic medalists.

Shakhrai's problems lifting his now 45 kg partner eventually resulted in them splitting up.[1] By 1981, Cherkasova had grown so tall that Shakhrai could no longer effectively lift her. This caused them to miss the medal podium at the World Championship in Hartford, Connecticut, finishing in fourth place.

Cherkasova and Shakhrai continued to train into the 1982 season, however eventually broke up. She briefly paired with Rashid Kadyrkaev, a World junior medalist in 1980 and 1981, but he left to skate with Elena Kvitchenko at the invitation of Igor Moskvin in Leningrad.

Later life[edit]

In 1982, Cherkasova joined the Moscow Ice Ballet where she met her husband.[1] In 1986, they had a son, Vitaly, and a few years later, a daughter named Daria.[1] Cherkasova is now a children's coach in Moscow.[1]

Competitive highlights[edit]

(with Shakhrai)

Event 76–77 77–78 78–79 79–80 80–81
Winter Olympics 2nd
World Championships 4th 4th 2nd 1st 4th
European Championships 3rd 2nd 1st 2nd 3rd
Prize of Moscow News 1st
Soviet Championships 3rd 1st 1st 3rd


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Makarova, Ekaterina. Лед в сердце [Ice Heart] (in Russian). Archived from the original on 16 July 2011.
  2. ^ "Soviet Skaters Capture Pairs Championship". New York Times. New York. 13 March 1980. p. D18.
  3. ^ Черкасова Марина Евгеньевна [Marina Yevgenyevna Cherkasova]. (in Russian).
  4. ^ Черкасова Марина Евгеньевна [Marina Yevgenyevna Cherkasova]. (in Russian).