Marina Stepanova

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Marina Stepanova
Personal information
Nationality  Soviet Union
Born (1950-05-01) May 1, 1950 (age 66)[1]
Meglevo, USSR[2]
Height 1.67 m (5 ft 5 12 in)[1]
Weight 60 kg (130 lb; 9.4 st)[1]
Country USSR
Sport Track and field
Event(s) 400 m hurdles
Retired 1987

Marina Stepanova (born Marina Makeyeva on May 1, 1950 in Meglevo, Imeni Sverdlova) is a former Soviet track and field athlete who was the first woman to run under 53 seconds in the 400 metres hurdles.


Stepanova started to compete internationally in 1978 at the European Championships in Prague where she finished sixth in her semifinal heat. In this year she had a PB of 56.19 seconds[2] in the 400 m hurdles. In 1979 she broke the world record for the first time (54.78 seconds) at the Soviet Spartakiad, defeating previous world record holder Tatyana Zelentsova.[3]:291 In 1981 she retired to give birth to a daughter.[2] She returned in 1983 and quickly regained her form. In 1984 she improved her personal best to 53.67 seconds.[2] At the 1986 European Championships in Stuttgart she won the gold medal in the world record time of 53.32 seconds.[3]:291 Three weeks later in Tashkent, Stepanova became the first woman in history to break 53 seconds in the 400 m hurdles, improving her world record to 52.94 seconds.[3]:291 She was 36. After the 1987 season she retired at the age of 37.


Stepanova was never able to compete at the Olympics. The 400 m hurdles was not introduced for women until 1984 in Los Angeles and then she could not compete because of the Soviet boycott and by the 1988 season she had retired so she could not compete in Seoul either.

Personal Bests[edit]

Date Event Time Place
September 17, 1986 400 m hurdles 52.94s Tashkent, USSR[1]
March 6, 1987 400 m 54.78s Indianapolis, United States[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Athlete profile for Marina Stepanova". IAAF. Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Marina Stepanova". Sporting Heroes. Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  3. ^ a b c Hymans, Richard; Matrahazi, Imre. "IAAF World Records Progression" (pdf) (2015 ed.). International Association of Athletics Federations. Retrieved October 20, 2015.