Mark Rakita

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Mark Rakita
Personal information
Born (1938-07-22) 22 July 1938 (age 80)
Moscow, Russia

Mark Semenovich Rakita (Russian: Марк Семенович Ракита; born July 22, 1938) is a famed Russian two-time Olympic champion sabreur and coach from the Soviet era.

Early life[edit]

Rakita was born in Moscow, USSR, and is Jewish.[3][4][5][6]

Fencing career[edit]

Rakita started fencing when he was 14. He would practice for three to six hours per day.[7] A 1969 graduate of The Daghestan State Pedagogical Institute, Rakita earned the title of Master of the Sport (Fencing) in 1964. He trained at the Armed Forces sports society. He trained under Olympian David Tishler.[8][9]

World championships[edit]

Rakita was one of the Soviet Union's top sabre fencers in the 1960s. As a member of the Soviet National team, he won the world championship in the team sabre in 1965, 1967, 1969, and 1971.[10] He won bronze medals with the team in 1962 and 1963.[10]

Rakita was also the world champion in individual sabre in 1967, and finished second in 1971.[11][10]


Rakita participated in three Olympic Games. At the 1964 Summer Olympics, he won a gold medal in team sabre and competed in the individual event.[12] At the 1968 Summer Olympics, he won a silver medal in the individual event and won gold in the team event.[12] At the 1972 Summer Olympics, he competed in the team event, and won a silver medal.[13][12]

World championships[edit]

  • 1967 Individual Sabre (Gold)
  • 1967 Team Sabre (Gold)
  • 1971 Individual Sabre (Silver)

Coaching career[edit]

Rakita coached the Russian fencing team for 17 years, and four of his students won Olympic medals.[7]

At the 2001 Maccabiah Games, Rakita coached Sergei Sharikov and Maria Mazina to gold medals.[14]

In 2004, he was honorary president of Maccabi Russia.[15]

Hall of Fame[edit]

In 1988 Rakita, who is Jewish, was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.[10]


In an interview in New York, Mark Rakita discussed his long-time feud with former friend/teammate turned nemesis Vladimir Nazlymov, stating, "As far as I'm concerned, he no longer exists!"[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Olympics Statistics: Mark Rakita". Archived from the original on 2012-02-13. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
  2. ^ "Mark Rakita Olympic Results". Retrieved 2010-12-21.
  3. ^ The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame - Joseph M. Siegman
  4. ^ Encyclopaedia Judaica - Fred Skolnik, Michael Berenbaum
  5. ^ Day by Day in Jewish Sports History - Bob Wechsler
  6. ^ Everyman's Judaica: An Encyclopedic Dictionary
  7. ^ a b Sherwood, Andrew (18 October 2006). "". Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  8. ^ Sport in the USSR.
  9. ^ Soviet Military Review
  10. ^ a b c d "Mark Rakita"
  11. ^ "Sports 123: Fencing: World Championships: Men: Sabre"
  12. ^ a b c "Mark Rakita Bio, Stats, and Results" | Olympics at
  13. ^ "Rakita, Mark". Jews In Sports. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  14. ^ The Maccabiah Games history and information
  15. ^ Russian Jewish Olympic presence dwindles | Jewish Telegraphic Agency
  16. ^ Interview (in Russian)

External links[edit]