|Born||23 May 1928|
Kursk Oblast, Russia
|Died||13 May 2015 (aged 86)|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||400 m – 55.0 (1955)|
800 m – 2:05.0 (1955)
Nina Grigoryevna Otkalenko (née Pletnyova; Russian: Нина Григорьевна Откаленко; 23 May 1928 – 13 May 2015) was a Soviet middle-distance runner. She won a European title in the 800 m at the inaugural 1954 European Athletics Championships and set multiple world records in this event in 1951–54. She missed the 1952 and 1956 Olympics, where women's middle-distance events were not part of the program, and the 1960 Olympics due to an injury.
In the 1950s Otkalenko became the most successful record breaker in the women's 800 m event. Starting with a world record of 2:12.0 minutes in 1951, she went on to improve her own 800 metres world record four more times. Spearheading a significant improvement in women's times in the event over her career, her last world record of 2:05.0 minutes in 1955 stood for almost five years, before it was beaten by her compatriot Lyudmila Shevtsova. She ranked number one in the world in the 800 m every year from 1951 to 1958, bar 1956 and 1957 when she ranked second to Lyudmila Lysenko and Yelizaveta Yermolayeva. She also set world records in the pre-IAAF era, with a 400 m record of 55.5 in 1954 and a 1500 m record of 4:37.0 minutes in 1952.
Outside of her European title, she won medals at the World Festival of Youth and Students, twice winning the 800 m title in 1953 and 1955, as well as taking 400 metres silver medals at both those championships. She was highly successful in domestic competition, ending her career with a total of 22 Soviet titles in track and field and cross country disciplines.
- 400 metres – 55.0 seconds (1954)
- 800 metres – 2.05.0 minutes (1955)
- 1500 metres – 4:37.0 minutes (1952)
|1953||World Festival of Youth and Students||Bucharest, Romania||2nd||400 m||56.7|
|1954||European Championships||Bern, Switzerland||1st||800 m||2:08.8 CR|
|1955||World Festival of Youth and Students||Warsaw, Poland||2nd||400 m||55.5|
- Nina Otkalenko. Track and Field Brinkster. Retrieved on 17 May 2015.
- Former world record-holder and 1954 European 800m champion Otkalenko dies. IAAF (14 May 2015). Retrieved on 2015-05-17.
- "IAAF World Championships: IAAF Statistics Handbook. Daegu 2011" (PDF). Monte Carlo: IAAF Media & Public Relations Department. 2011. pp. 595, 597. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 October 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
- Women, 1500 m World record progression. Track and Field Brinkster. Retrieved on 17 May 2015.
- World Student Games (UIE). GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 9 December 2014.
- (in Russian) Nina Otkalenko's profile in the Modern Museum of Sports includes photos of her and her awards and decorations
| Women's 800 metres world record holder
26 August 1951 – 3 July 1960