Sergei Shakhrai

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Sergei Shakhrai
Personal information
Full nameSergei Semenovich Shakhrai
Country represented Soviet Union
Born (1958-06-28) 28 June 1958 (age 60)
Soviet Union
Former partnerMarina Cherkasova
Former coachStanislav Zhuk

Sergei Semenovich Shakhrai (Russian: Серге́й Семёнович Шахрай; born 28 June 1958) is a Russian retired pair skater. With partner Marina Cherkasova, he is the 1980 Olympic silver medalist, 1980 World champion, and 1979 European 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]

With his 12-year-old partner, he won 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 the pair.

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.[1][2] Cherkasova was only 15 years old when she competed at the Olympics while Shakhrai was 21.

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 & Shakhrai continued to train for the 1982 season, but eventually broke up.

As of November 2016, Shakhrai was working as an ice skating coach in Australia.[3]

Competitive highlights[edit]

(with Cherkasova)

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 Makarova, Ekaterina. Лед в сердце [Ice Heart] (in Russian). Archived from the original on July 16, 2011.
  2. ^ "Soviet Skaters Capture Pairs Championship". New York Times. New York. March 13, 1980. p. D18.
  3. ^ "APSA Inc Certified Coaches" (PDF). Australian Professional Skaters' Association. 14 November 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 May 2017.
  4. ^ Шахрай Сергей Семёнович [Sergei Semyonovich Shakhrai]. (in Russian).
  5. ^ Шахрай Сергей Семёнович [Sergei Semyonovich Shakhrai]. (in Russian).