Tatyana Kazankina was the top female middle distance runner of the world at the end of the 1970s. She won three Olympic golds and set seven world records during her career. A month before the 1976 Olympics, Kazankina became the first woman to run 1,500 metres in under 4 minutes, clocking a world record of 3:56.0. At the 1976 Olympics, Kazankina won the 800 and 1,500 metre golds, setting a world record of 1:54.94 in the 800 final. Kazankina ended her great 1976 season by anchoring the Soviet team that set a world record in the 4×800 relay. There was little heard of Kazankina between the 1976 and 1980 Olympics, but she returned in 1980, setting a 1,500 world record of 3:55.0 a month before the 1980 Olympics. At the Olympics, Kazankina easily won the 1,500 gold, besting second-placed Christiane Wartenberg by over a second. Just a week after the Olympics, Kazankina set her final 1,500 world record of 3:52.47, thus becoming the first woman to run the distance faster than Paavo Nurmi. This world record stood for 13 years, and as of January 2012 remains the European record. After the Olympics, Kazankina concentrated on longer distances and won a bronze in the 3,000 at the 1983 World Championships. In 1984, Kazankina set her final two world records, in the 2,000 and 3,000 metres, but her career came to an abrupt end in September 1984, when she refused to take a drug test and was banned for 18 months. Kazankina was also the Soviet 1,500 metre champion in 1975-77. After her forced retirement, Kazankina received a pedagogy degree from Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health, St. Petersburg in 1988 and worked as a lecturer with her alma mater from 1988-98. She has written 29 scientific papers. Since 1998, Kazankina has worked as the head of St. Petersburg sport's committee.
Personal Bests: 800 – 1:54.94 (1976); 1500 – 3:52.47 (1980).
Athlete Olympic Results Content
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