Yelena Nikolayeva was the world’s leading female race walker in the 1990s. She took up athletics quite late, when she was already 18-years-old and enrolled at the Chuvash State Agricultural Academy in Cheboksary. She was selected for the Soviet national team in 1986 and first competed internationally at the 1987 World Championships, where she finished fifth in the 10 km walk.
Nikolayeva won multiple international titles, including the 1996 Olympic 10 km, the 20 km at the 2003 worlds, 1993 World Indoors, and the 2003-04 World Cups, adding the 1993 World Indoors at 3 km. Individually she also won silvers in the 10 km at the 1992 Olympics and 1995 World Cup, and in the 20 km at the 2002 European Championships; adding bronzes in the 10 km at the 1993 World Cup, 1994 Europeans, and the 1995 World Championships. She also won team golds at the 1987 and 2002 World Cups. Nikolayeva set one world record in the 10 km walk in April 1996, clocking 41:04, which, as of 2014, still stands. Nikolayeva won the 1987-88 Soviet 10 km walk titles, the 1992 CIS title, and Russian 20 km walk titles in 1996 and 2001-02.
After retiring from sports, Nikolayeva worked as a children’s coach in Cheboksary. She was also active in politics with the United Russia party and since 2002 has been a member of the State Council of the Chuvash Republic, serving with the State Council’s Committee on Social Policy, Health, Physical Education and Sports since 2006.
Personal Bests: 10kmW – 41:04 (1996); 20kmW – 1-26:22 (2003).
Athlete Olympic Results Content
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