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Tatiana Vasil'evna Kazankina

middle-distance runner

Tatyana Vasilyevna Kazankina is a Soviet/Russian former runner who set seven world records and won a total of three gold medals at the Olympic Games.


Kazankina, Tatiana was born on December 17, 1951 in Petrovsk, Saratov Oblast’.


Graduated in economics from Leningrad University, 1975.


Kazankina competed for VSS Burevestnik. A month before the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Kazankina became the first woman to run 1500 m in under 4 minutes, her time of 3:56.0 beating Ludmila Bragina's world record by 5.4 seconds. In 1980, she ran the 1500 m in 3:52.47, becoming the first woman to run the distance faster than Paavo Nurmi.

This stood as a world record for thirteen years and remains a European record. Her career came to an abrupt end in September 1984 when she was suspended for 18 months for refusing to undertake a drugs test after winning a 1,500m race in 3:58.63 in Paris. She graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the Leningrad State University in 1975.

She is the author of more than 20 scientific works. Kazankina lives in Saint Petersburg where she worked at the State Committee of Physical Culture and Tourism of Russian Federation.


  • She was also awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour and the title Honoured Master of Sports of the USSR in 1976. She won the 1500 m and 800 m golds in the Montreal games, setting a world record in the latter. Apart from her sports achievements, Kazankina is known for her scientific works.


Later she defended her dissertation for the Candidate of Pedagogical Science degree at the Lesgaft Institute of Physical Education and worked as a lecturer until 1997.