By Yemi Babalola, Lagos.
The sport star we would be looking at this week on Sport Amazon is no other than
Russian middle-distance runner, and the current world record holder for the mile and
the kilometre, Svetlana Masterkova.
Masterkova was born in Achinsk, an area in today’s Siberia in Russia on January 17
1968; she was named Svetlana Aleksandrovna Masterkova. From an early age for
noticed by her physical education teacher, and she was encouraged her to develop
her talent. By the age of 12, Masterkova was competing among her peers and was
clocking remarkable times by the time she was 15.
In 1991, Masterkova won her first major race, she participated in the Soviet
championship for the 800 meters race and won the race, though she struggled a
month after that win in the same distance race at the World Track and Field
Championships held in Tokyo.
1993 saw her mature on the tracks and this was when she won her first major medal.
Masterkova won a Silver medal in the 800 meters event at the IAAF World Indoor
Championships of the year after which injuries saw her end her racing season for the
Having gotten married in 1994, Masterkova took the 1994/1995 year off for family
obligations and did not return to the tracks until 1996. During this period she
practiced and prepared well enough to extend her track mettle.
On returning to the track in 1996, she added the 1500 meters to her log of races she
was to compete in. At the Russian Championships, she won both distances in top
times. Also at the Olympics for the year, she became the second woman to ever win
an Olympic gold Medal in both the 1500 and 800 meters races, she equalled this
record held for 20 years by Tatyana Kazankina.
Masterkova could not repeat her 1996 feat at the World Championships in 1997, as
an Achilles tendon injury caused her to drop out in the heats of the 1500 metres.
However, in 1998 she returned to the tracks and took back her 1500 meters crown at
the European Championships.