Home Sport Three-time triple jump Olympic champion Viktor Saneyev dies

Three-time triple jump Olympic champion Viktor Saneyev dies

Three-time triple jump Olympic champion Viktor Saneyev dies

At the age of 76, not an excessively advanced age, he has died Viktor Saneyev, and rarely can athletics feel such deep sorrow and wear such sincere mourning for one of its great historical stars. The triple jump has an arithmetic and deserved king, Jonathan Edwards, world record holder with 18.29. But Saneyev, a Soviet-Georgian, embodies some forms of legend that make him unique and, so to speak, superior in quality and longevity at the top.

He won three Olympic golds, in Mexico’68, Munich’72 and Montreal’76, an exclusive feat, plus a silver in Moscow’80, where he could not achieve, as the American Al Oerter in discus throw, his fourth consecutive gold. He was somewhat injured and competed with his right knee bandaged. Without Americans and other nationalities because of the boycott of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, everything was set for, in its decline, at the age of 35, its greatest rise. Even anticipating it, he entered the stadium carrying the torch.

Between the injury and the rehearsals and preparations for the ceremony, he was not exactly in his best physical and mental state. But, despite this, he competed magnificently in, it must be said, a strange final, with irregularities and interpretations of the regulations that affected, notoriously, the Brazilian Joao Carlos de Oliveira, at the time world record holder (17.89). Saneyev managed to defeat him. But (17:24) he bowed to the unexpected Soviet-Estonian Jaak Uudme, who made the leap of his life (17.35).

In Mexico, returning there, Viktor Danilovich Saneyev crowned the best triple jump event of all time. On October 17, three athletes, the Italian Giuseppe Gentile, the brazilian Nelson Prudencio and Saneyev himself, broke the world record four times in the final (Gentile, in a luminous preamble, had also beaten it the day before in qualifying).

They were snatching it from each other in successive or alternate attempts, in a tremendous carousel that seemed to have no end, before the marveling and incredulous eyes of the world, in those Games for eternity. Gentile did 17.22; Saneyev, 17.23; Prudencio, 17.27. And finally Saneyev, 17.39. They all left behind the Polish record Jozef schmidt, the first man who, eight years before, had passed 17 meters (17.03), Olympic champion in Rome’60 and Tokyo’64, who finished in seventh position with a mark (16.89) better than those who He had been awarded both titles. The fourth classified, the American Arthur Walker (17,12) and the fifth, the Soviet (Belarusian) Nikolai Dudkin (17.09) also broke the primacy of Schmidt.

The altitude of Mexico and the wind, which blew just at the maximum favorable speed allowed, helped to produce the many miracle. In Saneyev’s two best jumps (17.23 and 17.39) and in Prudencio’s best (17.27), I blew at exactly those two meters per second. In Gentile’s (17.22) I did not blow at all.

Saneyev lost the world record, at the hands of the Cuban Pedro Prez (17.40) in 1971. But he got it back (17.44), in 1972, in Sukhumi, the capital of the Republic of Abkhazia, on the shores of the Black Sea, where he was born on October 10, 1945.

Without entering into sterile speculations regarding more or less dark times in the sport of the USSR, in the middle of the Cold War, also fought in the stadiums, where national and ideological prestige were achieved. Saneyev was the most gifted and genuine representative of the powerful and rich Soviet school. Tall (1.88) and strong (80 kilos), proportionate and fast (10.5 in 100 meters), he also reached 7.90 in the long jump and 1.90 in the high jump, the specialty in which he started. But he decided to dedicate himself to the triple jump in 1963, after performing, at the age of 17, 14.88. Four years later, he was already, practically, the best tripler in the world.

At a time when the World Championships did not yet exist, he added two gold and two silver to his Olympic medals in European Championships. And multiple titles on the indoor track. I broke three world records outdoors, and seven indoors. After his retirement, he remained linked to athletics in one of the serious clubs of the USSR, the Georgian Dinamo of Tbilisi. Honored with the highest Soviet decorations, after the collapse of the USSR he emigrated to Australia with his wife and 15-year-old son. Performed work inappropriate for his name and category. I had a hard time, but ended up, as a coach, returning to athletics. He became an Australian citizen and died in Sydney from a heart attack. His life is over, but not his glory.

Reference from elmundo