Siddhesh Joshi

Igor Ter Ovanesyan

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Sport  Long jump
Height  1.86 m
Personal best(s)  8.35 m (1967)
Weight  78 kg
Name  Igor Ter-Ovanesyan
Club  Burevestnik
Role  Olympian

Igor Ter-Ovanesyan httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Born  19 May 1938 (age 77) (1938-05-19) Kiev, Ukraine
Olympic medals  Athletics at the 1964 Summer Olympics – Men's long jump
Similar People  Ralph Boston, Lynn Davies, Bo Roberson

Igor Aramovich Ter-Ovanesyan (Russian: Игорь Арамович Тер-Ованесян, born 19 May 1938) is a retired Soviet competitor and coach in the long jump. He is a five-time Olympian and two-time Olympic medalist in this event. In 1985 he was awarded the Order of the Badge of Honour.


Igor Ter-Ovanesyan httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommons11

Early life

Ter-Ovanesyan was born in Kiev to an Armenian discus thrower, Aram Avetisovich Ter-Ovanesyan, and a Ukrainian volleyball player, Valentina Ilinskaya. His parents met at the Kiev State Institute of Physical Education, were they both taught sports-related topics.


Ter-Ovanesyan took up athletics when he was 15, and within two years was included to the Soviet national team. Ter-Ovanesyan trained at Burevestnik, first in Kiev, later in Lviv, and then in Moscow. He holds a PhD and a title of Professor at the Department of Athletics, Moscow State Academy of Physical Culture. He published several sports-related books in Russian.

Ter-Ovanesyan won Olympic bronze medals at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome – with a jump of 8.04 meters – and at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo – with a jump of 7.99 meters. He also competed at the 1956, 1968 and 1972 Olympics and finished fourth in 1968. At the European Championships he won outdoor gold medals in 1958, 1962 and 1969, and an indoor silver medal in 1971. Ter-Ovanesyan became the first European long jumper to break the 8 meter barrier. He broke the European long jump record eight times and the world long jump record twice. In 1963, he won the United States Indoor Championships. Ter-Ovanesyan had the annual world's best long jumps in 1962, 1966, 1967 and 1969.

After retiring from competitions, Ter-Ovanesyan became a national coach. His pupils included Ineta Radēviča, Valery Podluzhny, Vilma Bardauskienė and Tatyana Kolpakova. In 1983–1989 he headed the Soviet track and field team, which broke more than ten world records during preparations for the 1984 Friendship Games. He later worked as chairman of the General Council of the coaching teams of the Sports Committee of Russia. In 1994, he was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation GKFT. As of 1991, Ter-Ovanesyan is a member of the central council of IAAF (IAAF Council Member).

In February 2017, Ter-Ovanesyan held a press conference in Moscow, during which he said that East German successes due to state-sponsored doping are legitimate results of "good pharmacology" and should not be condemned.


  • 1960 Rome: Bronze with 8,04 m behind Ralph Boston with 8,12 m and Bo Roberson with 8,11 m.
  • 1964 Tokyo: Bronze with 7,99 m behind Great Britain's Lynn Davies with 8,07 m and Ralph Boston with 8,03 m
  • 1968 Mexico: Fourth with 8,12 m behind Bob Beamon with 8,90 m, Klaus Beer (GDR) with 8,19 m and Ralph Boston with 8,16 m.
  • European Championships

  • 1958 Stockholm: Gold with 7,81 m before Kazimierz Kropidłowski with 7,67 m and Henryk Grabowski with 7,51 m .
  • 1962 Belgrade: Gold with 8,19 m before Rainer Stenius and Pentti Eskola, both with 7,85 m
  • 1966 Budapest: Silver with 7,88 m behind Lynn Davies with 7,98 m and before Jean Cochard with 7,88 m
  • 1969 Athens: Gold with 8,17 m before Lynn Davies with 8,07 m and Tõnu Lepik with 8,04 m
  • 1971 Helsinki: Silver with 7,91 m behind Max Klauss with 7,92 m and before Stanisław Szundrowicz with 7,87 m
  • World Records

  • 8.31 metres on 10 July 1962 in Yerevan
  • 8.35 metres on 19 October 1967 in Mexico City
  • Defection target

    On the eve of the Rome Olympics, fellow sprinter Dave Sime was approached by the Central Intelligence Agency and recruited to help secure Ter-Ovanesyan's defection. Sime approached Ter-Ovanesyan and introduced him to a CIA agent in Rome, but that agent's manner frightened Ter-Ovanesyan off and he did not defect.

    Personal life

    Ter-Ovanesyan has been married twice. His first marriage was to Margarita Yurievna Yemelyanova. They had a son, Igor (b. 1963), and a daughter, Karen (b. 1967). His second marriage was to Olga Arturovna Klein. In 1982, they had a daughter, Jana Igorevna Klein.


    Igor Ter-Ovanesyan Wikipedia

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