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Whatever happened to Viktor Saneyev?


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  • Whatever happened to Viktor Saneyev?

    That was a question posed by T4 in another thread.

    Far as I know he's still coaching in the Sydney area. Quaffed a few brews with him down at the shore in the fall of '96, then in '97 we hooked up again for an afternoon in Athens at the World Championships. Terrific personality and at age 50 looked like he could still TJ his age.

    (Lest anyone think I'm claiming that we're good buds, those two occasions were the only times we've met, courtesy of an Aussie journo buddy---i just made the most of them!)

  • #2
    Re: Whatever happened to Viktor Saneyev?

    Good to see Saneyev's name crop up. What with all the talk of today's triple jumpers, in my book, Saneyev remains the greatest all-time in his event. No one else can match his competitive record in big meets, nor for that matter, his three golds and one silver at the Olympics. (Not to take anything away from a great athlete and a thorough genetleman - Johnathon Edwards.)


    • #3
      Re: Whatever happened to Viktor Saneyev?

      I haven't been able to find anything beyond that he was still coaching in Australia.

      From what I've read, and looking at his rankings and records, Saneyev was indeed #1 AT and his unprecedented series of #1's in a row will be very tough to beat. He was voted athlete of the 1970's and definitely deserved it (with Moses right behind).

      That all being said, if anyone a little older than me has any insight, what actually happened in the TJ in 1980 ? I've read about some suspicious judging from the ole Soviets.


      • #4
        Re: Whatever happened to Viktor Saneyev?

        As always with news reports, take with a grain of salt.


        [A]t the 1980 Moscow Olympics, the still brilliant but older Saneyev should have won his fourth consecutive Games gold medal. Instead, he was robbed by some of his own countrymen, with film evidence supporting Saneyev's claim that he jumped further than the eventual winner, fellow Soviet and Estonian born Jaak Uudmae, 10 years younger than the 35-year old Saneyev. Officials also fouled nine of the 12 jumps from de Oliveira (bronze) and Australia's own Ian Campbell (5th) during the competition, while Britain's Keith Connor - ironically now the NSW Academy coach - finished fourth.


        An Australian athlete has called on Olympic officials to admit he was cheated out of a medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

        Former Australian champion Ian Campbell, now living in the United States, has returned for the Sydney Games to appeal to the Australian Olympic Committee to concede that Soviet officials conspired to foul him in the final of the triple jump, allowing their own athletes to win gold and silver medals.

        Campbell, who says he has lived with the anguish of being robbed of the leap of his life for 20 years, has the support of some of the world's top former athletes and past Australian track and field officials. "I hope someone in officialdom, such as (Australian Olympic Committee president) John Coates says, `Hey, there was a problem and we need to acknowledge what happened'," he said.

        Last month’s edition of the Good Weekend revealed how the event was fixed to appease a disgruntled footwear manufacturer.

        Campbell, who was placed fifth, said he was grateful the circumstances of July 25, 1980, at Lenin Stadium had been finally investigated.

        "I appreciate that something which has been talked about in track and field circles for a long time has been exposed," he said.

        "If I had spent 20 years ringing up Olympic officials and journalists and complained about the cheating, my claims would have had a hollow ring."

        Campbell said he was unaware of the motive for the Soviet cheating - to placate Mizuno, the Japanese shoe company, whose investment in the torch relay had been devalued by the Soviet Union's two most prominent athletes turning up for the opening ceremony in the wrong footwear.

        "All I know is that the final of the triple jump was an absolute shambles all the way round," Campbell said.

        "Whatever was supposed to be going on, the officials lost control of it."

        The fix was made more farcical because the ultimate silver medallist, Victor Saneyev, claims he should have won the gold medal.

        Saneyev, who had won the event at the three previous Olympics, now lives in Sydney where he is a jumps coach at the New South Wales Institute of Sport.

        Saneyev claims officials conspired to give the gold medal to compatriot Jaak Uudmae because of internal Soviet politics.

        Coates said he empathised with Campbell but said no review was possible.

        "The difference now is that following calls for medals to be reissued in the wake of what's come out of East Germany, the International Olympic Committee has amended the Olympic charter to provide that `no decision taken in the context of the Olympic Games can be challenged for three years from the day of the closing ceremony of such Games'," he said.

        However, there was cheating in these Games as well.  The USSR persuaded the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) to not send its neutral judges to oversee officiating.  Soviet javelin throwers were given an extra advantage when they threw because the stadium’s doors were opened to allow a breeze to carry the javelin farther.  This advantage won the gold medal for the USSR.  The officials disqualified an Australian who would have won the triple jump for an illegal jumping style.  The style was considered legal by many others.  Judges marked a Cuban discus thrower’s throw a meter shorter than the actual length.