Svetlana Masterkova
Personal information
Full nameSvetlana Aleksandrovna Masterkova
Born (1968-01-17) 17 January 1968 (age 54)
Achinsk, Russian SFSR,
Soviet Union
(now Russia)
Height1.72 m (5 ft 7+12 in)[1]
Weight59 kg (130 lb)[1]
Country Russia
SportWomen's athletics
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)800 m: 1:55.87

1000 m: 2:28.98 WR
1500 m: 3:56.77

1 mile: 4:12.56 NR[1]

Svetlana Aleksandrovna Masterkova (Russian: Светлана Александровна Мастеркова; born 17 January 1968) is a Russian former middle-distance runner and former women's world record holder for the mile and the current 1000 metres world record world record. At the 1996 Summer Olympics, she won the gold medal in both the 800 metres and 1500 metres.


Born in Achinsk (Siberia), Masterkova started out as an 800 metres runner. She first appeared internationally at the 1985 European Athletics Junior Championships, taking 6th place in the 800 metres. Her breakthrough came in 1991, winning the national championships of the Soviet Union, which also qualified her for the World Championships. In Tokyo, she placed eighth in the final. During the following seasons, she had some minor successes (silver at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in 1993), but also suffered from injuries. In 1994 and 1995, she took a break from running, giving birth to a daughter (Anastasia).

In 1996, she returned to athletics. Instead of only running the 800 m, Masterkova also decided to compete in the 1500 metres, a distance she had not competed in four years. At the Russian Championships, she won both distances in top times. However, she was not considered as a real favourite for the 800 m Olympic gold; Maria Mutola and Ana Fidelia Quirot were expected to fight for the title in Atlanta. Masterkova took the lead from the start, and led the entire race to become Olympic champion. After this surprise, Masterkova caused a major upset by also winning the 1500 m in a similar fashion, thereby equaling Tatyana Kazankina's performance at the 1976 Olympics (Kelly Holmes would repeat the performance in 2004). She completed her season by also setting two new world records at the 1000 metre and mile distances.[2]

Masterkova was not able to repeat her feat at the World Championships the next year, as an achilles tendon injury caused her to drop out in the heats of the 1500 metres. Her 1998 season was great again, crowned by a win in the 1500 m at the European Championships. At the 1999 World championships, Masterkova again contested both middle distance events. She won bronze in the 800 m won by Ludmila Formanová but comprehensively won the 1500 metres title. This would be her last major success. Although Masterkova participated in the Sydney Olympics, she abandoned her 1500 metres heat. She announced her retirement at Znamensky Indoor stadium on 7 January 2003.[3]

Personal life

Svetlana married Russian professional road racing cyclist Asiat Saitov in 1994.[4] Their daughter Anastasiya Saitova is a professional tennis player, taking her first singles title in Sharm El Sheikh and ranked number 511 in the world in 2014.[5][6]


Distance Time Date Place
800 metres 1:55.87 18 June 1999 Mosvka
1000 metres 2:28.98 WR 23 August 1996 Bruxelles
1500 metres 3:57.11 08 August 1988 Monaco
1 Mile 4:12.56 NR 14 August 1996 Zürich

Honours and awards

See also


  1. ^ a b c Svetlana Masterkova at World Athletics
  2. ^ "World Records". IAAF. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  3. ^ "Masterkova and Gataullin announce their retirements". IAAF. 21 January 2003. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  4. ^ biography (Russian) Archived 23 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Anastasiya Saitova. ITF Tennis. Retrieved 2020-03-25.
  6. ^ "From Russia with love: five outstanding Russian Olympians relive their mostly glory days in London". 29 April 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
Records Preceded byPaula Ivan Women's Mile World Record Holder August 14, 1996 – July 12, 2019 Succeeded bySifan Hassan Preceded byMaria Mutola Women's 1000 m World Record Holder August 23, 1996 – present Succeeded byIncumbent Awards and achievements Preceded bySonia O'Sullivan Women's European Athlete of the Year 1996 Succeeded byAstrid Kumbernuss Preceded bySonia O'Sullivan Women's Track & Field Athlete of the Year 1996 Succeeded byMarion Jones