Saturday, February 22, 2014

Vol. 4 No. 10 Death of Pytor Bolotnikov

We were recently informed of the passing of the Russian Olympic champion Pytor Bolotnikov, winner of the 1960 Olympic 10,000 meters.  Born in 1930, he was orphaned by WWII and was on his own at the age of 14.  He became an electrician ,  moved to Moscow, and to the good fortune of the Track and Field world, he was drafted into the Russian army where he discovered a liking for distance running and received his first coaching.  By 1952 he was third in the Russian armed forces 10,000 meters.    He was Russia's number two man at Melbourne in 1956 placing 16thin in the 10,000 and 9th in the 5,000 behind Vladmir Kuts who took both races for the Soviets.

The highlight of Bolotnikov's career was his dominating victory at Rome in the 10,000, dominating the field with a last lap 57.4 seconds run winning in 28:32.2.  Later in his career he would break the world record for 10,000 twice in 28:18.8 and 28:18.2.    source:   

Where is Bolotnikov's hometown?   Several references list his birthplace at Zinovkino in Moldova, but there three Zinovkino's in geographical references, none of which is remotely near Moldova.  If anyone has a better command of Russian geography and language,  please help us out.

"He was a strong runner.  It almost appeared he ran in place rotating the earth underneath him."
Richard Trace

The athletics world is mourning the death of Russian long distance great Pyotr Bolotnikov at the age of 83 on Dec. 20, 2013
Born 8 March, 1930, in the Mordovian town of Zinovkino, Bolotnikov got the first of his 13 USSR national titles in 1957 when he won the 10,000m, causing a stir when he beat his fellow Soviet legend Vladimir Kuts, who was the world record-holder at the time.
At the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, Bolotnikov hit the front with 700 metres to go and uncorked a last lap of 57.4 before crossing the line in an Olympic record of 28:32.2, less than two seconds outside Kuts’ world record of 28:30.4.
He was to improve that mark to 28:18.8 later in 1960 at the USSR Team Championships in Kiev and reduced the world record further to 28:18.2 at the 1962 USSR Championships in Moscow.
He won the 1962 European 10,000m title but was surprisingly beaten into third place in the 5000m in Belgrade.
Bolotnikov retired from international athletics in 1965 and became a well-known coach in the former USSR.   source

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