Updated 26 July 2008
Aksana MIANKOVA, Belarus (Hammer Throw)
Born: 28 March, 1982; Krichev Mogilev area.
1.84 / 80.00
Coach: Valery Vorontsov
?anager: Andre Thomson
At the age of 14 Aksana Miankova went to sports school and participated in athletics but her mother was opposed to her daughter’s hobby. So Aksana attended training during the time when her mother was at work. Tall and enthusiastic, she attracted the attention of many trainers. One suggested she go in for Shot Put, another for rowing, but she refused.
When Miankova was 15, Valery Vorontsov, the coach at Mogilev Sports School, invited her to throw the Hammer, and soon she loved it. At that time, in the late 1990s, the Hammer Throw was still considered more a man's discipline. But, having learnt the first elements of throwing, Miankova won regional competitions.
“It was a starting point,” Miankova recalled. “I liked to train and I decided to continue. Trainers noticed that I was an explosive force and that I do the final movement very well when, after the rotation, the hammer flies to the field. I have strong feet. But my mother still didn’t like me training.” All of Miankova’s sisters, and her mother, were doctors. Her mother said that the white uniform was more suitable for a woman than a metal hammer.
In 1999, when Miankova was 17, she graduated from school and entered Goretskaya Agricultural Academy. She was going to become an agriculturist and she thought, at that time, that she would have to give up sport and concentrate on study. But, instead, she transferred to Mogilev to become a coach
“It seemed that everything was set for me to train and win medals,” Miankova recalled. “But I had problems with my health and, for four years, I could not train in winter. But gradually health my health was restored.” In 2006 the tide turned. She started the year with a Belarus record (76.86), which she set in Staiki, just outside Minsk. At the time she believed that she could achieve a great deal, including breaking the World record.
However, Miankova then fell victim to an accident in training as the European Championships, in Göteborg, approached. When she was putting the Shot she slipped in the wet sector and hurt her back. Her form in Göteborg, suffered and she was unable to qualify for the Final.
Still disturbed by her back, and undergoing treatment, Miankova was unable to perform to her best in 2007, but 2008 has been a different story.
In Brest, in April, at the Evgenie Shukevich Trophy, she threw 74.68 then, in Staiki, in June, improved to 76.19. She won at the European Cup, in Annecy, France (75.97) and, back in Staiki, at the end of June, established a Belarus record 77.32. It stood as the World leading mark going into the 2008 Beijing Olympics and is the third longest in the history.
“I was ready to throw beyond 77m at the European Cup but the circle was not fast,” Miankova said. “Therefore, I tried to achieve this at home and I did. As to the Olympic Games, in Beijing, I don’t want to predict. I know that the conditions there will not be easy.”
2001 - 59.24; 2002 - 66.42; 2003 - 67.58; 2004 - 70.23; 2005 - 70.15; 2006 - 76.86 NR; 2007 - 73.94; 2008 - 77.32 NR.
2002 q European Championships
2003 q World Championships
2005 4th European Cup First League
2005 5th World University Games
2006 7th European Winter Throwing Cup
2006 1st European Cup First League
2007 2nd European Cup Super League
2007 q World Championships
2008 1st European Cup Super League
Prepared by Mikhail Dubitski for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2008.