Updated 27 July 2008
Andrei KRAUCHANKA, Belarus (Combined Events)
Born: 4 January, 1986, Petrikov the Gomel region, village Myshanka
1.92m / 82.00kg
Coach: Ivan Gordienko
?anager: Olga Nazarova
At first, Andrei Krauchanka was not going to devote himself to sports. But it was the wish of his mother that he did so and, as the obedient son, he did not contradict her. At 14, he took part in regional children's competitions, showing good natural ability. Both his parents were keen on sport, his mother taking a great interest in figure skating, athletics and volleyball and his father, who served in the army, in the Air Defence troops, was the military champion of the USSR in combined events.
Krauchanka participated in school in 4-thlon: 60m, 800m, throwing a ball, and Long Jump. One day he approached trainer Ivan Gordienko, asking him to train him. “Ivan told me: ‘Come training, I will look at you, and then I will decide: to take you or not to take you’,” Krauchanka recalled. “He gave me a javelin, I threw it, and the trainer was pleased, and he took me to Gomel to the school of Olympic reserves. I was small, thin, 1.67m and 52kg. But I trained persistently and didn’t miss training, as I do now. I was fond of combined events. I wanted to do a number of disciplines, not only one.”
Krauchanka started to train at school from the end of 1999 and, in half a year, he had won the Championship of Belarus in Octathlon. As his results improved, he took part in various international matches and tournaments. And, prior to his departure for the 2003 World Youth Championships in Sherbrooke, Canada, he established a World best for boys’ Octathlon (6415 points).
In Sherbrooke he took second place (6366) behind Andrés Silva, from Uruguay, who set a World best 6456. Krauchanka said he was glad with silver but resolved to win Decathlon gold at the World Junior Championships in Grosseto, Italy, a year later. He set nine personal records on his way to a victorious 8126 score. In 2005 he added the European Junior title in Kaunas, although his 7997 total was less than in Grosseto.
“In the beginning of 2003 I parted from Petrovich (his affectionate nickname for Gordienko) and for two years trained in Finland with Paul Hämäläinen,” Krauchanka said. “But not everything was good with me and the trainer, and I returned back to Belarus. I returned and everything improved. I established an U23 European record at once in Götzis with 8617 points. In the same year I won the European U23 Championships in Debrecen (8492).”
Krauchanka competed for the first time in a senior championship at the 2007 European Indoor Championships, in Birmingham, England, taking third place in the Heptathlon (6090) behind Roman Sebrle (6196) and Aleksandr Pogorelov (6127). But outdoors he experienced mixed fortunes: he won in Götzis (8617) and in Talence (8553) but, at the World Championships, in Osaka, he was disqualified in the 100m.
Indoors in 2008, Krauchanka won a Heptathlon in Tallinn, having scored identical points with Dmitry Karpov, from Kazakhstan, but taken the victory because he had won more events. Their score, 6229, led the 2008 Top Lists going into the World Indoor Championships, in Valencia.
“The competition was serious,” he said. “I established three personal records - in 60m, Long Jump and Shot Put. Karpov beat the record of Asia and of Belarus. Now I feel confident.”
Krauchanka was second in Valencia, establishing a national record of 6234 points. It was the first senior World Championships medal for the 22-year-old and it ranked him second indoors on the IAAF Top Lists for the winter season. Ahead of him was Bryan Clay (US) with his World Indoor Championships winning score (6371)
At the end of June 2008, Krauchanka enjoyed a successful European Cup Combined Events Super League in Hengelo, where he won the Decathlon with 8585 points and Belarus defended the team title. His score ranks him second in the 2008 Top Lists, behind Clay (8832), going into the Beijing Olympics.
Heptathlon: 6234i (2008)
Decathlon: 8617 (2007)
Heptathlon: 2005 – 5929; 2006 – 5003; 2007 - 6090; 2008 – 6234.
Decathlon: 2005 – 7833; 2006 – 8013; 2007 – 8617; 2008 - 8585.
2003 2nd World Youth Championships, Octathlon
2004 1st World Junior Championships, Decathlon
2005 1st European Junior Championships, Decathlon
2007 1st European U23 Championships, Decathlon
2007 3rd European Indoor Championships, Heptathlon
2008 2nd World Indoor Championships, Heptathlon
Prepared by Mikhail Dubitski for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2008.