Updated 25 February 2008
Danil BURKENYA, Russia (Triple Jump)
Born: 20 July 1978, Ashgabat (Turkmenistan)
Height: 1,98m/Weight: 85kg
Coach: Yevgeny Ter-Avanesov
Bored with basketball, having played since he was eight, Danil Burkenya switched to athletics in 1992, when he was 14, and it was not long before he made progress in high jumping.
Coached by Yevgeny Ter-Avanesov, and living in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, a former USSR republic, Burkenya’s life changed with his family moved to Moscow in 1995. He entered the State Academy of Oil and Gas, playing basketball in the academy team and taking part in track and field competitions. When Ter-Avanesov also moved to Moscow, Burkenya recommenced his training with pleasure. He started to train for the high jump, long jump and triple jump, but his main discipline was the long jump.
“The long jump is much harder for me, because my back always hurts, but after triple jump I don’t feel any pain or discomfort,” Burkenya said. In spite of this, he became the champion of Russia three years running (2000-2002) in long jump. In 2001, he won with a personal best 8.31m.
However, in world competitions Burkenya always fell short. He suffered poor results at the 2000 Olympic Games, in Sydney, and at the 2001 and 2003 World Championships in Edmonton and Paris, failing to qualify for the final on each occasion.
“I kept thinking about reasons of my failures,” Burkenya said. “My mind was in chaos. I couldn’t conceive how I should behave during competitions. And then I decided to consult a psychologist. He sorted out my state of mind, though he didn’t say anything new for me. But, with his help, I gradually started to replace words ‘I cannot do it, it’s impossible’ with ‘I will try to do it’. During competitions I would try not to think about my rivals because it could hinder me. I concentrated just upon my technique of jumping.”
After a series of unsuccessful performances in long jump, Burkenya’s trainer suggested that he turn his attention only to triple jump. All of the winter season of 2004 was dedicated to the triple jump, preparing seriously for the Athens Olympics that summer.
Burkenya would compete less often, to have time for recovery, and this enabled him to produce stable results at about 17.30m. At the Russian Championships, he set his personal best of 17.68m, which instilled confidence on the eve of the Olympics.
”But I have to confess that, during the qualifying round, I felt terrible nervousness and I managed to jump the qualification standard only at the last attempt – 17.08m,” he said. “And in final everything went more serious. My first three attempts were not good enough, but luckily I got through and my last three trials were almost equal - 17.45, 17.48 and 17.47. Thanks to this I gained the bronze medal at the Olympic Games.”
For the time being 2004 remains the best year in his sporting career. But a new Olympic season has come. So Burkenya and his trainer concentrate all their efforts on the main goal – to get to Beijing and perform successfully there.
Already in 2008 Burkenya has won the Russian Indoor Championships (16.93m) but he remained dissatisfied with his result: “At the beginning I was jumping well, I was landing further and further,” he said. “But then I started to invent something by changing my jumping techniques. I definitely shouldn’t do that. I will try to do my best and to jump over 17m before the World Indoor Championships”.
Long Jump – 8.31 (2001)
Triple Jump – 17.68 (2004)
Long Jump – 8.07 (1999)
Triple Jump – 17.41 (2004)
Triple Jump: 1995 - 14.75; 1996 - 15.09; 1997 - 16.29; 1998 - 16.36; 1999 - 16.30i/; 2000 - 16.14; 2003 - 16.58i/; 2004 - 17.68; 2005 - 17.10; 2006 - 17.42; 2007 - 17.48; 2008 - 16.93i
1997 4 Russian Indoor U20 Championships Long Jump 7.40
1 Russian Indoor U20 Championships Triple Jump 15.81
6 Russian U23 Championships Triple Jump 15.89
2 Russian U20 Championships Long Jump 7.63
2 Russian U20 Championships Triple Jump 16.29
5 European U20 Championships Long Jump 7.62
9 European U20 Championships Triple Jump 15.70
1998 9 Russian Championships Triple Jump 16.31
1999 2 Russian U23 Championships Long Jump 8.00
7 European U23 Championships Long Jump 7.81
2000 3 Russian Indoor Championships High Jump 7.80
3 Russian Indoor Championships Long Jump 7.80
1 Russian Championships Long Jump 8.12
2001 4 Russian Indoor Championships Long Jump 8.05
4 Russian Indoor Championships Long Jump 8.05
1 European Cup Long Jump 7.89
1 Russian Championships Long Jump 8.31
2002 3 Russian Indoor Championships High Jump 7.90
3 Russian Indoor Championships Long Jump 7.90
4 European Cup Long Jump 7.94
1 Russian Championships Long Jump 8.19
5 European Championships Long Jump 7.90
2003 2 Russian Championships Long Jump 8.23
2004 3 Russian Indoor Championships Triple Jump 17.03
7 World Indoor Championships Triple Jump 16.62
2 European Cup Triple Jump 17.28
1 Russian Championships Triple Jump 17.68
3 Olympic Games Triple Jump 17.48
2 World Athletics Final Triple Jump 17.20
2005 2 European Cup Triple Jump 17.06
3 Russian Championships Triple Jump 17.08
4 World Athletics Final Triple Jump 17.10
2006 3 Russian Indoor Championships Triple Jump 17.08
1 Russian Championships Triple Jump 17.42
6 European Championships Triple Jump 16.98
5 World Cup Triple Jump 16.84
2007 2 Russian Championships Triple Jump 16.93
2008 1 Russian Indoor Championships Triple Jump 16.93
Prepared by Larisa Voloshina, Sergey Tikhonov & Marina Voloshina for the ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2008