Created 22 July 2012
Olga RYPAKOVA, Kazakhstan (Triple Jump)
Born: 30 November 1984, Ust-Kamenogorsk
Lives in Almaty
1.83cm / 62kg
Coaching by Sergey Alekseev & Denis Rypakov
Olga Rypakova (maiden name Alekseeva) was involved in athletics at the age of 8. Her father, Sergey Alekseev, is a former Decathlete (7800 points) and current coach in athletics. Little Olga came in athletics in Tatyana Nazarova’s group, where she took an excellent post-soviet school in multi-events preparation. At the time Rypakova preferred Hurdles and Long Jump. No wonder that she became a Sport Master (Kazakhstan classification) at the age of 15, when she leaped 6.23 at youth competitions in Almaty. Thanks to that result she booked her ticket to the World Junior Championships in Santiago de Chile. Being much younger than all participants Olga didn’t get upset when she jumped 5.63 only. Nobody demanded from her high results there.
In 2001 Rypakova began her career in Combined Events. During three years Olga improved her results, aimed at the Athens Olympics. In 2002 she won Silver at the World Junior Championships in Kingston and scored 5727 points.
The following winter, Rypakova set the Asian Junior Record and National record in Pentathlon (4190 points) and won her first Central Asian Games in October. She was successful in entering the National Academy of Sport and Tourism and began her independent life in the hostel of the Olympic Preparation Centre in Almaty. There Olga met her love – 400 and 400m Hurdles runner, ex national indoor record holder Denis Rypakov and got married with him in 2003.
At the beginning of 2004 Rypakova felt that something was going wrong despite the fact that she set her Indoor PBs in Pentathlon (4344 points) and in Long Jump (6.53m). After medical examinations, Rypakova came back home with happy news. She was pregnant. "We didn’t have such plans but if God gave us such chance we had to take it easy." Rypakova says. "My dad was shocked by that news. It was the Olympic year and he hoped to see me in Athens. Anyway, he accepted that situation as a due."
On September 21, 2004 Rypakova gave birth to her daughter Anastasiya.
In the following months, Olga began her recovery and returned to her usual shape very quickly. But she lost a lot of weight and had no power to compete in Heptathlon. Rypakova tried herself in Long Jump again and was very satisfied with the first results. On 4 June 2005 she fulfilled standard of International Class Sport Master (Kazakhstan classification) achieving 6.60 at International Meeting in Almaty.
In winter 2006 she set new the Asian Indoor Record in Pentathlon and finished first at the Asian Championships, in Pattaya, with 4582 points, but was 7th only at the World Indoor Championships in Moscow with 4368.
On 28 June, Rypakova first scored over 6000 points in Heptathlon – 6122 – being first at the National Championships. She was prepared to travel to the Asian Games and aimed at the gold medal only.
"It was too difficult for me," Rypakova recalls. "Definitely my weight and my power were not enough for Heptathlon. All the season we tried to find the golden mean. I had to become much stronger but if I worked with weights I always was under the risk to take an injury. That is why we made a lot of technical work. We saw great progress in all jumping and sprint events, but were so slow in improving my results in throwing. At least I got the gold at Asian Games in Doha and scored in Heptathlon 5955 points, but decided that it was time to say 'Good bye’ to my multi events performances."
For summer season 2007, Rypakova was preparing as a long jumper. She won the National Championships in Almaty with 6.57 and was asked by the coaches just to make few attempts in Triple Jump to bring more points for her team. It was very bad, rainy and cold weather. Rypakova couldn’t take any chances before main competitions. She used short (only 9 steps) run-up in Triple Jump but took a win with impressive result, 14.05.
"When we came to the Asian Championships, in Amman, I saw my name in women’s Triple Jump start list. At first I thought that it’s just a mistake. But when our team bosses told me that I have to jump, I made the scandal! I was gripped by fear and leaped in such condition 14.69. I thought that it was another mistake, now from the judge’s side, but they made one measurement more because it was Kazakhstan’s National Record."
In such way Rypakova became a triple jumper. After Asian Championships she agreed to compete in Triple Jump at the World Championships. In Osaka Olga showed 8th result in qualification (14.41) and reached the final easily. But in the Final she was able to jump only 14.32 and took 11th place.
During winter season 2008, Rypakova had understood that Long Jump would become only her auxiliary event. However, going to the World Indoor Championships, in Valencia, Olga didn’t have any medal expectations in Triple Jump. She needed more experience in this field and she tried to keep her eyes on rivals, learning what, why and how they do one or another thing. Rypakova was very surprised to finish4th in the Valencia Final, with new Indoor Asian record 14.58.
In summer 2008, Rypakova’s usual preparation for main season’s competitions changed completely. They got to learn Triple Jump’s peculiarities reading a lot of special scientific literature. Olga improved her velocity appreciably and learned how to keep the speed on the board and after take-off. She had great shape before the Olympic Games, but coming to Beijing she didn’t know what result she was ready to show.
"Going to Beijing I incited myself that I have to visit something like big bright holiday!" Rypakova recalls. "From the first day I felt winged and inspired. Moreover, my husband made a nice surprise for me. As it was impossible for him to join official Olympic delegation, Denis bought tickets at his own expenses and came in my pre-Olympic camp in Daegu and then went with me to Beijing. Nobody believed that I was able to do something special at that Olympics, but Denis did. He was near me in the most important moments and helped me to remain calm and to keep positive thoughts."
In the Beijing Final, Rypakova surprised everyone including herself. She took 4th place with new Asian Record 15.11. "It was really fantastic performance for me," Olga resumed.
After such success, Rypakova felt big moral tiredness. She missed the winter season 2009 and didn’t want to force her shape in summer. Moreover she caught acute kidney inflammation before the World Championships in Berlin and had to take a little break for antibiotic treatment. Her physical shape fell down and Rypakova in Berlin leaped 13.91 in the Final and took 10th place only.
"I would have liked to finish summer season 2009 in Berlin, but we had one more important event in the calendar," Olga says. "I had to prepare for Asian Championships. Fortunately I recovered after the illness and on 11 November won with 14.53. it was very good result, against the background of an unsuccessful 2009 summer season."
In winter 2010, Rypakova was ready to fight for the medal at the World Indoor Championships. In Doha she won gold and first jumped over the 15m mark Indoors, setting new Asian Record 15.14.
In summer 2010 I had very many international meetings and competed in all Diamond League events." Rypakova says. "I had a special task for that season, to go through all competitions without being in a mess and keep out from injuries till the Continental Cup. I managed my job well. But my result in Split – 15.25 new PB and AR – was really unexpected!"
Rypakova finished her eventful year with victory at the Asian Games on 25 November, leaping a solid 14.78. She took full winter’s rest, but later understood that it was a very big mistake. She need much more time to gain in competitive shape. Only at the National Championships, in Almaty on 27 July, Rypakova could show her usual result. "It was the day when everything worked for me," Olga tells. "We competed at the new stadium with fast surface. Weather conditions were ideal. Very many of my friends came to the stadium to support me. I jumped 14.96 and looked forward to Daegu with great hopes."
But at the Diamond League event in London, Rypakova got an injury. Pain in the leg didn’t allow her to make technical work and to run sprints. In spite of fact that she felt much better before the World Championships, Olga came to Daegu without confidence. "Certainly, I wanted to win. But no doubt the women’s Triple Jump Final day was the day of Olha Saladuha. I leaped 14.89 in 5th round and stopped on the distance of 5cm only from the World gold."
Taking into consideration last year’s experience, Rypakova didn’t miss the winter season 2012. But her preparation was frustrated because of a back injury. She had time to recover before the World Indoor Championships, but her shape in Istanbul wasn’t brilliant. "I had a few nice and far attempts in Istanbul, but wasn’t accurate on the board," Rypakova says. "I had many problems with my run-up. Nevertheless, I took the World Indoor silver with 14.63, but lost to Britain veteran Yamile Aldama. Definitely I was surprised by her shape and readiness in the Olympic season. It’s like she got a second wind in athletics for her home Olympics."
During summer 2012, Rypakova didn’t have many competitions. She opened her Olympic season at the Diamond League stage in Doha with 14.33 and achieved her SB in Rome on 31 May – 14.73. "I focused on London and hope to be in my best shape there," Rypakova explains. "There is a big difference between Olympics Games 2008 and 2012 for me. In Beijing I was the newcomer in Triple Jump. But now everyone spells my name among Olympic favorites. I’m feeling a little pressure because of this, but all I can say is I’ll try to do my best in London."
In 2006 Rypakova graduated from Kazakh Academy of Sport and Tourism as coach in athletics. Nevertheless she didn’t think about her future occupation and would like to stay away from trainer’s work. She is interested in landscape and home design and wants to dedicate herself first of all to her family after retirement from athletics.
Triple Jump (outdoor/indoor): 15.25 AR/15.14 AR
Triple Jump (outdoor/indoor): 2007: 14.69 NR/-; 2008: 15.11 AR/14.58; 2009: 14.53/-; 2010: 15.25 AR/15.14; 2011: 14.96/-; 2012: 14.73/14.84
2000 - q - World Junior Championships (Long Jump)
2001 - 4 - World Youth Championships (Heptathlon)
2002 - 2nd - World Junior Championships (Heptathlon)
2003 - 8th - World University Games (Heptathlon)
2003 - 1st - Central Asian Games (Heptathlon)
2005 - q - World University Games (Long Jump)
2005 - 4th - Asian Championships (Long Jump)
2006 - 1st - Asian Indoor Championships (Pentathlon)
2006 - 7th - World Indoor Championships (Pentathlon)
2006 - 8th - World Cup (Long Jump)
2006 - 1st - Asian Games (Heptathlon)
2006 - 3rd - Asian Games (Long Jump)
2007 - 1st - World University Games (Long Jump)
2007 - 11th - World Championships (Triple Jump)
2008 - 1st - Asian Indoor Championships (Triple Jump)
2008 - 4th - World Indoor Championships (Triple Jump)
2008 - 4th - Olympic Games (Triple Jump)
2009 - 10th - World Championships (Triple Jump)
2009 - 1st - Asian Indoor Games (Triple Jump)
2009 - 1st - Asian Indoor Games (Long Jump)
2010 - 1st - World Indoor Championships (Triple Jump)
2010 - 1st - Continental Cup (Triple Jump)
2010 - 1st - Asian Games (Triple Jump)
2011 - 2nd - World Championships (Triple Jump)
2012 - 2nd - World Indoor Championships (Triple Jump)
Prepared by Liudmyla Iakusheva for the IAAF 'Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2012.