Natalya ANTYUKH

Athlete Profile

  • COUNTRY
    Russia Russia
  • DATE OF BIRTH
    26 JUN 1981
    ATHLETE'S IAAF CODE
    178158
Natalya Antyukh (Getty Images)

Outdoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
200 Metres 22.73 +0.6 Yerino (RUS) 21 JUL 2012
400 Metres 49.85 Tula (RUS) 31 JUL 2004
400 Metres Hurdles 52.70 London (GBR) 08 AUG 2012
4x400 Metres Relay 3:20.16 Athina (GRE) 28 AUG 2004

Legend

* Not legal.

Indoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
200 Metres 23.56 Volgograd (RUS) 11 FEB 2005
300 Metres 36.79 Moskva (RUS) 12 JAN 2006
400 Metres 50.37 Moskva (RUS) 18 FEB 2006
60 Metres Hurdles 8.82 Lipetsk (RUS) 24 JAN 1998
4x400 Metres Relay 3:24.91 Moskva (RUS) 12 MAR 2006

Legend

* Not legal.

Latest Active Season: 2016

Outdoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
400 Metres Hurdles 57.97 Cheboksary (RUS) 21 JUN 2016

Outdoor

200 Metres

Performance Wind Place Date
2012 22.73 +0.6 Yerino (RUS) 21 JUL 2012
2010 23.03 -0.7 Sochi (RUS) 28 MAY 2010
2009 23.17 -1.0 Cheboksary (RUS) 25 JUL 2009
2008 23.02 +0.6 Tula (RUS) 06 JUL 2008
2006 23.27 -0.2 Tula (RUS) 16 JUL 2006
2005 22.99 0.0 Tula (RUS) 24 JUL 2005
2004 22.75 -0.2 Tula (RUS) 06 JUN 2004
2003 23.54 +0.3 Moskva (RUS) 15 JUL 2003

Outdoor

400 Metres

Performance Place Date
2012 51.27 Zürich (SUI) 30 AUG 2012
2011 50.73 Moskva (RUS) 06 AUG 2011
2009 50.90 Cheboksary (RUS) 23 JUL 2009
2008 51.19 Kazan (RUS) 17 JUL 2008
2007 49.93 Osaka (JPN) 27 AUG 2007
2006 50.47 Tula (RUS) 13 JUN 2006
2005 50.67 Firenze (ITA) 18 JUN 2005
2004 49.85 Tula (RUS) 31 JUL 2004
2003 52.28 Praha (CZE) 29 JUN 2003
2002 51.24 Tula (RUS) 09 JUN 2002
2001 51.19 Tula (RUS) 09 JUN 2001

Outdoor

400 Metres Hurdles

Performance Place Date
2016 57.97 Cheboksary (RUS) 21 JUN 2016
2015 55.92 Cheboksary (RUS) 03 AUG 2015
2014 58.06 Oslo (NOR) 11 JUN 2014
2013 55.20 Moskva (RUS) 22 JUL 2013
2012 52.70 London (GBR) 08 AUG 2012
2011 53.75 Cheboksary (RUS) 23 JUL 2011
2010 52.92 Barcelona (ESP) 30 JUL 2010
2009 54.11 Berlin (GER) 20 AUG 2009
2000 58.30 Cheboksary (RUS) 09 JUL 2000
1999 1:01.85 Krasnodar (RUS) 19 MAY 1999
1998 59.94 Moskva (RUS) 15 JUL 1998

Outdoor

4x400 Metres Relay

Performance Place Date
2013 3:23.51 Moskva (RUS) 16 AUG 2013
2010 3:23.76 Bergen (NOR) 20 JUN 2010
2009 3:23.80 Berlin (GER) 22 AUG 2009
2007 3:20.25 Osaka (JPN) 02 SEP 2007
2006 3:23.51 Málaga (ESP) 29 JUN 2006
2005 3:20.32 Helsinki (FIN) 13 AUG 2005
2004 3:20.16 Athina (GRE) 28 AUG 2004
2002 3:25.59 München (GER) 06 AUG 2002
2001 3:24.58 Bremen (GER) 24 JUN 2001

Indoor

200 Metres

Performance Place Date
2008/09 23.97 St. Petersburg (RUS) 07 JAN 2009
2007/08 23.99 Moskva (RUS) 27 JAN 2008
2004/05 23.56 Volgograd (RUS) 11 FEB 2005
2001/02 23.57 St. Petersburg (RUS) 06 JAN 2002
2000/01 24.07 Moskva (RUS) 20 JAN 2001
1999/00 24.49 Moskva (RUS) 22 JAN 2000
1997/98 25.62 Lipetsk (RUS) 25 JAN 1998

Indoor

300 Metres

Performance Place Date
2005/06 36.79 Moskva (RUS) 12 JAN 2006
2003/04 38.04 Yekaterinburg (RUS) 07 JAN 2004
2002/03 37.35 Yekaterinburg (RUS) 07 JAN 2003

Indoor

400 Metres

Performance Place Date
2008/09 52.37 Torino (ITA) 07 MAR 2009
2007/08 52.78 Moskva (RUS) 08 FEB 2008
2006/07 52.27 Moskva (RUS) 28 JAN 2007
2005/06 50.37 Moskva (RUS) 18 FEB 2006
2004/05 52.83 Chemnitz (GER) 25 FEB 2005
2003/04 50.87 Moskva (RUS) 18 FEB 2004
2002/03 51.73 Moskva (RUS) 26 FEB 2003
2001/02 51.17 Birmingham (GBR) 17 FEB 2002
2000/01 52.37 Moskva (RUS) 19 JAN 2001
1999/00 54.12 Moskva (RUS) 21 JAN 2000
1998/99 56.37 Moskva (RUS) 21 FEB 1999

Indoor

60 Metres Hurdles

Performance Place Date
1997/98 8.82 Lipetsk (RUS) 24 JAN 1998

Indoor

4x400 Metres Relay

Performance Place Date
2008/09 3:29.12 Torino (ITA) 08 MAR 2009
2006/07 3:28.16 Birmingham (GBR) 04 MAR 2007
2005/06 3:24.91 Moskva (RUS) 12 MAR 2006
2003/04 3:31.27 Budapest (HUN) 07 MAR 2004
2002/03 3:28.45 Birmingham (GBR) 16 MAR 2003

Honours - Olympic Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 400 Metres Hurdles 52.70 London (GBR) 08 AUG 2012
2. 4x400 Metres Relay 3:20.16 Athina (GRE) 28 AUG 2004
3. 400 Metres 49.89 Athina (GRE) 24 AUG 2004

Honours - World Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 4x400 Metres Relay 3:20.95 Helsinki (FIN) 14 AUG 2005
3. 400 Metres Hurdles 53.85 Daegu (KOR) 01 SEP 2011
4. 4x400 Metres Relay 3:20.25 Osaka (JPN) 02 SEP 2007
6. 400 Metres Hurdles 54.11 Berlin (GER) 20 AUG 2009
6. 400 Metres 50.33 Osaka (JPN) 29 AUG 2007

Honours - World Indoor Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 4x400 Metres Relay 3:24.91 Moskva (RUS) 12 MAR 2006
1. 4x400 Metres Relay 3:28.45 Birmingham (GBR) 16 MAR 2003

Honours - World (Continental) Cup

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
2. 4x400 Metres Relay 3:26.59 Madrid (ESP) 21 SEP 2002
4. 400 Metres Hurdles 55.19 Split (CRO) 04 SEP 2010

Honours - European Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 400 Metres Hurdles 52.92 Barcelona (ESP) 30 JUL 2010
2. 4x400 Metres Relay 3:25.59 München (GER) 06 AUG 2002

Honours - World Athletics Final

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
5. 400 Metres 50.95 Monaco (MON) 19 SEP 2004
8. 400 Metres 51.90 Monaco (MON) 10 SEP 2005

Honours - European Indoor Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 4x400 Metres Relay 3:29.12 Torino (ITA) 08 MAR 2009
1. 400 Metres 51.65 Wien (AUT) 03 MAR 2002
2. 4x400 Metres Relay 3:28.16 Birmingham (GBR) 04 MAR 2007
4. 400 Metres 52.37 Torino (ITA) 07 MAR 2009

Honours - European Team Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 4x400 Metres Relay 3:23.76 Bergen (NOR) 20 JUN 2010
1. 400 Metres Hurdles 55.27 Bergen (NOR) 19 JUN 2010
1. 4x400 Metres Relay 3:23.51 Málaga (ESP) 29 JUN 2006
1. 4x400 Metres Relay 3:23.56 Firenze (ITA) 19 JUN 2005
1. 400 Metres 50.67 Firenze (ITA) 18 JUN 2005
2. 400 Metres Hurdles 54.52 Stockholm (SWE) 18 JUN 2011
2. 200 Metres 22.83 +0.6 Bydgoszcz (POL) 20 JUN 2004
2. 4x400 Metres Relay 3:24.58 Bremen (GER) 24 JUN 2001
3. 400 Metres 51.37 Bremen (GER) 23 JUN 2001

Honours - National Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 400 Metres Hurdles 53.40 Cheboksary (RUS) 04 JUL 2012
1. 400 Metres Hurdles 53.75 Cheboksary (RUS) 23 JUL 2011
1. 400 Metres Hurdles 54.20 Saransk (RUS) 13 JUL 2010
1. 400 Metres 50.10 Tula (RUS) 02 AUG 2007

Honours - National Indoor Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 400 Metres 51.80 Volgograd (RUS) 13 FEB 2002
Results in:

400 Metres

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
26 MAY 2016 Sochi Russian Team Ch. RUSRUS F F1 DNF

400 Metres Hurdles

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
21 JUN 2016 Cheboksary Russian Ch. RUSRUS B H3 2. 57.97
22 JUN 2016 Cheboksary Russian Ch. RUSRUS B F DNS


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Updated 20 July 2012

Natalya ANTYUKH, Russia (400 m Hurdles)

Born 26 June 1981, Saint Petersburg

Lives: Saint Petersburg

1.82m / 70 kg

Coach: Ekaterina Kulikova

 

To find your best event can be a matter of 10 years of your career. But in the case of World and Olympic bronze medallist Natalya Antyukh, a new event that brought her a lot of international honours in her late twenties, as well as the status of favourite for the London Olympics, was “well forgotten, old.”

Not all athletics followers may remember, but Natalya Antyukh started her career as a 400m hurdles runner. In 1998, 17-year-old Antyukh even won the Moscow World Youth Games (the event that twelve years later turned into the Youth Olympics) in this discipline. And she was the Russian Junior Champion in hurdles in 2000. But the very next year, running habitual indoor 400m in the winter, she demonstrated impressive progress, making it to the final of the National Indoor Championships. Her coach Yuriy Anisimov insisted that Natalya should stick with the flat 400m for the outdoor competitions as well. In the first outing of her outdoor season, Antyukh dipped under 52 seconds and was chosen as the third member of the national team for the World Championships in Edmonton. Even though she didn’t make it past the first round, she was sure that she would stick with flat 400 metres for good.

Next two seasons brought her numerous relay honours and the win at the 2002 Vienna European indoor Championships. But the real breakthrough year for Antyukh was 2004. At that time she was already working with her current coach Ekaterina Kulikova, but still running hurdles only for training purposes. Anyway Natalya didn’t seem to regret it too much. In July she won the silver at the National Olympic Trials with her first ever under-50 result (49.85) and became an Olympian.

The Olympics were like a fairy tale for the Russian. Firstly, she won her heat in the first round. Then she finished second in the fastest semi-final with the third time of the round. But still she wasn’t considered as the favourite, lining up against the Russian champion Natalya Nazarova, experienced Ana Guevara and Tonique Williams-Darling and young and ambitious Sanya Richards. But she made an impossible happen, moving from the sixth position to the third in the last 40 meters. “The  semi-final race was the hardest for me. I was really afraid that it would be my last run in Athens. When I finished in second place, I got the weight lifted from my shoulders. And the final was like I dream, I even don’t remember what was happening in the race, I just recall how I couldn’t believe I’d just won a medal until I saw the results on the screen,” Antyukh said.

The next years turned out to be gruelling for Natalya. After winning individual bronze and relay silver in Athens she was extremely motivated to be competing again. So she started to race much more often than before, simply wearing out her body. And to make matters worse she lost her mother. This loss left her shocked and emotionally drained. She kept working hard, winning national medals and being a part of the successful 4x400 relay team, but didn’t see any personal progress. “At one point right in the middle of the season I came to my coach and said that I needed a break and that either I was leaving for a vacation immediately or I’d quit. She was very surprised, but couldn’t do anything about it. So I left for Singapore with my friend, swimmer Igor Marchenko, to relax and distract myself a bit,” Antyukh said.

That much needed rest helped her to get her motivation back right before the Olympic year of 2008, but bad luck at the National Trials – she slipped and fell in the final – left her out of the team. “I didn’t even watch the Olympics that year. I believe that during the 400 m final I was walking along the streets of Paris. But I didn’t consider quitting sports. This kind of thoughts always come up after bad races, but I can get over them pretty quickly,” Antyukh explained.

The following year, at one of the training sessions, Natalya decided to try to run the 400m hurdles, just out of curiosity, but it turned out that her body still remembered how to run this event. So she decided to make another experiment – to compete in a hurdles race. Just a couple of weeks before the 2009 World Championships, at the Russian Cup, she made her senior debut over 400m H. She ran 54.19 – the best time in Russia that season and the fourth in the world. “I was 6th at the Nationals on the 400m, so I was only a relay alternate for the Worlds. I planned to run 200m at the Russian Cup, but at the last moment I decided to try hurdles instead. I wanted to run this event for a long time, but was afraid to risk, but it was the moment when I had nothing to lose. I was running relaxed, didn’t even count the steps between the hurdles, I was just having fun. But after my unexpected fast time, I was told that I was to run hurdles in Berlin and then I suddenly felt nervous,” Antyukh laughed.

By the way, it is in the nature of Antyukh to run take risks. For example in the off-season of 2011 she took part in the Russian version of “Wipeout” TV-show. “Watching this kind of shows on TV we always think that for us, professional athletes, this shouldn’t be too hard. But in fact it was. It was not that easy physically, but it was even more hard mentally, I was really scared at times, especially while being catapulted from the giant water ramp. And of course you are always being cautious not to get injured in any way,” Antyukh recalled. She also gave bobsleigh a thought, but considered it too dangerous after the crash of ex-sprinter Irina Skvortsova. “Even though Irina was unable to even walk for a long time, she was saying that she wanted to get back to bob. I just don’t get it, it’s too much. But I do follow this sport as there are several Russian track and field athletes competing,” Antyukh said. And one of those athletes is Natalya’s brother Kirill who also ran 400 m hurdles until 2011.

Even though Natalya ran a fast time at the 2009 Russia Cup, nobody expected her to make miracles in Berlin, as consistency in hurdles requires a substantial amount of racing. But, not having too much pressure on her, Antyukh exceeded all expectations making it to the final and taking the 6th place. “I was getting more and more experienced from round to round as I was trying out different strategies. But there was only one main thought in my mind all the way – not to fall. After Berlin I was sure that I would switch to this event fully. I even had some regrets about not switching earlier,” Antyukh admitted.

She was right, with the specific training she managed to a whole new level of results. It became obvious when she won the 2010 European Championships in 52.92. “I didn’t expect to run this fast. And I was very happy to beat the championships record, as it belonged to my compatriot Marina Stepanova(-Makeeva), a person that I knew rather well personally and always admired. After that race I didn’t think that the World record (52.34) was close, 0.6 sec is actually quite a lot, but it was definitely much closer than ever before,” Antyukh said.

The season of the Daegu World Championships went smoothly for the Russian. “It was the first time in many years that I wasn’t stressed at the national championships. I knew that I would win if I didn’t make any major mistakes. I just ran on my own, testing my speed to make sure that I was prepared for Worlds,” Antyukh said. Indeed she won the Nationals in 53.75 with a one second margin over the second place. In Daegu, Antyukh ran 53.85 to get the bronze behind Lashinda Demus and the Olympic champion Melanie Walker who both dipped under 53 seconds. “I’m a sensible person, so I realised that Demus and Walker were far superior. But I was very satisfied with my bronze and with the fact that I was still the best in Europe,” Antyukh admitted. But Natalya also didn’t deny that the final race was technically imperfect. “The first hurdle is always the trickiest for me. And that day it let me down again. I made 22 steps to it instead of 21, so I ran all the hurdles in the race taking off with the “wrong” leg. The thing is that my flat speed that season increased by so much that I struggled to deal with it over the hurdles,” Natalya explained.

So the pre-Olympic off-season consisted of endless hours of speed work and technical adjustments. To relax and distract herself during the non-competition period, Antyukh loves to embroider pictures and to play with her pet – a tiny dog. Nataya is also a collector: she collects Starbucks’ teddy bears from the cities around the world that she’s been to. And of course she wanted to bring home one from London.

The Olympic year always brings surprises and there it was: a surprising world lead at the European Championships in June by the young Russian, Irina Davydova. But she was given a bye into the Olympics, so the National Trials were once again stress-less for Antyukh. In Cheboksary she ran a world lead of 53.40 all by herself. “I just wanted to run fast to be confident about my shape ahead of the Olympics, and I did it. Nothing different from last year, basically,” Antyukh said.

She often hears about the comparisons between her and Irina Privalova, the Russian 60m and 100m sprinter who switched to 400m hurdles and after just one season in this event won the Sydney Olympics. “I respect Irina very much, she is one of the greatest athletes ever. But I didn’t think of her as a role model when I switched events. I did it because I knew how to run hurdles from my youth. Actually my role model in running is Michael Johnson. When I watched a tape of my Olympic final in Athens and heard a commentator comparing me to Johnson, I was just ecstatic!” Antyukh smiled.

Personal Bests

400m: 49.85 (2004)

400mH: 52.92 (2010)

Yearly Progression

400mH/400m: 1998: 59.94(0.762m)/-; 1999: 1:01.85/56.3h; 2000: 58.30/54.12i; 2001: -/51.19; 2002: -/51.24(51.17i); 2003: -/52.28(51.73i); 2004: -/49.85; 2005: -/50.67; 2006:-/50.47(50.37i); 2007: -/49.93; 2008:  -/51.19; 2009: 54.11/50.90; 2010: 52.92/-; 2011: 53.75/50.73; 2012: 53.40/51.51

Career Highlights

1998             1st                World Youth Games (Moscow)     400m H (0.762m)  59.94

2001             3rd                 European Cup (Bremen)    (400m)   51.37

2001              h                  World Championships (Edmonton)    (400m)  52.71

2002              1st                European Indoor Championships (Vienna)  (400m)   51.65

2002             2nd               European Championships (Munich)     (4x400m)  3:25.59

2002             2nd               World Cup (Madrid)     (4x400m)   3:26.59

2003             3rd                European Indoor Cup (Leipzig)   (400m)  52.66

2003              1st                World Indoor Championships (Birmingham)  (4x400m)  3:28.45

2004             2nd               World Indoor Championships (Budapest)  (4x400m heat)  3:31.27 (RUS won gold and set WR without her in the final)

2004              2nd                European Cup (Bydgoszcz)  (200m)  22.83

2004            3rd               Olympic Games (Athens)  (400m) 49.89

2004              2nd               Olympic Games (Athens)  (4x400m)   3:20.16

2005             1st                European Cup (Firenze)   (400m)  50.67

2005              1st                European Cup (Firenze)    (4x400m) 3:23.56

2005            sf                World Championships (Helsinki)   (400m)   50.99

2005             1st                World Championships (Helsinki)   (4x400m)   3:20.95

2005            8th                 World Athletics Final (Monaco)   (400m)  51.90

2006            1st                World Indoor Championships (Moscow)   (4x400m)   3:24.91

2007             2nd               European Indoor Championships (Birmingham) (4x400m)  3:28.16

2007             6th                World Championships (Osaka)  (400m)  50.33

2007            4th                World Championships (Osaka)    (4x400m)  3:20.25

2009            4th                European Indoor Championships (Torino)   (400m)   52.37

2009             1st                 European Indoor Championships (Torino)  (4x400m)  3:29.12

2009            6th                World Championships (Berlin)   (400m H)   54.11

2010            1st                European Team Championships (Bergen)  (4x400m)   3:23.76

2010             1st                European Championships (Barcelona)  (400m H)  52.92

2010             4th               Continental Cup (Split)   (400m H)    55.19

2011            2nd               European Team Championships (Stockholm)  (400m H)  54.52

2011            3rd                World Championships (Daegu)  (400m H)   53.85

2011             3rd                World Championships (Daegu)  (4x400 m)   3:19.36

Prepared by Elena Dyachkova for the IAAF “Focus on Athletes” project. Copyright IAAF 2012