Yelena Romanova winning the 3000m at the 1993 IAAF Mobil Golden Gala Grand Prix in Rome (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Volgograd, Russia

Olympic champion Romanova dies at 43

Yelena Romanova (RUS) (b. 20 Mar 1963 Nezhenskoye Voronezh region; née Malykhina) died on Jan 28 in Volgograd at the age of 43 after suffering from heart-related problems for several years.

In 1990 after silver at 3000m she was an unexpected entrant in the European Championships 10,000m, at which she won the gold medal and took her PB from 32:25.08 to 31:46.83. At 3000m she won the World silver medal in 1991 and the 1992 Olympic title with a powerful finishing kick, covering the last 200m in 28.6.

She came to the fore with silver medals in the 1981 European Junior 1500m and in the 1983 World University Games 3000m. At 3000m she was also 5th in 1987 and 6th in 1993 at the World Champs and 4th in the 1988 Olympics. At 5000m she was 6th in the 1996 Olympic 5000m. She had four top ten places in the World Cross-Country Championships, with a best of second in 1990, and won three times at the Goodwill Games: 5000m 1990, 3000m and 5000m 1994.

PBs: 800m 2:04.0 (1986), 1500m 4:00.91 (1992), 3000m 8:30.45 (1988), 5000m 14:59.70 (1991), 10,000m 31:46.83 (1990).

With thanks to Athletics International