Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted

Sport: Track and Field
Inducted: 1991
Country: Soviet Union
Born: May 3, 1932 in Smolensk, Russia

Maria Itkina was among the world’s leading sprinters in 100-Meter to 400-Meter events during the 1950s and 1960s.

Running for the Dynamo Club in Minsk, Itkina established a 400-Meter World record of 53.9 (seconds) in 1955 and subsequently tied or broke her mark six times. She eventually lowered the record to 53.0 on August 29, 1964. In July 1956, she set a World record of 23.6 in the 220-Yard event and in September 1959, lowered the World 440-Yard record to 53.7.

In 1963, Itkina ran the third leg of the Soviet Women’s 800-Meter Relay team that established a World record of 1.34.7. Itkina’s mark of 11.4 in the 100-Meter ranks her among the best-ever in these events.

The Soviet sprinter did not fare as successfully in three Olympiads, managing fourth-place finishes in four events (including one 4 x 100 Relay) at the 1956 Melbourne and 1960 Rome Olympics and a fifth-place relay finish in 1964 in Tokyo.

She was a European Champion four times. In 1954 at Bern, Itkina took gold medals in the 200-Meter and 4 x 100-Meter Relay. In 1959 in Stockholm, she was first in the 400-Meter event and in 1962 in Belgrade, won another gold in the 400-Meter. In 1965, she took another 400-Meter gold medal victory. She also held 17 Russian track and field titles.

Itkina is a Merited Master of Sports in the Soviet Union, the nation’s highest honor bestowed on Soviet athletes.


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