Full name: Vladimir Dmitriyevich Kazantsev
Original name: Владимир Дмитриевич Казанцев
Height: 5-9 (176 cm)
Weight: 146 lbs (66 kg)
Born: January 6, 1923 in Alekseyevka, Saratov, Russia
Died: November 22, 2007 in Moskva, Moskva, Russia
Affiliations: Dynamo Moskva, Moskva (RUS)
Country: Soviet Union
Medals: 1 Silver (1 Total)
A veteran of World War II, Vladimir Kazantsev was wounded in action at the Kalinin Front in 1942. After the war, Kazantsev established himself among the top Soviet long-distance and steeplechase runners and in the early 1950s was considered one of the world's best steeplechasers. Kazantsev ran world bests in the steeple in 1951 and 1952, by clocking 8:49.8 in Moskva and 8:48.6 in Kyiv and went to the 1952 Olympic Games as the favorite for the 3,000 steeplechase gold medal. At the Olympics, Kazantsev won his heat comfortably and led by 20 metres with 700 metres remaining in the final, but American Horace Ashenfelter and British John Disley were closing hard. Kazantsev tripped on his last water jump, spraining his ankle, and was overtaken by Ashenfelter on the last curve, limping over the finish line in a disappointing second place.
Ashenfelter was an FBI agent, and the American media delighted in headlines about an FBI agent who had chased down a Soviet runner, But it was probably unknown to the Americans at that time, and what would have spiced up the story considerably, was that Kazantsev was also an intelligence agent, having been recruited to the KGB after demobilization and who would later retire from the agency with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Kazantsev won nine Soviet titles – steeplechase in 1950-53; 5K in 1948, 1950 and 1951; 10K in 1951; and cross-country in 1946. Kazantsev later taught physical education at the Police Academy of Soviet Union and was coach of the 1964 Soviet Olympic team.
Personal Best\: 3000S – 8:48.6 (1952).
|1952 Summer||29||Helsinki||Athletics||Men's 3,000 metres Steeplechase||Soviet Union||URS||2||Silver|
|1952 Summer||29||Helsinki||Athletics||Soviet Union||Final||2||8:51.6||8:51.52|
|1952 Summer||29||Helsinki||Athletics||Soviet Union||Round One||Heat One||1||QU/OR||8:58.0||8:58.17|