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Vira Popkova

Full name: Vira Ivanivna Popkova (Kabreniuk-)
Original name: Віра Іванівна Попкова (Кабренюк-)
Other name(s): Vera Ivanovna Popkova (Kabrenyuk-), Вера Ивановна Попкова (Кабренюк-)
Gender: Female
Height: 14-1 (169 cm)
Weight: 137 lbs (62 kg)
Born: April 2, 1943 in Chelyabinsk, Chelyabinsk, Russia
Died: September 29, 2011 in Lviv, Lviv, Ukraine
Affiliations: Burevestnik Chelyabinsk, Chelyabinsk (RUS)
Country: URS Soviet Union
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 1 Bronze (1 Total)

Biography

Born in Chelyabinsk, Russia in the middle of World War II to an Ukrainian family who had fled there when the front reached Kirovohrad, Ukraine (her parents' home), Vira Popkova (née Kabreniuk) first rose to international fame at the 1961, 1963, and 1965 Universiade, where she won golds as a member of Soviet 4×100 m relay teams (in 1963 and 1965). She also won Universiade individual 100 m silver in 1963 and 200 m bronze in 1961. In 1964, Popkova was selected to the Soviet 1964 Olympic team, but did not compete due to the birth of her son. After graduating from the Chelyabinsk Pedagogical Institute in 1965, Popkova established herself as the best Soviet female sprinter by winning national 100 m titles in 1966 and 1967, 200 m titles in 1965 and 1966 and 4×100 m titles in 1963, 1967 and 1968. In 1966, she also won bronzes at 200 m and in the 4×100 m relay at the European Championships. In 1968, Popkova set her only two world records, both in the 4×100 m relay, the first at the Soviet Championships and the other in Mexico City, just two weeks before the Olympics. But at the Olympics, the Soviet relay team had to settle for a bronze medal behind the United States (who broke the Soviet world record) and Cuba. After the 1968 Olympics, Popkova started to run the long sprint and concentrated solely on the 400 m in 1970, when she won both the 400 m and 4×400 m at the Soviet Championships. Popkova also won her only major international titles (besides the Universiade golds) in the long sprint, winning at both the 400 m and 4×400 m at the 1971 European Indoor Championships. Popkova was also selected to the Soviet 1972 Olympic team, but did not compete due to injury and retired from sports in 1973. After retiring from sports, Popkova moved back to her native Ukraine, working as an engineer and researcher at the Lviv Institute of Radio Engineering, retiring in 1993.

Personal Bests\: 100 – 11.3 (1968); 200 – 23.0 (1968).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1968 Summer 25 Ciudad de México Athletics Women's 200 metres Soviet Union URS 5 h2 r2/3
1968 Summer 25 Ciudad de México Athletics Women's 4 × 100 metres Relay Soviet Union URS 3 Bronze

Women's 200 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A)
1968 Summer 25 Ciudad de México Athletics Soviet Union Semi-Finals Heat Two 5 23.2 23.28
1968 Summer 25 Ciudad de México Athletics Soviet Union Round One Heat Two 2 QU 23.3 23.40

Women's 4 × 100 metres Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A) L
1968 Summer 25 Ciudad de México Athletics Soviet Union URS Final 3 43.4 43.41 7
1968 Summer 25 Ciudad de México Athletics Soviet Union URS Round One Heat Two 2 QU 43.6 43.67
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