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Irina Press

Full name: Irina Natanovna Press
Original name: Ирина Натановна Пресс
Gender: Female
Height: 5-6 (168 cm)
Weight: 165 lbs (75 kg)
Born: March 10, 1939 in Kharkiv, Kharkiv, Ukraine
Died: February 21, 2004 in Moscow, Moskva, Russia
Affiliations: Dynamo St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg (RUS) / Dynamo Moskva, Moskva (RUS)
Country: URS Soviet Union
Sport: Athletics

Related Olympians: Sister of Tamara Press.

Medals: 2 Gold (2 Total)

Biography

Together with her sister Tamara, Irina Press formed a duo known as the "Press Sisters", who were successful in various women's track & field events in the early 1960s. Though slightly less successful than her sister, Irina still won two Olympic gold medals. Her first gold medal came in 1960 at the Rome Olympics in the 80 hurdles, a discipline where she had set a world record of 10.6 two months earlier. Press later set four more 80 hurdles world records – 10.5 twice in 1964 and 10.4 and 10.3 in 1965. In 1960 she also competed in the 4×100 relay, finishing fourth with the Soviet team. Her second Olympic gold medal came at the 1964 Tokyo Games in the pentathlon. Press had set several world records in the pentathlon prior to the Tokyo Games (4,880 in 1959; 4,902, 4,959, 4,972 in 1960; and 5,137 in 1961), where the event made its début, and she won in yet another world record of 5,246. In 1964 she also competed in the 80 metre hurdles, finishing fourth, and in the shot put, finishing sixth behind her older sister.

Irina Press also competed at the 1962 European Championships, but did not finish the pentathlon due to injury and at the 1961 Universiade, where she won gold in the 80 hurdles. Irina won 13 Soviet titles – 80 hurdles in 1960-61 and 1964-66; 4×100 relay 1961 and 1964; and pentathlon in 1959-61 and 1964-66. The Press sisters retired in 1966, coinciding with the introduction of required gender verification in track & field. This led to widespread, yet never proven, rumors regarding the Presses' genders. After earning a physical education degree, Irina Press worked with the Dynamo club to guide other top athletes in their careers. Until 2000 she also worked as a department head of the Soviet and later the Russian State Committee of Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism and from 2000, until her death in 2004, she worked as the head of the Committee of Physical Culture and Sports of the Government of Moskva City.

Personal Bests\: 100 – 11.4 (1960); 80H – 10.3 (1965); SP – 17.21 (1964); Pen – 5246 (1964).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1960 Summer 21 Roma Athletics Women's 80 metres Hurdles Soviet Union URS 1 Gold
1960 Summer 21 Roma Athletics Women's 4 × 100 metres Relay Soviet Union URS 4
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Women's 80 metres Hurdles Soviet Union URS 4
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Women's Shot Put Soviet Union URS 6
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Women's Pentathlon Soviet Union URS 1 Gold WR

Women's 80 metres Hurdles

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A) L
1960 Summer 21 Roma Athletics Soviet Union Final 1 10.8 10.93 3
1960 Summer 21 Roma Athletics Soviet Union Semi-Finals Heat Two 1 QU/OR 10.6 10.77
1960 Summer 21 Roma Athletics Soviet Union Round One Heat One 1 QU/=OR 10.7 10.91
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union Final 4 10.6w 10.62w 4
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union Semi-Finals Heat One 3 QU 10.8 10,85
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union Round One Heat Two 1 QU 10.7w 10.77w

Women's 4 × 100 metres Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A) L
1960 Summer 21 Roma Athletics Soviet Union URS Final 4 45.2 45.39 2
1960 Summer 21 Roma Athletics Soviet Union URS Round One Heat Two 2 QU 45.0 45.15

Women's Shot Put

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank D BMD
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union Final Round 6 16.71
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union Final Round Round One NP foul
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union Final Round Round Two 6 16.50 16.50
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union Final Round Round Three 6 foul 16.50
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union Final Round Round Four 6 15.81 16.50
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union Final Round Round Five 6 15.78 16.50
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union Final Round Round Six NP 16.71
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union Qualifying Round 4 QU 15.67
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union Qualifying Round Round One 4 15.67
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union Qualifying Round Round Two 4 pass 15.67
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union Qualifying Round Round Three NP pass

Women's Pentathlon

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank P(1962HT) T D P(1962T) H
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union Final Standings 1 WR 5,246
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union 80 metre hurdles 1T OB 1.096 10.7
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union 80 metre hurdles Heat Three 1 OB 1.096 10.7
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union Shot put 1 OB 17.16 1.173
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union High jump 4T 976 1.63
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union Long jump 4 6.24 1.042
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union 200 metres 6 959 24.7
1964 Summer 25 Tokyo Athletics Soviet Union 200 metres Heat Four 1 959 24.7
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