Goodbye Sedykh: the longest-lived world record of his hammer. Vizzoni: “A revolutionary”

The former Soviet two-time Olympian, whose record has lasted since 1986, died of a heart attack at the age of 66. The former blue: “With him the launch also became speed”

His world record remains the longest-running of the men’s. Thirty August 1986, European Championships in Stuttgart: the hammer of the Soviet Yuriy Sedykh lands at 86.74. No one, to date, has done better. The record – battling with fellow countrymen Jury Tamm and Sergey Litvinov – had already been held by the Soviet born in Novočerkassk, in present-day southern Russia, from 16 to 24 May 1980 (first with 80.38, then with 80.64), from 31 July of the same year to June 4, 1982 (81.80) and definitively from July 3, 1984 (86.34, 86.66 and therefore the aforementioned 86.74). Six records in all. It means that Sedykh’s name has held the top of the list of best all-time performance for over 37 years. Only the record of 800 women, held by the Czech Jarmila Kratochvilova since July 26, 1983 has greater seniority.

The carreer

Yuriy, in the specialty two Olympic golds and one silver, one gold and one silver medal and three European golds, a Ukrainian citizen, died this morning of a heart attack at the age of 66. Among the first international affirmations that at the 1975 Rome Universiade, then the great successes: also at the 1976 Montreal Games and 1980 Moscow ones. Seoul 1988, until winning the Tokyo 1991 World Cup, after the silver in Helsinki 1983. To understand the meaning of the story: none of the twelve five-circle finalists last month in Tokyo was born before the feat accomplished at the German Neckarstadion, now known as the Mercedes-Benz Arena.


“I mourn the loss of a friend – wrote Sergei Bubka, the Tsar of all auctions, himself a former Soviet now Ukrainian, also head of the National Olympic Committee and CIO vice president – Yuriy was a mentor, with whom I shared life experiences and important values ​​”. It remains that the figure of Sedykh is very ambiguous, the daughter of times when the use of prohibited substances was on the agenda: Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of the anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, the one thanks to whom all the Russian scandals of the recent years have been uncovered, he publicly accused the launcher of illegal practices. “He abused steroids – he wrote in a book published last year -, in his test tubes there were so many traces of anabolics, as to contaminate the laboratory equipment”. Sedykh has always rejected the accusations. In a 2015 interview with the Russian newspaper Sport Express, he stated that his achievements and those of his 1980s colleagues were solely the offspring of the skills of coaches and talent recruitment programs.

Vizzoni said

“Let’s just talk about technique – says Nicola Vizzoni, Olympic silver medalist in Sydney 2000 -: Yuriy, together with his coach Anatoliy Bondarchuk as regards methodologies, was a revolutionary. If before the launch was essentially strength, with them it has also become speed. Wider preliminaries, better centered action than the torsion created between the torso and shoulders, extraordinary biomechanical insights. The launch of his world record remains the most studied and analyzed, still taken by everyone as an example. I then threw the three rounds just like he did, unlike the majority who use four. I have the honor and pride of keeping a video, relating to a conference in Birmingham several years ago, in which he defines me as a highlander for that very characteristic. Now, as a technician, I can’t help but refer to his lesson. Between technique, rhythm, angles, speed, strength and power there is a sort of his decalogue: the secret is to simplify as much as possible a gesture that seems simple, but is not “.

The family

Sedykh, who has long since moved to Paris and married three times – the first time with Lyudmila Kondratyeva, Olympic gold medalist of 100 in Moscow 1980 – leaves his wife, Natalya Lisovskaya, also an Olympian (weighing in Seoul 1988) and daughter Alexia, 28, gold in the hammer at the 2010 Singapore Youth Games.

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Goodbye Sedykh: the longest-lived world record of his hammer. Vizzoni: “A revolutionary”

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