Faina Melnik

Faina Grigorievna Melnik (Russian: Фаина Григорьевна Велева-Мельник, Ukrainian: Фаїна Григорівна Мельник (Faina Hryhorivna Melnyk); 9 June 1945 – 16 December 2016) was a Soviet discus thrower, a 1972 Summer Olympics champion in the discus event. During her career she set 11 world records.[1][2]

Faina Melnik
Faina Melnyk 1972.jpg
Faina Melnik at the 1972 Olympics
Personal information
Born9 June 1945
Bakota, Kamianets-Podilskyi Oblast, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Died16 December 2016(2016-12-16) (aged 71)
Moscow, Russia
Height1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight88 kg (194 lb)
Country Soviet Union
SportDiscus throw, shot put
ClubSevan Yerevan (1969–73)
Spartak Moscow (1976–80)
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)DT – 70.50 m (1976)
SP – 20.03 m (1976)


Faina Melnyk on a 2010 Armenian stamp

Melnik was Jewish, and was born in Bakota, Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine.[2] At the 1972 Summer Olympics, she broke the Olympic record three times, and set a world record at 66.62 metres. In 1976 she had her best ever discus throw of 70.50 m, but finished only fourth at the 1976 Summer Olympics. At those Olympics she also competed in the shot put and finished tenth. She failed to reach the final in the discus event at the 1980 Games.[1]

Continuing to throw after the 1980 Olympics, she set the masters world record in the W35 division that has stood since 1980.[3]

Melnik graduated from the Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry and later worked as a dentist and athletics coach in Moscow. Her trainees include Natalya Lisovskaya and Svetlana Krivelyova. Melnik was married to Velko Velev, a Bulgarian discus thrower who also competed at the 1976 and 1980 Olympics.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Faina Melnik. Sports-reference.com.
  2. ^ a b Paul Taylor (2004). Jews and the Olympic Games: The Clash Between Sport and Politics : with a Complete Review of Jewish Olympic Medallists. Sussex Academic Press. pp. 236–. ISBN 978-1-903900-87-1.
  3. ^ Records Outdoor Women Archived 11 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine. world-masters-athletics.org

External linksEdit

Preceded by
  Liesel Westermann
Women's Discus World Record Holder
12 August 1971 – 23 September 1972
Succeeded by
  Argentina Menis
Preceded by
  Argentina Menis
Women's Discus World Record Holder
25 May 1973 – 12 August 1978
Succeeded by
  Evelin Jahl
Preceded by
  Irena Szewińska
Women's Track & Field Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
  Tatyana Kazankina
Sporting positions
Preceded by
  Argentina Menis
Women's Discus Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
  Sabine Engel