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Ludmila Viktorovna Engquist (née Leonova (Russian: Людмила Викторовна Нарожиленко-Леонова). formerly Narozhilenko; born 21 April 1964) is a Russian former athlete, who competed mainly in the 100 metres hurdles. She competed for the Soviet Union (until 1991), Russia (from 1992) and Sweden (from 1996). She is the 1996 Olympic champion and the 1991 and 1997 World champion in the 100m hurdles. Her best time of 12.26 secs in 1992, ranks her fourth on the world all-time list. She is also a former world record holder in the 60 metres hurdles with 7.69 secs (1990).

Ludmila Engquist
Medal record
Women's athletics
Representing  Sweden
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1996 Atlanta 100 m hurdles
World Championships
Representing the  Soviet Union
Gold medal – first place 1991 Tokyo 100 m hurdles
Representing  Sweden
Gold medal – first place 1997 Athens 100 m hurdles
Bronze medal – third place 1999 Seville 100 m hurdles
World Indoor Championships
Representing the  Soviet Union
Gold medal – first place 1991 Seville 60 m hurdles
Silver medal – second place 1989 Budapest 60 m hurdles

BiographyEdit

Engquist was born in Tambov Oblast, Soviet Union. During her first marriage her name was Ludmila Narozhilenko, and this is the name she competed under whilst competing for the Soviet Union and Russia. She competed for the Soviet Union at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, where she fell in her semifinal, and competed for the Unified Team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, whers she was forced to withdraw from the semifinals due to injury.

In 1995, she married Swedish businessman Johan Engquist and in 1996 she became a Swedish citizen. She won gold medals in 100 m hurdles at the 1991 World Championships (for the Soviet Union) and 1997 World Championships as well as the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta (both for Sweden). For her 1997 victory in Athens, Engquist received the Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal, the first non-native Swede to win this award. During these years she became one of the most popular woman athletes of Sweden and was sometimes dubbed a role model for younger native Swedish talents.

In 1999 Engquist was diagnosed with breast cancer. After surgery she stopped chemotherapy after 4 treatments because she did not want the drugs to interfere with her athletic career, and successfully returned to the track.

After a distinguished athletic career she retired from running but wanted to become the first woman ever to win gold medals at both the Summer and Winter Olympics, by competing in and winning the inaugural two-woman bobsleigh event at the 2002 Winter Olympics. In late 2001, however, she was found guilty of having recently used banned drugs and barred from competition for two years. Her admission of drug use, though only during the recent part of her bobsleigh effort, made her a very controversial person in Sweden and considering that she had tested positive for banned drugs once before, during her days as a Soviet runner, and had sustained a ban (which was appealed and lifted after a while) some alleged that she had been using performance-enhancing substances regularly all the time, a claim for which there is no evidence. The penalty term ended in December 2003, but Engquist has not returned to competition since then.

She currently lives in Spain with her husband Johan Engquist.

External linksEdit