Olha Kharlan

Olha Hennadiyivna Kharlan (Ukrainian: Ольга Геннадіївна Харлан; born 4 September 1990)[1] is a Ukrainian right-handed sabre fencer.[2]

Olha Kharlan
Kharlan representing Ukraine at the 2022 FIE Congress
Kharlan representing Ukraine at the 2022 FIE Congress
Personal information
Full nameOlha Hennadiyivna Kharlan
Born (1990-09-04) 4 September 1990 (age 32)
Mykolaiv, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Height1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
Weight63 kg (139 lb)
Sport
CountryUkraine
SportFencing
WeaponSabre
HandRight-handed
ClubDynamo
Head coachArtem Skorokhod
FIE rankingcurrent ranking
Medal record
Women's sabre
Representing  Ukraine
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 2008 Beijing Team
Silver medal – second place 2016 Rio de Janeiro Team
Bronze medal – third place 2012 London Individual
Bronze medal – third place 2016 Rio de Janeiro Individual
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 2009 Antalya Team
Gold medal – first place 2013 Budapest Team
Gold medal – first place 2013 Budapest Individual
Gold medal – first place 2014 Kazan Individual
Gold medal – first place 2017 Leipzig Individual
Gold medal – first place 2019 Budapest Individual
Silver medal – second place 2007 Saint Petersburg Team
Silver medal – second place 2009 Antalya Individual
Silver medal – second place 2010 Paris Team
Silver medal – second place 2010 Paris Individual
Silver medal – second place 2011 Catania Team
Silver medal – second place 2012 Kyiv Team
Silver medal – second place 2015 Moscow Team
Bronze medal – third place 2011 Catania Individual
Bronze medal – third place 2014 Kazan Team
European Games
Gold medal – first place 2015 Baku Team
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 2009 Plovdiv Individual
Gold medal – first place 2009 Plovdiv Team
Gold medal – first place 2010 Leipzig Team
Gold medal – first place 2011 Sheffield Individual
Gold medal – first place 2012 Legnano Individual
Gold medal – first place 2013 Zagreb Individual
Gold medal – first place 2014 Strasbourg Individual
Gold medal – first place 2019 Düsseldorf Individual
Silver medal – second place 2006 Izmir Individual
Silver medal – second place 2007 Ghent Team
Silver medal – second place 2008 Kyiv Team
Silver medal – second place 2011 Sheffield Team
Silver medal – second place 2012 Legnano Team
Silver medal – second place 2013 Zagreb Team
Silver medal – second place 2018 Novi Sad Team
Bronze medal – third place 2005 Zalaegerszeg Team
Bronze medal – third place 2014 Strasbourg Team
Bronze medal – third place 2015 Montreux Team
Bronze medal – third place 2016 Toruń Individual
Bronze medal – third place 2016 Toruń Team
Bronze medal – third place 2022 Antalya Team
Universiade
Gold medal – first place 2011 Shenzhen Individual
Gold medal – first place 2013 Kazan Individual
Silver medal – second place 2011 Shenzhen Team

Kharlan is a two-time team European champion, six-time individual European champion, two-time team world champion, and four-time individual world champion.

A four-time Olympian, Kharlan is a 2016 team Olympic silver medalist, 2008 team Olympic champion, and two-time individual Olympic bronze medalist. Kharlan competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the 2012 London Olympic Games, the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Kharlan was named athlete of the year at the 2009 Ukrainian Heroes of Sports Year awards.[3] She briefly pursued a political career.

Personal lifeEdit

Kharlan was born in Mykolaiv, a shipbuilding town in the south of Ukraine. Her father was a sailing and swimming coach, and taught her to swim when she was still a baby.[4] He also moonlighted as a construction worker and a cab driver. Her mother worked as a painter and plasterer.[4]

Kharlan first interest was in dancing, but the lessons were too expensive for her parents. When she was 10, her godfather, sabre coach Anatoly Shlikar, suggested she take up fencing, where the lessons were free.[5] She came under the training of Artem Skorokhod, who remains her coach as of 2014. Her first success was the national Junior title, won when she was only 13 against teenagers up to five years older.[4]

Kharlan was educated at the Admiral Makarov National University of Shipbuilding in Mykolaiv. She married fellow sabre fencer Dmytro Boiko in August 2014. They divorced later.[6] She is currently dating Italian fencer Luigi Samele and they live in Bologna, Italy.[7]

Sports careerEdit

Kharlan joined the Ukrainian national team at the age of 14.[8] Her first medal in an international competition was a bronze in the 2005 Junior World Championships in Linz.[9] she also took a silver medal in the team event. That same year, she reached the quarter-finals in the 2005 European Fencing Championships at Zalaegerszeg despite still being a cadet. In 2006, she placed second in the 2006 European Seniors Fencing Championship at İzmir after a close 14–15 defeat against Russia's Sofiya Velikaya.

At the age of 17 Kharlan took part in the 2008 Summer Olympics at Beijing. In the team event, Ukraine made their way to the final, where they met China. Kharlan contributed more than half her team's hits and proved decisive in the last bout helping Ukraine win the gold medal.[8]

In the 2008–09 season Kharlan won the gold medal at the European Championships in Plovdiv both in the individual and the team event, where Ukraine overcame Russia.[10] At the World Championships in Antalya, Kharlan once again made her way to the final, only to be stopped by Mariel Zagunis.[11] She was described as "one of the most precocious talents in this category. She is already steady and consistent, but above all she is the star of the future."[12] In the team event, Ukraine defeated France in the final to come away with the gold medal. For this performance Kharlan and her team were named respectively athlete and team of the year at the Ukrainian Heroes of Sports Year ceremony held in April 2010.[3]

In the 2009–10 season Kharlan won her fourth Junior World Championship in a row, equalling the record established by Jacques Brodin in the 1960s. She is however the only fencer to have claimed these consecutive golds both in the individual and team events.[8] She was defeated by Germany's Sibylle Klemm in the quarter-finals of the European Championships and failed to earn a medal. In the team event Ukraine won gold after beating Russia once again in the final.

 
Kharlan (R) scores against Galiakbarova in the women's team sabre final of the 2013 World Championships

Kharlan was offered Russian citizenship and an opportunity to compete for Russia in 2012, but refused.[13]

In the 2013 World Championships Kharlan made her way to the final after defeating reigning Olympic champion Kim Ji-yeon in a tight 15–14 bout. She took an early 8–1 lead in the bout against Yekaterina Dyachenko of Russia, who managed to get back to 12–12. Kharlan then struck three hits in a row to win her first individual World title.[14] In the team event Ukraine met once again Russia in the final. After a very tight match Kharlan managed a comeback in the last leg and received her second gold medal in the competition. She finished the season No.1 in world rankings for the first time of her career and she was inducted in the hall of fame of the International Fencing Federation.[8]

In the 2013–14 season Kharlan won four World Cups out of seven competitions in which she took part. At the European Championships in Strasbourg she earned her fourth European gold medal in a row and the fifth of her career after defeating Dyachenko again in the final.[15] In the team event she had to rescue her team against underdogs Spain in the quarter-finals, scraping a 45–43 victory, but could not prevent a 45–30 defeat at the hands of France. Kharlan's contribution proved once again decisive in the match against Poland and Ukraine came away with a bronze medal. In the World Championships Kharlan won her second title in a row after prevailing 15–12 over No.2 seed Zagunis. In the team event, Ukraine were defeated by 44–45 by the United States and met Italy for the third place. Again Kharlan came back in the last leg to win her team a bronze medal. She finished the season No.1 in rankings for the second time in a row.

At the 2016 Summer Olympics, she bested French competitor Manon Brunet for the bronze medal, with a score of 15–10.[16]

At the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo Kharlan lost to China's Yang Hengyu in the first round.[17]

Medal recordEdit

Olympic GamesEdit

Year Location Event Position
2008   Beijing, China Team Women's Sabre 1st[18]
2012   London, United Kingdom Individual Women's Sabre 3rd[19]
2016   Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Individual Women's Sabre 3rd[20]
2016   Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Team Women's Sabre 2nd[21]

World ChampionshipEdit

Year Location Event Position
2007   St. Petersburg, Russia Team Women's Sabre 2nd[22]
2009   Antalya, Turkey Individual Women's Sabre 2nd[23]
2009   Antalya, Turkey Team Women's Sabre 1st[24]
2010   Paris, France Individual Women's Sabre 2nd[25]
2010   Paris, France Team Women's Sabre 2nd[26]
2011   Catania, Italy Individual Women's Sabre 3rd[27]
2011   Catania, Italy Team Women's Sabre 2nd[28]
2012   Kyiv, Ukraine Team Women's Sabre 2nd[29]
2013   Budapest, Hungary Individual Women's Sabre 1st[30]
2013   Budapest, Hungary Team Women's Sabre 1st[31]
2014   Kazan, Russia Individual Women's Sabre 1st[32]
2014   Kazan, Russia Team Women's Sabre 3rd[33]
2015   Moscow, Russia Team Women's Sabre 2nd[34]
2017   Leipzig, Germany Individual Women's Sabre 1st[35]
2019   Budapest, Hungary Individual Women's Sabre 1st[36]

European ChampionshipEdit

Year Location Event Position
2007   Ghent, Belgium Team Women's Sabre 2nd[37]
2008   Kyiv, Ukraine Team Women's Sabre 2nd[38]
2009   Plovdiv, Bulgaria Individual Women's Sabre 1st[39]
2009   Plovdiv, Bulgaria Team Women's Sabre 1st[40]
2010   Leipzig, Germany Team Women's Sabre 1st[41]
2011   Sheffield, United Kingdom Individual Women's Sabre 1st[42]
2011   Sheffield, United Kingdom Team Women's Sabre 2nd[43]
2012   Legnano, Italy Individual Women's Sabre 1st[44]
2012   Legnano, Italy Team Women's Sabre 2nd[45]
2013   Zagreb, Croatia Individual Women's Sabre 1st[46]
2013   Zagreb, Croatia Team Women's Sabre 2nd[47]
2014   Strasbourg, France Individual Women's Sabre 1st[48]
2014   Strasbourg, France Team Women's Sabre 3rd[49]
2015   Montreux, Switzerland Team Women's Sabre 3rd[50]
2016   Toruń, Poland Individual Women's Sabre 3rd[51]
2016   Toruń, Poland Team Women's Sabre 3rd[52]
2018   Novi Sad, Serbia Team Women's Sabre 2nd[53]
2019   Düsseldorf, Germany Individual Women's Sabre 1st[54]

Grand PrixEdit

Date Location Event Position
2006-02-24   Budapest, Hungary Individual Women's Sabre 3rd[55]
2008-03-20   Algier, Algeria Individual Women's Sabre 3rd[56]
2009-02-06   Orléans, France Individual Women's Sabre 2nd[57]
2009-02-15   Moscow, Russia Individual Women's Sabre 1st[58]
2009-03-13   Foggia, Italy Individual Women's Sabre 3rd[59]
2010-02-05   Orléans, France Individual Women's Sabre 1st[60]
2010-03-12   Lamezia Terme, Italy Individual Women's Sabre 1st[61]
2010-03-19   Tunis, Tunisia Individual Women's Sabre 1st[62]
2010-05-28   Tianjin, China Individual Women's Sabre 2nd[63]
2011-03-26   Moscow, Russia Individual Women's Sabre 3rd[64]
2011-05-21   Tianjin, China Individual Women's Sabre 3rd[65]
2012-03-16   Moscow, Russia Individual Women's Sabre 3rd[66]
2013-02-01   Orléans, France Individual Women's Sabre 1st[67]
2013-03-22   Moscow, Russia Individual Women's Sabre 1st[68]
2014-01-31   Orléans, France Individual Women's Sabre 1st[69]
2014-05-24   Beijing, China Individual Women's Sabre 1st[70]
2014-12-13   New York, New York Individual Women's Sabre 1st[71]
2015-03-28   Seoul, South Korea Individual Women's Sabre 1st[72]
2015-05-29   Moscow, Russia Individual Women's Sabre 1st[73]
2016-05-28   Moscow, Russia Individual Women's Sabre 1st[74]
2017-12-15   Cancún, Mexico Individual Women's Sabre 1st[75]
2018-03-30   Seoul, South Korea Individual Women's Sabre 1st[76]
2019-02-22   Cairo, Egypt Individual Women's Sabre 3rd[77]
2019-04-26   Seoul, South Korea Individual Women's Sabre 1st[78]
2020-01-10   Montreal, Canada Individual Women's Sabre 1st[79]

Political careerEdit

In the 2010 Ukrainian local elections Kharlan was elected a member of the Mykolaiv City Council for Party of Regions[80] despite living in Kyiv.[81] She was notoriously absent during its sessions[82] She was standing for election to the Ukrainian Parliament in the October 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election but due to a 194th place on the list of Party of Regions she was not elected.[83] Kharlan left the Party of Regions faction in the Mykolaiv City Council late March 2014.[84] In May 2014 she was a candidate for the Party of Greens of Ukraine in the Kyiv local election; but the party did not manage to overcome the 3% election threshold and thus did not win any seats in the Kyiv City Council.[85] The website of the Party of Greens of Ukraine claimed Kharlan was third on its election list in the October 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[86]

During the 2014 Crimean crisis and the 2014 pro-Russian conflict in Ukraine Kharlan spoke out for a united Ukraine.[87][nb 1] In March 2014 Ukrainian fencers boycotted the Moscow World Cup tournament in response to the death of a Ukrainian soldier in the Simferopol incident.[91] They however took part in July 2014 in the 2014 World Fencing Championships in the Russian city of Kazan.[92]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ During the 2014 Crimean crisis, Ukraine lost control over Crimea, which was unilaterally annexed by Russia in March 2014.[88][89] The status of Crimea and Sevastopol is currently under dispute by Ukraine and Russia; Ukraine and the majority of the international community consider Crimea an autonomous republic of Ukraine and Sevastopol one of Ukraine's cities with special status, while Russia, on the other hand, considers Crimea a federal subjects of Russia and Sevastopol one of its federal cities. The 2014 pro-Russian conflict in Ukraine created a separatist insurgency in the Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine (where several towns became under the control of armed pro-Russian forces) and insurgents declared several provinces unilateral independent.[88][90]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Ольга Харлан: На олімпіаді ми взяли своє, а китаянок навіть шкода[permanent dead link], Сhampion.com.ua (22 October 2008) (in Ukrainian)
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  3. ^ a b Герои спортивного года: Ахметов признан лучшим организатором. Bigmir.net (in Ukrainian). 8 April 2010.
  4. ^ a b c Elena Draga (6 September 2013). "Ольга Харлан: "Мой любимый тоже саблист, ездит на все соревнования с моим участием"". Fakty i Kommentarii.
  5. ^ Ollie Williams (19 April 2012). "Ukraine's fencing pin-up Olga Kharlan makes her point". BBC.
  6. ^ Відома шаблістка Ольга Харлан вийшла заміж. Gazeta.ua (in Ukrainian). 23 August 2014.
  7. ^ "Samele riabbraccia Olga: Ritorno a casa con la fidanzata ucraina".
  8. ^ a b c d International Fencing Federation (ed.). "Kharlan, Olga (UKR)". Archived from the original on 28 July 2014.
  9. ^ Jean-Marie Safra (June 2005). "New nations emerge in fencing elite" (PDF). Escrime XXI (52): 10–11. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 July 2014.
  10. ^ Marcos Lorenzo (October 2009). "Olga Kharlan, the rising star" (PDF). Escrime XXI (69): 10–11.
  11. ^ Ukrainian women fencers win gold at World Championship, Den
  12. ^ Ioan Pop (October 2009). "The world of fencing meets at Antalya" (PDF). Escrime XXI (69): 52–53.
  13. ^ "Украинская фехтовальщица Харлан рассказала, почему отказалась от российского гражданства".
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  15. ^ AFP, ed. (9 June 2014). "L'Ukrainienne Olga Kharlan titrée pour la cinquième fois en sabre, première pour l'Anglais James-Andrew Davis en fleuret". Le Matin.
  16. ^ "Women's Sabre Individual". Archived from the original on 8 August 2016.
  17. ^ (in Ukrainian) Swordswoman Kharlan has decided to continue her career and is going to the 2024 Olympics, Ukrayinska Pravda (9 February 2022)
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  80. ^ Харлан Ольга Геннадіївна, Mykolayiv City Council (in Ukrainian)
  81. ^ Olga Kharlan fights her way to a new life, BBC Sport (13 March 2012)
  82. ^ ""Регионалка" Харлан подумывает отказаться от депутатского мандата, но ей мешают "обстоятельства"".
  83. ^ Московский комсомолец:Рада як ніколи Moskovsky Komsomolets:Council as ever, Korrespondent.net (13 September 2012) (in Ukrainian)
  84. ^ "Из фракции Партии регионов в Николаевском горсовете вышло уже 27 депутатов".
  85. ^ "Николаевская экс-"регионалка" Харлан успела и "золото" выиграть, и в Киевсовет баллотироваться".
  86. ^ "Спортсменка Харлан, будучи николаевским депутатом от ПР, уже во второй раз баллотируется от Партии зеленых".
  87. ^ "Николаевская чемпионка мира по фехтованию выступила за единую Украину".
  88. ^ a b Ukraine crisis timeline, BBC News
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