Pyotr Bolotnikov

Pyotr Grigoryevich Bolotnikov (Russian: Пётр Григо́рьевич Боло́тников; 8 March 1930 – 20 December 2013) was a Soviet Track and field athlete who competed mainly in long-distance running events.[2] He was the winner of the 10,000 metres at the 1960 Summer Olympics.

Pyotr Bolotnikov
Personal information
Born(1930-03-08)March 8, 1930
Zinovkino, Krasnoslobodsky District, USSR
DiedDecember 20, 2013(2013-12-20) (aged 83)
Krasnoslobodsk Republic of Mordovia, Russia
Event(s)5000 meters, 10000 meters
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)5000 meters: 13:38.2[1]
10,000 meters: 28:18.1[1]

Born in Zinovkino, Krasnoslobodsky District, Mordovian ASSR (now the Republic of Mordovia), Bolotnikov started athletics only at age twenty, when he joined the Soviet Army. He trained at VSS Spartak,[3] coached by Grigory Nikiforov.[2]

Bolotnikov won his first national championship title in 10,000 m in 1957, when he surprisingly beat the great Vladimir Kuts in a finishing straight by 0.2 seconds. He became the double Soviet champion in 5000 m and 10,000 m from 1958 to 1962. He also won the national 10,000 m title in 1964 and national cross country title in 1958. In 1959 he became the Honoured Master of Sports of the USSR.[3]

Bolotnikov participated already at the 1956 Summer Olympics, but without any success. At the Rome Olympics in 1960, Bolotnikov controlled the 10,000 m race from the start to end, beating the main favourites Hans Grodotzki from East Germany and Murray Halberg from New Zealand by five seconds. On 5 October that year, in Kiev, Bolotnikov lowered the 10,000 metres world record by almost twelve seconds to 28:18.8.[4]

Just two weeks before the 1962 European Championships in Belgrade, on 11 August 1962 in Moscow, Bolotnikov lowered his own 10,000 m world record by 0.6 seconds to 28:18.2,[4] thus becoming the main favourite at long distances at the Championships. He easily won the 10,000 m run, but was surprisingly beaten to third in 5,000 m.

After the unsuccessful 1964 Summer Olympics, Bolotnikov decided to retire from athletics in 1965. He received the Order of Lenin in 1960.[3]

Bolotnikov died on 20 December 2013, at the age of 83.[5]


  1. ^ a b All-Athletics. "Profile of Pyotr Bolotnikov".
  2. ^ a b Great Russian Encyclopedia (2005), Moscow: Bolshaya Rossiyskaya Entsiklopediya Publisher, vol. 3, p. 731
  3. ^ a b c Khavin, Boris (1979). Всё об олимпийских играх [All About Olympic Games] (in Russian) (2nd ed.). Moscow: Fizkultura i sport. p. 534.
  4. ^ a b "Athletics - World Record progression". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved January 3, 2007.
  5. ^ "Не стало легенды спорта". Лёгкая атлетика России. Russian Federation of Athletics. 2013-12-21. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
Preceded by
  Vladimir Kuts
Men's 10,000 m World Record Holder
15 October 1960 – 18 December 1963
Succeeded by
  Ron Clarke
Sporting positions
Preceded by
  Friedrich Janke
Men's 5000 m Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
  Murray Halberg
Preceded by
  Murray Halberg
Men's 5000 m Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
  Bob Schul