Tamara Bykova

Tamara Vladimirovna Bykova (Russian: Тамара Владимировна Быкова; born December 21, 1958) is a Russian former track and field athlete who represented the Soviet Union and competed in the high jump. She is the 1983 World Champion, the 1988 Olympic bronze medallist, and is a former world record holder, with clearances of 2.03 and 2.04 metres in 1983 and 2.05 metres in 1984. She also won silver medals at the 1982 European Championships, the 1989 and 1991 World Indoor Championships, and three times at the World Cup (1981, 1985 and 1989).

Tamara Bykova
Personal information
Native nameТамара Владимировна Быкова
Full nameTamara Vladimirovna Bykova
Born (1958-12-21) December 21, 1958 (age 62)
Azov, Rostov Oblast, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Height180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight59 kg (130 lb)
CountrySoviet Union (1980–1991)
Event(s)High jump
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)2.05 m (1984)


Bykova was born in Azov, Rostov, Russia and first came to international attention at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, where she finished ninth in the final with 1.88 meters. Six weeks later she won the Soviet championship with a jump 1.97 meters. At the 1981 World Cup in Rome, she cleared 1.96 m to finish second to West Germany's Ulrike Meyfarth, who set a new world record with a jump of 2.02 meters. At the 1982 European championship in Athens, Bykova cleared 1.97 m to again finish second to Meyfarth. Then at the 1983 European Indoor Championship in Budapest, she cleared 2.03 meters to win the gold medal and set a new world indoor record.

At the 1983 World Championships in Helsinki, Bykova and Meyfarth were the only to jumpers to clear 1.99 meters, but only Bykova could manage the next height of 2.01 meters, to become the inaugural world champion. The next meeting between the two came one month later at the European Cup in Crystal Palace in London. This time Meyfarth set a new world record by jumping over 2.03 meters, but only a few minutes later the Russian jumped over the same height to equal the world record, however she had needed one more attempt than the German and had to settle yet again for second place. Only four days later the two met again, this time in Pisa. This time though, Bykova came out on top with a new world record of 2.04 meters.

In June 1984, Bykova once again broke the world record with a clearance of 2.05 metres. This height would remain her lifetime best. The record would stand for only a month, as Bulgaria's Lyudmila Andonova cleared 2.07 metres in July. Bykova was prevented from competing at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles due to the Soviet boycott.

In 1987, Bykova won a silver medal at the World Championships in Rome, with a clearance of 2.04 metres. The winner was Stefka Kostadinova of Bulgaria, with a new world record of 2.09 metres. At the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Bykova won the bronze medal with 1.99 metres, behind the American gold medal winner Louise Ritter and the silver medallist Kostadinova.

Bykova received a three-month ban when she tested positive for the drug ephedrine at the Goodwill Games in 1990, and missed the European Championships held later that year.

International competitionsEdit

Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing   Soviet Union
1980 Olympic Games Moscow, Soviet Union 9th 1.88 m
1981 Universiade Bucharest, Romania 3rd 1.94 m
World Cup Rome, Italy 2nd 1.96 m
1982 European Indoor Championships Milan, Italy 6th 1.91 m
European Championships Athens, Greece 2nd 1.97 m
1983 European Indoor Championships Budapest, Hungary 1st 2.03 m
Universiade Edmonton, Canada 1st 1.98 m
World Championships Helsinki, Finland 1st 2.01 m
1984 Friendship Games Prague, Czechoslovakia 3rd 1.96 m
1985 Grand Prix Final Rome, Italy 3rd 1.89 m
World Cup Canberra, Australia 2nd 1.97 m
1986 Goodwill Games Moscow, Soviet Union 4th 1.96 m
European Championships Stuttgart, Germany 16th (q) 1.86 m
1987 European Indoor Championships Liévin, France 2nd 1.94 m
World Indoor Championships Indianapolis, United States 4th 1.94 m
World Championships Rome, Italy 2nd 2.04 m
Grand Prix Final Brussels, Belgium 3rd 1.97 m
1988 Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea 3rd 1.99 m
1989 World Indoor Championships Budapest, Hungary 2nd 2.02 m
World Cup Barcelona, Spain 2nd 1.97 m
1990 Goodwill Games Seattle, United States DQ (2nd) 1.92 m
1991 World Indoor Championships Seville, Spain 2nd 1.97 m
World Championships Tokyo, Japan 7th 1.93 m

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

Preceded by
  Ulrike Meyfarth
Women's High Jump World Record Holder
August 25, 1983 – July 20, 1984
Succeeded by
  Lyudmila Andonova
Sporting positions
Preceded by
  Ulrike Meyfarth
Women's High Jump Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
  Lyudmila Andonova