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How the real first biathlon champion was found. She fishes and doesn’t take much offense

Date: March 4, 2024 Time: 05:02:36

The date and place of birth of biathlon in our country is known to the nearest day. On January 6, 1958, not far from the Yakhroma station near Moscow, the first race in the USSR was held according to the rules, which at that time had already been approved by the International Pentathlon and Biathlon Union. Modern – UIPMB (for modern). pentathlon was a long-term attempt to misalign in their favor, but in practice everything turned out very differently).

However, that race was for men only. For the time being, biathlon was generally a purely men’s sport. Women’s biathlon appeared on the world stage only in 1984, more than a quarter of a century after the men’s premiere.

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Of course, this does not mean that before 1984 women’s biathlon did not exist in any form: in many countries, the beautiful half of humanity felt an irresistible desire long before they competed in cross-country skiing with a shot. That is why for quite some time now attempts have been made to establish in what year the women’s biathlon appeared on our territory.

And the answer seems to have been found. If you type “biathlon”, “women”, “the first championship of the USSR” in the search engine at this time, then several sources will give you a detailed answer at once: they say, in 1979 in Gubakha (Perm Territory) the first The championship was held among women and over a distance of 5 km with a single shot, the best was the athlete from Novosibirsk Oktyabrina Sokolova.

From the personal archive of Oktyabrina Sokolova

It’s just not true. It does not correspond to historical reality. The author of these lines, a long-term correspondent for “Soviet Sport”, does not hesitate to admit this, despite the fact that it was from his archive that the wrong date went for a walk. And it was our fault… our newspaper. And it seems only fair that it is “Soviet sport” that will restore the truth once and for all. But let’s talk about everything in order.

“Soviet sport” against the first coach of the USSR national team

On March 14, 1979, in Soviet Sport No. 61, Nizhny Novgorod (at that time Gorky) authoritative correspondent Vladimir Khitryuk reported on the “first USSR women’s biathlon championship” which had ended one day earlier in Gubakha. You can read the full text of the note (as well as that same number) in the archive of the National Electronic Library, where, by the way, there are absolutely all the numbers of Soviet Sports for our more than a century of history.

Since no other information was found about the women’s biathlon in previous years (and the Russian Biathlon Union did not provide any alternative information), they began to rely on a newspaper publication. This date was set a long time ago, around 2005, so the historical rave was almost 20 years old. But another file came to the rescue!

The coach of the first USSR women’s national team in 1984-88, Yevgeny Ivanovich Khokhlov, assembled an archive of his entire life, in which you can find a treasure trove of photographs, publications and protocols from the late 1970s and early 1970s. the eighties. The last years of his life, Khokhlov led a rather secluded life, and therefore the author of him managed to study the archives only after the death of the patriarch, which occurred not so long ago, on October 30, 2021. .

From the personal archive of Evgeny Khokhlov.

It was in the Khokhlov archive that a small booklet of the Permian edition was found, in which the complete chronology of the USSR women’s championships, held in the 1970s under the auspices of DOSAAF, was published.

Is this the first champion? Let’s find out!

What is written there? In 1971, the first women’s biathlon competition was held in Novosibirsk, the winner of which was Valentina Malanina from the Mordovian ASSR.

From the personal archive of Valentina Malanina

She also claims that two years later she won the second title of champion of the Soviet Union in her career. Here’s what happens: does the women’s biathlon at one time age as much as 8 years?

The complete ignorance of fellow Novosibirsk biathletes sowed some doubts: they could not say anything about the women’s start in 1971 (that year the Novosibirsk biathlon thundered all over the world: Alexander Tikhonov, Viktor Mamatov were the main world stars of this sport) . We turned to the long-term head of the Biathlon Federation of the Republic of Mordovia, Anatoly Nestorovich Kuzmichev, and only after that everything fell into place. The puzzle is complete!

– Valentina Alekseevna, of course, we know, – answered Kuzmichev. – One of the first masters of sports of international class in the republic. She competed in many DOSAAF competitions, won international competitions … Is it really she who was the first USSR champion in biathlon? We will definitely look for her! She lives quite far from Saransk, in Temnikovo.

From the personal archive of Valentina Malanina

Winner in all sports

The special correspondent of “Soviet Sport” managed to visit Valentina Alekseevna only this spring. The road to Temnikov is really not close, the oldest city in Mordovia is known for the fact that it is in it that the grave of the great Russian naval commander, Admiral Fyodor Ushakov, is located.

Valentina Alekseevna (née – Zotova) was born on March 11, 1946 in a large family (three sisters and three brothers) as the youngest daughter and from an early age amazed everyone with her irrepressible energy and fearlessness – she took part in all games children’s garden. she on equal terms with the boys and often took the lead. Even at school, she successfully attracted attention in track and field, skiing, and gymnastics. When she graduated from school, she went to Saransk, where she caught the eye of Alexander Malanin, an authorized specialist in the republic. Since all this started

From the personal archive of Valentina Malanina

After an experienced coach taught her a ski technique, it became clear even to a blind man that young Valentina would not overtake a rare man over a short distance. The matter, of course, was not in one technique: shot put, cross country, bicycle, shooting – it was difficult to find a competition in which the athlete would not shine.

– Only swimming did not work out for me, but there were no problems with the rest, – recalls Valentina Alekseevna.

Shot Prone Victory

The ski school in Mordovia did not shine in those years – it was possible to act in winter mainly through DOSAAF. Along the same lines, from time to time they went abroad, mainly to competitions in the countries of the socialist camp. Everywhere there was success. When in 1971 I had the opportunity to compete in the DOSAAF All-Union Ski Championship, it was also decided to hold the first ever women’s biathlon race there.

Shooting Valentina was successful, the coach (and after a while her husband) actively helped, ski training has always been at the highest level. And then the beginning appeared by itself. Why not try it?

– There were not many people, but there were strong rivals, of course. All the time I competed in biathlon, I regretted that there was only one shot: they did not shoot standing up, but I was better standing up.

She reacted to the victory almost casually: the collection of awards from various competitions had already been solidly collected by that time, and the gold of the Union Championship did not promise any privileges. So she took part in biathlon, winter and summer, for several seasons in a row.

From the personal archive of Valentina Malanina

It remains to find a document.

Our heroine graduated in sports in the mid-1970s, then taught physical education at Saransk University, married a second time to a military man; she was with him both on Sakhalin and abroad … But in the end, she returned to Temnikov. Four children, grandchildren, there are many awards in the house, the gold medal ribbon in biathlon in 1971 was demolished a long time ago, now instead of red it is tricolor. Biathlon watches carefully and regularly. The fact that she is not remembered as the first champion … probably offended, but somewhere in the depths of her soul.

From the personal archive of Valentina Malanina

In Mordovia, they slowly begin to remember her; after all, she is a biathlon pioneer. Now Soviet sport is also publicly restoring global justice. True, not everything has been collected yet, the protocol of that very launch in Novosibirsk in 1971 has not been found, we will consider it a challenge. But the year of the first USSR championship and the name of the first champion were established by Soviet sport, we hope, finally.

In her current years, Valentina Alekseevna is energetic, active and … if not in gymnastics or skiing, then in ice fishing she will give anyone odds.

– In our family, everyone fished – I picked it up. They still envy me, they think I’m talking about fish. Biting suits me anywhere and in any weather. Like medals once.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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