. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Masterkova Aims for New Records

Double Olympic champion Svetlana Masterkova has set herself tough new targets on the track next season.


The 28-year-old Russian won the Olympic 800-and 1,500-meters titles this year before going on to set world records over the mile and 1,000 meters. Now she seeks further gold and more records.


"I have not been a world champion yet and I would like to be," Masterkova said in an interview. "I want to improve my world records, set new ones and improve the times I did in the 800 meters this year."


Targets have been an essential ingredient in her success since she returned from a two-year injury lay-off.


In 1993, mental stress and the constant injuries, which had required operations on both her Achilles tendons, left Masterkova fearing her body could take no more.


Masterkova did not resume training until 1995. But from then on she trained like a woman with a mission, determined to reduce quickly the weight she had gained during pregnancy and fearing injury could return any time. Her husband, professional cyclist Asyat Saitov, raced and trained in Spain at this time.


Success came in the Olympics, and then she knocked 3.05 seconds off the world mile record and nine days later shaved 0.36 seconds off the 1,000-meters mark.


It has brought her wealth and security. She was given $100,000 by Russian authorities for her gold medals and won a bonus of $50,000 plus a gold bar for her mile world record. Moscow authorities are giving her a new flat.


There have been some slight drawbacks as well. "Sometimes Asyat looks at me a bit differently and asks me if I am going to change. He probably thinks I will but I won't. I still clean up our apartment," she said.





Success came in the Olympics, and then she knocked 3.05 seconds off the world mile record and nine days later shaved 0.36 seconds off the 1,000 meters mark.