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|Competitor for Soviet Union|
|Gold||1956 Melbourne||Single sculls|
|Gold||1960 Rome||Single sculls|
|Gold||1964 Tokyo||Single sculls|
Vyacheslav Nikolayevich Ivanov (Russian: Вячеслав Николаевич Иванов) (born July 30, 1938, Moscow) is known to most of the non-Russian speaking world as Vyacheslav Ivanov, was one of the most accomplished rowers of his generation. He rowed for the Soviet Union, and he won the Olympic Gold medals in the single scull at 1956 Melbourne Games, 1960 Rome Games and 1964 Tokyo Games.
Ivanov was the first man to win the single scull event three times in the Olympics. At the time, only Americans John B. Kelly, Sr. and Paul Costello and Briton Jack Beresford had won three Olympic Gold Medals in the sport of rowing (since surpassed by Steven Redgrave and others)). The only other person to match Ivanov's achievement and win three Gold Medals in the single scull is Finland's Pertti Karppinen.
Vyacheslav Ivanov took up the sport of rowing in 1953. By 1955, at the age of 17 years, he won the U.S.S.R. junior championships and finished third in the senior championships and beat defending Olympic single scull champion Yuri Tyukalov in the process.
In 1956, Ivanov won his first of his eleven Soviet championship. He went on to take his first European Rowing Championships in Yugoslavia.
Ivanov won his first gold medal in rowing's single sculls event in 1956 Olympics as an 18 year old. He was in fourth place at the 1,500 meter mark. With only 500 meters left, he began a devastating sprint, first catching Poland's Teodor Kocerka, then American John B. Kelly, Jr. Finally, with 200 meters to go, he blew past fellow teenager Stuart Mackenzie of Australia who had led the entire race. Mackenzie had momentarily stopped rowing and according to his account Mackenzie believed that he had won the race. When Mackenzie realized his error, he was unable to regain his form. Ivanov went on to win by a 5½ seconds.
In both 1957, and 1958, as a prelude to the 1960 Summer Olympic Games, Mackenzie, who was now living in England, defeated Ivanov in the Diamond Challenge Sculls at the Henley Royal Regatta and at the European Rowing Championships.
At the 1960 Olympics, Ivanov won a second time, again with a blistering sprint, defeating East Germany's Achim Hill by 6¼ seconds to claim his second gold medal. Poland's Teodor Kocerka won the bronze medal. Australia's Stuart Mackenzie who had been Ivanov's prime competitor in 1956 withdrew because of illness, spoiling a much anticipated matchup.
In 1962, Ivanov won the first ever World Rowing Championship, again by rowing through the field, and defeating longtime rival Stuart Mackenzie, now rowing for Great Britain, and American newcomer Seymour "Cy" Cromwell who placed third.
Ivanov faced the East German Hill again in the 1964 Olympics. This time he trailed Hill by 7 seconds with 500m to go, but finished so powerfully that he closed the gap and moved ahead. Ivanov made such a tremendous effort that he briefly blacked out. He regained awareness fifty meters before the finish line to find himself still in the lead and went on to win by 3.73 seconds.
In 1966, Ivanov tasted defeat, finishing sixth and last in the finals of the World Rowing Championship. In addition to the Olympics, Ivanov won the U.S.S.R. single scull championship 11 straight years (1956-1966) and he won the European Rowing Championships 4 times.
Record at the Summer Olympics:
- 1956 Olympic Games, Gold Medal, Single Scull
- 1960 Olympic Games, Gold Medal, Single Scull
- 1964 Olympic Games, Gold Medal, Single Scull
World Rowing Championships
Record at the World Rowing Championships:
- 1962 Championships, Gold Medal, Single Scull
- 1966 Championships, Sixth Place, Single Scull
Henley Royal Regatta
Record at the Henley Royal Regatta:
- 1957 Diamond Sculls, Second Place (Lost by 4 ft to Stuart Mackenzie)
- 1958 Diamond Sculls, Second Place (Lost easily to Stuart Mackenzie)
European Rowing Championships
Record at the European Rowing Championships:
- 1956 European Rowing Championships, First Place (1st), Single Scull
- 1957 European Rowing Championships, Third Place (3rd), Single Scull
- 1958 European Rowing Championships, Third Place (3rd), Single Scull
- 1959 European Rowing Championships, First Place (1st), Single Scull
- 1961 European Rowing Championships, First Place (1st), Single Scull
- 1963 European Rowing Championships, Fourth Place (4th), Single Scull
- 1964 European Rowing Championships, First Place (1st), Single Scull