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Biographies: Ivan Ivankov (URS/BLR)


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Name: Ivan Ivankov

Country: Belarus

Hometown: Misk

Birthdate: April 10, 1975

Coach: Viktor Doylidov

1992 Chunchi Cup- 2nd AA
1993 Chunichi Cup- 2nd AA
1994 World Championships- 1st AA, 4th Team
1994 DTB Cup- 7th FX, 8th HB, 7th PH, 8th SR, 7th VT
1994 Europeans- 1st AA, 1st Team, 2nd FX, 4th PH, 5th SR, 8th VT, 6th PB, 8th HB
1995 World Championships- 17th AA
1996 World Championshpis- 5th FX, 7th PH, 5th SR, 4th PB
1996 European Championships- 1st AA, 2nd Team
1997 World Championships- 1st AA, 3rd SR, 6th PB, 7th HB
1998 World Cup- 1st HB, 4th PH, 2nd SR, 7th PB
1999 France Telecom International- 1st AA, SR, 2nd FX

Ivan Ivankov is the current Men's World Champion. He won this title at the recent World Championships is Lausanne last fall. This was Ivan's second World Championships All Around victory. His first was in 1994 in Brisbane, Austrailia. Going into the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Ivan was considered a favorite for the gold medal. But the week before the Olympics began, he tore his Achilles tendon. He was unable to compete there. Through gruling rehabilitaion, he managed to win back his World Championships crown just more than a year after tearing his Achilles tendon!

But the story of Ivan Ivankov starts early in 1993 in Birmingham, England at the World Championships. Ivan had already won the 1991 Junior International and 1991 Jr. European Championships, but had yet to prove himself as an AA competitor. He surprised many at this meet by taking 4th AA and winning the bronze medal on Rings. A year later, he was the World Champion, beating his teammate and friend, Vitaly Scherbo. His year got better too. At the European Championships, Ivan not only won the AA again, but won team and placed 2nd on FX. But in Dortmund for the team World Championships, Belarus struggled. Despite having the past two World Champions, they could only muster 4th place behind China, Russia and Ukraine. The next year, Ivan was not at his best. He was hurt during World Championships and finished a dismal 17th AA with a fall on High Bar. 1996 started better with a competition record four Event Finals at the World Championships in San Juan, Puerto Rico. But all four chances fizzled with one 4th place, two 5th places and one 7th place. The highlight of 1996 was the European Championships where Ivan retained his crown. But his team collapsed to 2nd behind Russia.

Then a week before the Olympics, while walking out from a visit to the doctor, Ivan's right Achilles tendon snapped. This injury kept him from fulfilling his dream of becoming an Olympic champion. But less than a year later, a determined Ivankov was again the best in the world at the World Championships in Switzerland. A new attitude and a new Code of Points have helped Ivan again become one of the World's best.

In 1998, Ivan came to the US for the Goodwill Games. He won the AA over Bondarenko and Wilson, but more importantly, he won High Bar and placed 2nd on Rings and Parallel Bars. He also competed at the World Cup Final in Sabae, Japan where he won High Bar and finished just behind Rings rival, Szilvester Csollany.

None of this information can be used without the consent of Graham Ackerman.