The athlete, a native of Georgia and triple Olympic triple jump champion died on Monday at the age of 77. He was the protagonist of the historic final at the Olympic Games in Mexico 68.
The athletics world is in mourning after learning of the death this Monday of one of its great legends, Viktor Saneyev, the triple Olympic triple jump champion. Saneyev died of a heart attack at the age of 77 at his residence in Sideny, according to the Russian news agency Sputnik.
Saneyev, born in Georgia in 1945, began his career in the high jump before switching to triple jump in 1963 under the supervision of Hakob Kerselyan. The change could not go better since Saneyev made history in this discipline by proclaiming himself a champion of the modality in the Olympic Games in Mexico 68, Munich 72, and Montreal 76, in addition to achieving the silver medal in the Moscow 80 Games.
Berishvili noted that the Georgia Olympic Committee will organize a memorial service for Saneev, declared “Sportsman of the Year” in Georgia in 1999.
Especially remembered is that triple jump final at the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games, where Saneyev won what is considered the best triple jump competition in history in which three athletes broke the world record four times and in which Saneyev he took gold with a mark of 17.39 ahead of Brazilian Nelson Prudencio and Italian Giuseppe Gentile.
After his retirement from sports, Saneyev continued to be linked to the world of athletics in the sports structure of the Dynamo Tbilisi. However, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Saneyev decided to go to Australia, where he continued to work as a coach.
“Saneyev had moved to Australia in the 1990s to start a coaching career, but he always wanted to return to Georgia,” said Committee Vice-Chairman Elgudzha Berishvili. “Unfortunately, he did not have time for that,” he added. Valeri Obidko, former athlete, coach, and friend of Saneyev, has explained to Sputnik that the Georgian jumper would have died as a result of a heart attack.