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Tamara Press

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 3
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 4
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameTamara Natanovna•Press
Used nameTamara•Press
Original nameТамара Натановна•Пресс
Born10 May 1937 in Kharkiv, Kharkiv (UKR)
Died26 April 2021
Measurements180 cm / 102 kg
AffiliationsTrud Leningrad, St. Petersburg (RUS)
NOC Soviet Union
Nationality Russian Federation


Along with her sister Irina, Tamara Press was a dominant force in women’s track & field athletics in the early 1960s. While Irina competed in a lot of different events (sprints, hurdling, jumps, weight throwing and pentathlon), Tamara was mainly known as a weight thrower. Tamara made her international début at the 1958 European Championships, where she won the discus title and bronze in the shot. Next Tamara competed at the 1960 Olympics, where she won gold in shot put, but was upset by her compatriot Nina Romashkova-Ponomaryova in the discus and had to settle for a silver medal. At the 1962 European Championships, Press won both the shot and discus titles and she repeated that feat at the 1964 Olympics. Press was also the Universiade shot put and discus throw champion in 1961 and 1963. Domestically, Press won 16 Soviet titles, nine shot (1958-66) and seven discus (1960-66).

During her career, Press also set 11 world records – five in the shot put (17.25/1959, 17.42/17.78/1960, 18.55/1962, 18.59/1965) and six in the discus (57.15/1960, 57.43/58.06/58.98/1961, 59.29/1963, 59.70/1965). Both Press sisters retired from athletics in 1966, coinciding with the introduction of required gender verification in track and field. This led to widespread – yet never proven – rumors regarding Press’s gender. After finishing her sporting career, Tamara Press worked as an athletics coach and official in Moscow.

Personal Bests: SP – 18.59 (1965); DT – 59.70 (1965).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1960 Summer Olympics Athletics URS RUS Tamara Press
Shot Put, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
Discus Throw, Women (Olympic) 2 Silver
1964 Summer Olympics Athletics URS RUS Tamara Press
Shot Put, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
Discus Throw, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold

Olympic family relations

Special Notes