Yelena Romanova was one of the world’s top female distance runners in the early 1990s. After finishing fifth at the 1987 World Championships in the 3K and fourth at the 1988 Olympics, Romanova won her first international individual medal in 1990, placing third at the International Cross-Country Championships in the 6 km race, also winning team golds in that event in 1988-90. In 1990 she won a silver medal in the 3K at the Goodwill Games, and won the European title in the 10K, adding a 3K silver. At the 1991 World Championships, Romanova won silver behind compatriot Tatyana Dorovskikh in the 3,000. At the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, the roles were reversed, and Romanova beat Dorovskikh for the 3K gold. In 1994 Romanova won both the 3,000 and 5,000 at the Goodwill Games. She last competed internationally at the 1996 Olympics, where she was sixth in the 5K. Romanova won the 1986 Soviet 3,000 title and the 1993 Russian 3,000 title. Romanova later worked as a gym teacher at a Volgograd school, also training some top Russian runners. She died suddenly, of unknown causes, at age 43.
Personal Bests: 3000 – 8:30.45 (1988); 5000 – 14:59.70 (1991).