Viktor Saneyev, who was the top triple jumper of the world in the 1970s with four Olympic medals, took up athletics in 1956. Originally a high jumper, a knee injury forced him to switch to the triple jump in 1963. Saneyev rose into prominence in 1968, when he won his first Soviet title and was selected for the Soviet 1968 Olympic team. The triple jump competition at the 1968 Olympics was very high class, during which five world records were set. First, Giuseppe Gentile jumped a world record of 17.10 in the qualifying round, which he bettered with 17.22 in the first round of the final. Then Saneyev jumped 17.23 in round three and in round five Nélson Prudêncio recorded of 17.27. But in the sixth round, Saneyev won the gold medal with the final world record of the competition – 17.39. In 1969, Saneyev won the European Championship, repeating that victory in 1974. He also won golds at the 1972 and 1976 Olympics, but was upset by fellow team mate Estonian Jaak Uudmäe at the 1980 Olympics and had to settle for a silver medal. In 1972, Saneyev also set his third and last world record, jumping 17.44 in his home town of Sukhumi. He won eight Soviet triple jump titles (1968-71, 1973-75, 1978). After his sporting career, Saneyev worked as an athletics coach in his native Georgia before the fall of the Soviet Union, but later emigrated to Australia. After he moved to Australia, he worked as a sports teacher at a private school and then as a jumps coach at the New South Wales Institute of Sport during the 2000s.
Personal Best: TJ – 17.44 (1972).