Nataliya Petrusyova was probably the world’s best female all-around speed skater in the early 1980s. She made her international début at the 1979 World All-around Championships, winning a silver medal in all-around. At the next World All-around Championships, a month before the 1980 Winter Olympics, Petrusyova won her first World all-around title, winning the 500, 1,000 and 1,500 distances. At the Olympics, she was not as successful, managing only gold in the 1,000 and bronze in the 500. After the Olympics Petrusyova set her first two World records, in the 1,000 and small all-around at the Soviet speed skating mecca of Medeo. The 1981 season was probably Petrusyova’s best. At the beginning of the year she set her third and fourth World records in Medeo, this time over 1,500 metres and again in the small all-around. She then won the European All-around Championships, by placing first in the three shorter distances, before winning the World All-around Championships, winning the two shorter distances. She then placed third at the World Sprint Championships, before setting her fifth and sixth World records at Medeo, this time in the 1,000 and 1,500. In 1982 Petrusyova again won the European All-around Championships, placing first at the three shorter distances and won her only title at the World Sprint Championships, although she was only third at the World All-around Championships. In 1983 Petrusyova set four World records at Medeo in March, but after that she had a less successful season. She won her last international championship medals at the 1984 Winter Olympics, where she won two bronzes in the 1,000 and 1,500. Domestically Petrusyova won the Soviet All-around title in 1980-82 and the sprint title in 1980-81. She also won eight Soviet distance titles – 500: 1979, 1982; 1,000: 1981; 1,500: 1981-82; 3,000: 1978, 1980-81. After her sporting career Petrusyova worked as a speed skating coach, coaching the 2002 Russian Olympic team.
Personal Bests: 500 – 40.51 (1984); 1000 – 1:19.31 (1983); 1500 – 2:04.04 (1983); 3000 – 4:29.31 (1981); 5000 – 7:51.8 (1981).