Sergey Shakhray and Marina Cherkasova rose to prominence in 1977, when she was only 12 and he 18. They won bronzes at both the European and Soviet Championships that year and were fourth in the World Championships. In 1978 they won silver at the European Championships and were again fourth at Worlds. In 1979 Cherkasova and Shakhray had their best year. The World’s leading pair, Irina Rodnina and Aleksandr Zaytsev, did not compete, so Cherkasova and Shakhray won both the European and Soviet Championships, but lost to Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner from the United States at the World Championships and had to settle for silver. But Cherkasova and Shakhray got their chance at the next World Championships, which they won, again in the absence of Rodnina and Zaytsev, while they had to settle for silvers behind Rodnina and Zaytsev at the 1980 European Championships and 1980 Winter Olympics. In 1981 Cherkasova and Shakhray were a disappointing third and fourth at the European and World Championships, respectively, and managed only a bronze at the Soviet Championships. The pair continued to skate together for a year, but were less successful than they had been, and Soviet officials eased them out of competition, with Cherkasova only 19-years-old and Shakhray 25. After his sporting career Shakhray worked as a figure skating coach, at first in Russia and since 1990s in Australia.