1972 Soviet Olympic discus champion Faina Melnyk dies at 71

FILE PHOTO Faina Melnik, Faina Melnyk, Faina Melik of the Soviet Union winds up on Sunday, September 10, 1972 in Munich, Germany, in her gold medal and Olympic record-setting effort in the Summer Olympic Games Women's discus event. She threw the disc 66.62 meters. (AP Photo)

MOSCOW (AP) – Faina Melnik, the 1972 Olympic women’s discus champion from the Soviet Union, has died, the Russian track and field federation said Friday. She was 71.

Melnik won her Olympic gold medal in an event in which the top eight finishers all threw further than the previous Olympic record.

She finished fourth in the discus at the 1976 Montreal Games and failed to make the final in 1980.

Melnik, who was born into a Jewish family in Ukraine a month after the end of World War II, later became a coach for the 1988 and 1992 Olympic champions in the shot put, Nataliya Lisovskaya and Svetlana Krivelyova.

The Russian track federation did not say when Melnik died or give the cause of death.

 

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