World Athletics is saddened to hear that Vitold Kreyer, the 1956 and 1960 Olympic triple jump bronze medallist, died on Saturday (1) at the age of 87.
Born in Krasnodar in November 1932, Kreyer came to prominence in 1956 when he landed a surprise bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Melbourne. Aged 24 at the time, he produced a PB of 16.02m in the third round of the Olympic final to take the bronze medal behind Adhemar da Silva of Brazil and Vihjalmur Einarsson of Iceland.
In so doing, he beat Soviet teammate Leonid Shcherbakov, the two-time European champion and former world record-holder, who had beaten Kreyer at the Soviet Championships earlier that year. It marked the start of Kreyer’s reign as the leading Soviet triple jumper.
Ranked in the top three in the world from 1957-1959, Kreyer was once again a medal hopeful at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. He replicated his finish from four years prior and earned another bronze medal with 16.43m.
In 1961 he set a lifetime best of 16.71m, making him the world-leading jumper that season. He continued competing for a few more years and reached his third Olympic Games in 1964, but missed out on making the final by just nine centimetres.
After retiring from competitive athletics, he went on to coach several top triple jumpers, including three-time Olympic champion Viktor Saneyev. He also worked as the head national coach.