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Alexander Romankov

Alexander Anatolyevich Romankov was born on November 7, 1953 in Korsakov city, Sakhalin region. He is the Honored Master of Sports, the winner of 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul and 1980 silver prize winner in Moscow in team competitions, the holder of a silver and two bronze medals in the individual competitions, the World Champion in 1974, 1977, 1979, 1982 and 1983 in individual competitions and in 1974, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1989 in team competitions, seventeen-fold USSR Champion. He was awarded with the Orders of Friendship of Peoples", "Badge of Honor"and two Medals of Honor for Distinguished Service.

Alexander Romankov keeps a photo in the family album: a school gym in a small military community, located near Minsk, Sasha is 11 years old, he is proudly posing to the photographer along with other junior fencers. Two boys are set apart from the others, keeping their weapons higher than others. Those two boys were Kolya Alekhin and Sasha Romankov, who later became the Olympic Champions. In that photo Romankov holds the foil in his right hand. He did not dare to tell the coach that he was lefty, as at school he was severely reprimanded for writing with his left hand, so the future Champion had to perform his first fencing elements, holding the foil in his awkward right hand. Initially,

Alexander Romankov is one of the few sportsmen, who made all his way in sports with the same coach. Ernst Asiyevsky remembers, that in junior years his trainee did not make any brilliant success in fencing. He made a debut in the big sport in 1970, at the World Cup for the young athletes, where he won only the 12-th place. A year later he became the sixth one at the World Cup, but that result was no good for the Russian national team, and Romankov was disenrolled. Ernst Vladimirovich Asiyevsky had a great faith in his pupil and offered Alexander a universal recipe for the success: high motivation and diligence. In 1974  Romankov became the best fencer in the country, won all the domestic tournaments, but never was enrolled in the national team and therefore, had never participated in the international competitions. In the 70-s, when the country was isolated from the rest of the world, it was not easy to join the national team. It depended to a higher extent on the opinion of decision-making authorities, rather than the results of an athlete. On the verge of the USSR Championship, the coach told him: "Sasha, you will be enrolled in the national team only in case you win the domestic Championship. Even if you take the second place, you will not be admitted to go to participate in the World Cup." In those years the competition in the Soviet Union sports was extremely tough. It was harder to win the domestic Championship, than the World Cup. Romankov had to compete with such masters of fencing as Vasily Stankovich, Leonid Romanov, Vladimir Denisov, and each of those fencers was strong enough to pretend to the title of the World Champion. Romankov has won that Championship, and one month later, in Grenoble, he became the World Champion for the first time in his life. Alexander was demonstrating brilliant, speedy techniques and exclusively intellectual fencing.. The spectators were so fascinated with the beauty of his bouts, each element of which was similar to a chess game, that their concerns about the score seemed not so important. He was popular worldwide, but devotedness of the French fans was special. They called him by a tender nick-name “Sasha", recognized him in the streets and asked for autographs even in the Paris subway.

For many years Romankov was the best fencer in the world. Ten times he became the World Champion (among them, 5 times in the individual competitions), what was registered in the Guinness Book of Records and moreover, he has gained five Olympic awards. Romankov was a unique athlete, brilliantly performing in both, individual and team competitions, which is a rare quality for an athlete of such a high level.

Now Alexander Anatoliyevich is the President of Belarusian Fencing Federation and just a happy man, an affectionate husband and father of two children. Fencing stays in his life forever.

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