Zoja RUDNOVA passes away
It with great sadness that the death of Zoja RUDNOVA is announced; born on 19th August 1946, she passed away on 12th March 2014. The career of Zoja RUDNOVA came to prominence in the 1960s. Encouraged by her coach, Sergey SPRACH, RUDNOVA adopted the pen-ho
It with great sadness that the death of Zoja RUDNOVA is announced; born on 19th August 1946, she passed away on 12th March 2014.
The career of Zoja RUDNOVA came to prominence in the 1960s. Encouraged by her coach, Sergey SPRACH, RUDNOVA adopted the pen-hold grip; the first European female player of note to assume the style. In 1961 at the European Youth Championships in the German town of Bad Blankenburg, she collected three gold medals.
On her 17th birthday, she won the Women’s Singles title at the Soviet Union Championships in her native Moscow. A short time after her national title she competed in the Moscow Championships, she was allowed to play in the Men’s Singles as well as the Women’s Singles event. She won both titles!
In 1967 at the World Championships in Stockholm, Zoja RUDNOVA had departed the Swedish capital city with a highly creditable four medals. She won silver in the Women’s Team event before collecting a hat-trick of bronze medals.
She played in five European Championships making her debut in Malmo in 1964, bidding farewell in Prague in 1976; on every occasion she gained a podium finish. She won no less than ten gold, three silver and six bronze medals.
Notably, she was a member of the successful Women’s gold medal winning outfit three times (1970, 1974 and 1976).
However, the greatest year of all was in 1970 on home soil in Moscow when she completed a clean sweep of titles. In addition to the Women’s Team and Mixed Doubles titles, she won Women’s Doubles gold with Svetlana GRINBERG before donning the Women’s Singles crown. Two years later in Rotterdam in 1972 she retained her Women’s Singles title.
A remarkable career, in addition, Zoja RUDNOVA won a host of titles at open international championships and in 1969 was awarded the Order of Merit in Sport.
She retired from international play in 1978, married Vladimir LITVER an engineer and graduated in journalism; later devoting herself to her family.
Courtesy of ITTF