Sergey Koplyakov

Sport: Swimming

Born: 23 January 1959

Birthplace: Orsha, Vitebsk Region


Honored Master of Sports

Holder of the world record in 200m freestyle

Order of the Red Banner of Labor

Career highlights:

Two-time champion of the Olympic Games in Moscow, 1980 (200m freestyle; 4x200m freestyle)

Silver (4x200 freestyle), Olympic Games in Montreal, 1976

Silver (4x100m medley), Olympic Games in Moscow, 1980

Silver (4x200 freestyle), FINA World Championships in West Berlin, 1978

Bronze (200m freestyle), FINA World Championships in West Berlin, 1978

Seven-time European champion, 1974–1983

Twenty-time champion of the USSR, 1975 – 1982

Winner of the Spartakiad of the Peoples of the USSR, 1979


Sergey Koplyakov was born on 23 January 1959 in Orsha, Vitebsk Region. He took up swimming to overcome the fear of water after a near-drowning incident.

At the swimming pool Sergey Koplyakov caught the attention of coach Eduard Chaus. At the age of 10, under the tutelage of Eduard Chaus, the young athlete won the Belarusian school championships. At the age of 15, Sergey Koplyakov became the USSR Honored Master of Sports.

After such a success, Moscow and Leningrad swimming schools took notice of Sergey Koplyakov. As a member of the USSR national team, Sergei Koplyakov moved to Leningrad where he began training with coach Genrikh Yarotsky.

Ahead of the Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976, the Belarusian athlete was included in the Olympic 4x200m freestyle relay team. Sergey Koplyakov teamed up with USSR masters of sports (international) Andrei Krylov, Vladimir Raskatov and Andrei Bogdanov. At the Summer Olympics in Montreal, the Soviet team won silver in the 4x200m freestyle, and the Belarusian athlete became the Olympic medalist at the age of 17.

Four years later, at the Summer Olympic Games in Moscow, the Soviet relay team, with Sergey Koplyakov on the roster, won gold in the 4x200m freestyle and silver in the 4x100m medley. The Belarusian swimmer also won gold in the 200m freestyle, hitting a new world record he set a year earlier. At the USSR vs GDR competition in 1979 Sergey Koplyakov set a world record of 1:49.83 in the 200m freestyle. A year later, at the Olympic Games, he beat his record, finishing in 1:49.81.

Despite his outstanding success at the Olympics, Sergey Koplyakov retired from sport very early, at the age of 23. The Olympic champion became head coach of the Olympic Training Center in Minsk. He currently resides in St. Petersburg.