Itkina was among the world’s
leading sprinters in 100-Meter to 400-Meter events during
the 1950s and
Running for the Dynamo Club in
Minsk, Itkina established a 400-Meter
World record of 53.9 (seconds) in 1955
and subsequently tied or broke her
mark six times. She eventually lowered
the record to 53.0 on August 29, 1964. In
July 1956, she set a World record of 23.6
in the 220-Yard event and in September 1959, lowered the
record to 53.7.
In 1963, Itkina ran the third leg of
the Soviet Women’s 800-Meter Relay
team that established a World record of
1.34.7. Itkina’s mark of 11.4 in the 100-Meter ranks
her among the best-ever in these events.
The Soviet sprinter did not fare as
successfully in three Olympiads, managing
fourth-place finishes in four
events (including one 4 x 100 Relay) at
the 1956 Melbourne and 1960 Rome
Olympics and a fifth-place relay finish
in 1964 in Tokyo.
She was a European Champion
four times. In 1954 at Bern, Itkina took
gold medals in the 200-Meter and 4 x
100-Meter Relay. In 1959 in Stockholm,
she was first in the 400-Meter event
and in 1962 in Belgrade, won another
gold in the 400-Meter. In 1965, she took
another 400-Meter gold medal victory.
She also held 17 Russian track and field
Itkina is a Merited Master of Sports
in the Soviet Union, the nation’s highest
honor bestowed on Soviet athletes.