Zhanna Pintusevich stunned the sports world at the 1997 World Track & Field Championships when the Ukrainian sprinter defeated American superstar Marion Jones to capture the 200-meter gold medal (22.32). And as if that wasn’t a breath-catcher, Jones (10.83) needed a photo-finish to edge Pintusevich (10.85) in the World 100m.
Zhanna became Pintusevich-Block in 1999 when she married sports agent Mark Block.
At the 2001 World Championships, the Ukrainian again faced Jones in the 100m, an event that Jones had won the previous 42 consecutive times she ran the race. But on this day the gold medal went to Pintusevich-Block in 10.82 seconds, defeating Jones (10.85) in a victory considered one of the greatest upsets in international track & field history. Zhanna’s triumph marked the first time in four years that Jones had lost a 100-meter race.
Block was the World Championships 100m bronze medalist in 1993, and she finished 5th in the 200m in 2003.
In 2003, Block won the 60m World Indoor Championship (7.09). She finished third in the event ten years earlier.
Pintusevich-Block did not fare well at the Olympic Games of 1996, when her 100m finish was 8th place and 200m best was the quarterfinals; or the 2000 Games, where she finished 5th in the 100m and 8th in the 200m.
The European Junior champion in both the 100m and 200m in 1991. Zhanna took silver medal honors in both events at the 1994 Euros, and a silver in the 200m in 1998.
From 2001 to 2003, Pintusevich-Block was ranked World’s #2 in the 100m, behind Marion Jones.