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Athletics Australia Hall of Fame

Dmitri Markov Dmitri Markov

Dmitri Markov (inductee 33) won his first major international medal for his native Belarus at the World Juniors in Lisbon. In 1996 he won the European Indoor Championships then finished sixth at the Atlanta Olympic Games. 

In 1997, Dmitri made the big decision to migrate to Australia with his wife Valentina, settling in Adelaide. There were hard calls to be made. He had to stand out of the 1997 World Championships and 1998 European Championships to leave open the possibility of Australian citizenship. 

But once a fully-fledged Australian from 1999, Dmitri quickly made his mark, breaking the national record in Athens with 5.95m, before winning the silver medal at the 1999 World Championships in Seville at 5.90m. 

Dmitri then relocated his family to Perth, following coach Alex Parnov. 

At the 2000 Sydney Olympics in an intense final he tied for fifth.

For the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton, Canada the portents were good for a top result but after qualifying easily, things went astray. On the rest day he stubbed his toe on his bedpost requiring intense medical treatment and ten hours of icing.

In the final he opened at 5.75m, clearing on the third attempt. It left him in tenth place. He passed the next height of 5.85m.

With fierce determination he cleared 5.90m on his first to take the lead. Only Israeli Alex Averbukh stood between him and his and Australia’s first gold medal in pole vault at the Olympics or World Championships. As Averbukh exited, Dmitri sailed over 5.95m. 

Despite the significant discomfort of his injury, Dmitri then had the bar raised to 6.05m setting the still current championship record. After his win he gave three bottles of champagne to the Australian team medical staff that had treated him.

Dmitri finished fourth in the Paris World Championships in 2003 and in his last major championship Dmitri won the silver medal at the 2006 Melbourne CommonwealthGames. 

Chronic foot injuries plagued him and he retired in 2007. In a relatively short career he represented his adopted country on nine occasions and was national championfour times. As 2013 began, Dmitri is still ranked third on the World All-Time List for the pole vault. 

"Coming to Australia was a big thing. I have been here since 1997 now and we spent two years not competing so that I could earn my Australian colours in accordance with the rules. We had a fantastic training environment and it has been a fantastic experience," Markov said. 

"I would like to thank Athletics Australia for their support across the journey, they are the reason we stayed in Australia and it was a hard road that wouldn't have happened without them. I also have to thank my wife and family, they have always given me so much support," Markov said.

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