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Viktor Saneyev, three-time Olympic triple jump champion, dies at 76

Athletics - Moscow Olympic Games 1980 - Men's Triple Jump

USSR’s Viktor Saneyev, triple jump gold medallist in 1968, 1972 and 1976, on his way to winning silver in 1980 (Photo by S&G/PA Images via Getty Images)

PA Images via Getty Images

Viktor Saneyev, a Georgian who won three Olympic triple jump gold medals and one silver for the Soviet Union, has died at age 76, according to the Georgia National Olympic Committee and European Athletics.

Saneyev won the Olympic men’s triple jump in 1968, 1972 and 1976.

In 1980, he bid to join Al Oerter as the only athletes (at the time) to win the same Olympic track and field event four times. He came up four inches shy of teammate Jaak Uudmäe at those Moscow Games during a competition that had questionable officiating, according to

Saneyev carried the Olympic flame into the stadium at the 1980 Moscow Opening Ceremony.

Saneyev broke the triple jump world record three times, including twice during the 1968 Olympic final.