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Sofiya Velikaya


Sofiya Velikaya

Sofiya Velikaya
Velikaya at the 2014 European Championships
Personal information
Full name Sofiya Aleksandrovna Velikaya
Born (1985-06-08) 8 June 1985
Alma-Ata, Kazakh SSR
Weapon(s) Sabre
Hand right-handed
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 68 kg (150 lb; 10.7 st)
National coach(es) Christian Bauer
Club MGFSO/CSKA Moscow
FIE Ranking current ranking

Sofiya Aleksandrovna Velikaya (Russian: Софья Александровна Великая; born 8 June 1985) is a Russian sabre fencer, silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics and gold medal in the 2012 World Fencing Championships. She is also four-time World team champion (2004, 2010, 2011, and 2012).


Velikaya began fencing at the age of 13 after her elder brother took up the sport. Her first coach was Valery Dyakokin.

She placed fourth in the 2008 Beijing Games after losing to Rebecca Ward by one point in the bronze medal match. On October 12, 2011, she become the World Champion after beating two-time Olympic champion Mariel Zagunis in the final. One year after, she took part in the Summer Olympics in London, where she advanced to finals after defeating Olha Kharlan of Ukraine. She lost however to South Korea's Kim Ji-Yeon and captured silver.

After the Olympics Velikaya took a break in her career.[1] She had a son with Olympic wrestler Aleksey Mishin. She came back to international competition in March 2014 at the Antalya World Cup, where she was defeated in the second round by Hungary's Anna Várhelyi.[2] At the European Championships in Strasbourg, she was stopped in the second round again, this time by Italy's Rossella Gregorio. In the team event, Russia defeated Germany and Hungary to meet France in the final. After being led 30–35 Russia overcame France in the last two relays to win the gold medal.[3] At the World Championships in Kazan Velikaya made her way to the quarter-finals, where she met reigning World champion Olha Kharlan of Ukraine. After a good beginning Velikaya could not prevent Kharlan's comeback and was defeated 9–15. She was however pleased by her return to form.[4] In the team event, Russia overcame Canada easily in the round of 16 and met France in the quarter-finals. Surprised by France's outright attack, Russia did not manage to regain control and suffered a shock 41–45 defeat.[5] They entered placement rounds and finished 5th after prevailing over South Korea and Poland.

In the 2014–15 season Velikaya won the first event held in Cancún after defeating France's Charlotte Lembach in the final.[6] She placed second with Russia in the team event. In Orléans Velikaya put an end to the invincibility of the world no.1 Olha Kharlan, who had not taken part in the Cancún tournament. Velikaya proceeded to the final where she defeated Italy's Rossella Gregorio and earned her second gold medal in a row.[7] In the team event, Russia stormed through the competition and saw off the United States in the final to win team gold.


  1. ^ Софья Великая: моя пауза должна пойти девчонкам только на пользу. (in Русский). 24 June 2013. 
  2. ^ КМ-2014. Софья Великая – на дорожке, Юлия Гаврилова – на пьедестале. Russian Fencing Federation (in Русский). 
  3. ^ Patrick Issert (13 June 2014). "La France en argent". L'Équipe. 
  4. ^ Mary Staroverova (19 July 2014). Софья Великая: думаю, что приблизилась к своему максимуму. (in Русский). 
  5. ^ "". (in Русский). 21 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Alessandro Gennari (2 November 2014). "Sofya la Grande". Pianeta Scherma (in Italian). 
  7. ^ Raphaël Coquel (23 November 2014). "La Russe a dominé l’Italienne Gregorio en finale, hier soir". La République du Centre (in French). 

External links

  • Profile on the European Fencing Confederation
  • Profile at
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