The name “Tkatchev” will likely live on for as long as gymnastics exists, for the skill that Alexander Tkatchev developed in the 1970s has become a signature element of both men’s and women’s elite gymnastics.
The name “Tkatchev” will likely live on for as long as gymnastics exists, for the skill that Alexandre Tkatchev developed in the 1970s has become a signature element of both men’s and women’s elite gymnastics. Alexandre Tkatchev first competed his reverse hecht, in which he flew backward over the horizontal bar and caught it again at the 1977 Riga Cup. His innovative element completely surprised the audience because he had not performed it during the warmups.
Tkatchev’s legacy in the sport will surely be tied to his innovative skill on the high bar.
Born October 4, 1957, in Voronezh, Russia (XX), Tkatchev achieved a high level under coach Pyotr Korchagin. When Korchagin passed away in 1987, Tkatchev began training under 1966 World All-Around Champion Mikhail Voronin at Dynamo Moscow, and became a mainstay on the Soviet national team.
Stylish, technical, and extremely daring, Tkatchev competed in three world championships where he earned a total of nine World Championships medals. In the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Tkatchev earned a team gold medal with some of the greatest names in gymnastics history, including Nikolai Andrianov and Alexander Dityatin—both inductees in the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
In 1980 he also earned two individual Olympic medals, the silver on the rings and the gold on the parallel bars.
Tkatchev’s legacy in the sport will surely be tied to his innovative skill on the high bar. Since 1980, he married his wife, Lidia, who was an alternate to the 1976 Soviet Olympic team. Excellence in gymnastics remains their life-long pursuit. After enjoying a decade of coaching success in France, in 2002 they moved to the United States to coach in California. Today they own the Dinamo Gymnastics club in Sanford, Florida, and mentor gymnasts who have elite aspirations, or just want to have fun.
Alexandre Tkatchev himself remains modest in spite of his amazing credentials. The Tkatchev element itself has spread to gyms all over the world, which is quite a testament to the vision, courage and brilliance of its creator.
1978 World Championships
- Silver Medalist – Team
1979 World Championships
- Gold Medalist – Team
- Silver Medalist – Parallel Bars, Horizontal Bar
- Bronze Medalist – All Around, Floor Exercise, Still Rings
1980 Olympic Games
- Gold Medalist – Parallel Bars, Team
- Silver Medalist – Still Rings
1981 World Championships
- Gold Medalist – Horizontal Bar, Team