Rylsky, Yakov : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Rylsky, Yakov


Country Represented:
Soviet Union

Years Competed:
1956, 1960, 1964

Medals Received:
gold, bronze

Olympic Info:
Rylsky competed in three Olympiads and won two medals for the Soviet Union's fencing team. In his first Olympic competition, at the 1956 Melbourne Games, Rylsky competed in both the individual and team sabre events. In the team competition, the Soviets defeated Australia in the first round, and qualified for the finals by defeating Italy in the semifinals. In the final pool, Rylsky and the Soviets lost to Poland (9-7), and Hungary (9-7), but then defeated France in the third-place bout to capture the bronze medal. In the individual competition, Rylsky received a first round bye (no opponent)because he had fenced in the final round of the team event, but was then eliminated in the second round after finishing fifth in his pool (the first four finishers advanced to the semifinals).

At the 1960 Rome Games, Rylsky again fenced in both the individual and team events. Although the Soviets finished fifth in the team event, Rylsky advanced to the finals in the individual competition. He won his pool in the first three rounds and then place third in the semifinals. In the final round, he won only two matches and finished in eighth place (one berth behind Soviet teammate David Tyshler).

Rylsky's final Olympiad came four years later at the 1964 Tokyo Games, where he won a gold medal in the team sabre (one of his teammates was 1968 silver medalist Mark Rakita). In the individual event, Rylsky again reached the finals after defeating a French opponent in the third round, and a German in the fourth round. In the final round, he lost in direct elimination matches and officially finished in fourth place.

Career Highlights:
Rylsky, who was a three-time gold medalist in the individual sabre at the World Championships (1958, 1961, and 1963), began fencing in 1950. He joined the Soviet National Team in 1954, and was the Soviet sabre champion from 1954-1958. In 1963, he was the winner of the Dantzer Cup in Paris, and he was a Merited Master of Sport in the Soviet Union.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. Oct. 25, 1928

East Kazakhstan

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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
New York Times, November 23-December 8, 1956
New York Times, August 27-September 9, 1960
New York Times, October 11-October 25, 1964