1964, 1968, 1972
One of the best sabre fencers in the world in the 1960s, Rakita competed in three Olympiads for the Soviet Union. At the 1964 Tokyo Games, he competed in both the individual and team events, and helped the Soviets capture the gold medal in the team competition (one of his teammates was Yakov Rylsky). In the individual sabre, Rakita won his first and second-round pools, but was eliminated from the competition in the third round by eventual gold medalist Tibor Pezsa (10-6).
Four years later at the 1968 Mexico City Games, Rakita returned to the Olympics and again competed in the individual and team sabre events. Mark vastly improved in the individual competition, winning his pool in the first two rounds and eventually capturing the silver medal. In the team competition, the Soviets repeated as champions by defeating the Italians for the gold medal and Rakita won the third medal of his Olympic career.
Rakita's final Olympic appearance occurred in 1972 at the Munich Games when he won his fourth Olympic medal. Competing exclusively in the team event, Rakita took the silver medal; one of his teammates in 1968 and 1972 was Eduard Vinokurov.
Rakita was one of the Soviet Union's top sabre fencers in the 1960s. As a member of the Soviet National team, he won the world championship in the team sabre in 1965, 1967, 1969, and 1971. Rakita was also the world champion in the individual sabre in 1967 and finished second in 1970. He is a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. July 22, 1938
Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.
Jewish Sports Legends: The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, by Joseph Siegman (Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, 2000)
New York Times, October 11- October 24, 1964
New York Times, October 14-October 28, 1968