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Longest Female Legs: How Long Are George Mason High Basketball Coach Svetlana Pankratova's Legs?

By Melissa Siegel, Posted: 03/12/13 09:41AM EDT

Svetlana Pankratova, the assistant high school basketball coach at George Mason High School in Virginia, holds the Guinness world record for longest female legs.

According to the Washington Post, Pankratova's legs measure in at four feet, four inches, more than two-thirds the length of her entire body.

Per the Falls Church News-Press, Pankratova surprisingly started out as a swimmer before her height got the attention of local basketball coaches. From there, she played for a year in her native Russia before transferring to Virginia Commonweath University. Svetlana Pankratova still holds the school's records for blocked shots in a season (75) and blocked shots for an entire career (176).

After graduating from VCU, the coach played basketball throughout Europe before retiring in 2000. A few years later, a friend of hers saw an article about a British woman who claimed to have the world's longest female legs. Thanks to some prodding from this pal, Pankratova agreed to contact Guinness and claimed that her legs were in fact the longest.

Six years of verification later, the former basketball player was named the official record-holder. According to the Associated Press, Svetlana Pankratova then went on a tour to promote the 2009 edition of the Guinness book. During that time, she posed for photos with He Pingping, who at just under 3 feet tall and was the shortest mobile man in the world at the time. Pingping could easily fit in between Pankratova's legs.

As CBSDC noted, Pankratova moved back to America about a year later, when she reunited with a college friend who became her husband. Around that time, the head coach of George Mason, LaBryan Thomas, heard about the former pro basketball player and asked Pankratova to work with her squad.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity for me to work with them," Pankratova told the News-Press. "Because I stopped playing basketball ... so it was great to get back to basketball and I really do enjoy it and it brings all the nice memories back and I just enjoy giving them what I know to help them any way I can."

According to Yahoo Sports, George Mason was one of the best girls basketball programs in Virginia even before the coach with the longest female legs showed up. Indeed, the team has made numerous appearances in the state's final four, located in Richmond.

"It's great -- we go there because we're in the final four, because we're going for the state championship," Pankratova said. "And it also feels good because I played there [with VCU] and I'm there with the team who has a lot of success."

However, George Mason has not had quite as much success this season. Per the Washington Post, the defending champion Mustangs lost in the Division 2 state semifinals last week, thanks in part to a season-high 33 turnovers.

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