Canoe / kayak

In Rome in 1960 the Bulgarian canoe-kayak team made its first appearance at the Olympics. Martin Popov and Toma Sokolov reached the prestigious 6th place for canoe doubles.

The first medal came 12 years later. In “Munich ‘72” Ivan Burchin and Fedya Damyanov got the bronze in the canoe doubles disciplines. Lyubomir Lyubenov made a furor at the Games in “Moscow ‘80”– with two medals in the canoe discipline (gold – in 500 m and silver in 1000 m).

Vanya Gesheva’s accomplishment, however, remains unsurpassed. In Seoul in 1988 she won three medals and she is the only Bulgarian with a full set of medals form a single Olympiad – gold in the single canoe at 500 m, silver in a pair with Diana Paliiska (500 m) and bronze in the foursome together with Paliiska, Borislava Ivanova and Ognyana Petrova (500 m).

At the next Games in “Barcelona ‘92” Nikolay Buhalov registered a further success for the Bulgarian canoe/kayak. The contestant from Plovdiv won the titles in 500 and 1000 meters in the canoe singles and he became the only Bulgarian competitor to receive two gold medals in a single Olympiad.

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