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History of Bulgarian Decathletes - part two (0)

Dec 09, 2015

Bulgarian Decathlon Lions - brave fighters in Balkan Games, part two

1980

Atanas AndonovOlympic 1980 year had to be crucial for Bulgarian decathletes – moreover the hometown was Moscow – a capital of socialist country… Yet early in the spring, on 26-27 April Atanas Andonov was in top shape – 8116 (8091) – 11.12; 7.10; 15.19; 2.01; 49.82/ 14.45; 45.32; 4.70; 58.06; 4:27.01, followed by Razvigor Yankov 7759 (7726) and Tsetsko Mitrakiev 7588 (7520). Almost a month later Andonov again scored over eight thousand  - 8049 (8015 – first score in Bulgariq over 8000 by new table) – 11.25; 6.59; 15.25; 2.06; 49.42/ 14.63; 47.70; 4.40; 62.24; 4:27.0). Not reasonably 100 m and LJ were weak enough???? At Balkan Games on 13-14 June in Sofia Andonov became champion with 7833 (7772), ahead of Mitrakiev 7576 (7502). In the same time in Sopot (Pol) Dimcho Slavov Dimov made personal best with 7653 (7719) – 11.09; 6.79; 14.53; 1.97; 50.13; 14.95; 43.38; 4.40; 56.92; 4:38.55…

The last test before Olympiade was in Sofia on 04-05 July. Razvigor Yankov was fast, strong and bounced as never before….Razvogor (the name means tale wind) began with 11.01 and 6.82. He was perfect at SP – 16.55, after that 1.85 HJ and 50.81 at 400 m…..Second day commenced with 15.81 at 110 m hurdles. At DT the officials measured carefully his mark – it was 55.00 m – WORLD RECORD at DT made during decathlon!!! Yankov was excitred and at PV registered 4.60. But the last two events were relatively poor - only 55.60 at JT and 4:56.4 at 1500 m. The score Yankov summed was 7773 (7734 by 1984 tables)…

At XXII Olympiade in Moscow Atanas Andonov began again with mediocre 11.38 and 6.86, followed by good 15.59 SP; 2.00 HJ and 50.36 400 m (some below his abilities). Second day was fraction better – 14.83 at 110 m hurdles; pb at DT 47.62; 4.70 at PV. But the javelin was very weak  only 53.54 and eventually 4:29.2 at 1500 m. That meant 7927 (7887) score and seventh place overall. All that occurred under Andonov’s power and strength…. Second Bulgarian man – Razvigor Yankov – started with 11.26 and 6.61 before his mighty 16.28 m at SP. Followed by 1.85 and 50.37…. Second day was comme-ci comme-ca – 110 m h for 15.69, 48.02 at DT, 4.60 at PV 58.12 at JT and finally 4:51.2 at 1500 m. Razvigor gathered 7624 (7572) for his 14th place. Yankov was the best among all 21 decathletes at SP – 16.28 and surprisingly second at DT with 48.02 (instead of usual 54 meters) behind Steffen Grummt (GDR) – 48.56 m…

The giant junior (1.92 m), 19 years old Ivan Krastev won gold medal at Balkan junior Games in Thessaloniki on 06-07 Aug with 7381 (7279) points – 11.55; 7.03; 13.45; 2.06; 52.10/ 15.20; 44.12; 4.00; 53.22; 4:45.94, followed by Stanislav Katsarov 7232 (7117)…

1981

The fiasco at Olympiade has had to be quickly forgotten. Yet on 16-17 May in Sofia only 20 years old Stanislav Katsarov scored huge pb – 7669 (7582) – 10.96; 7.40; 14.57; 2.06; 51.42/ 14.80; 43.96; 4.40; 57.60; 5:28.40. The weak 1500 m were his Achilles heel during all his carrier. Second was Ivan Krastev with 7506 (7405)…. In Götzis on 23-24 May Atanas Andonov gained the fifth place 7881 (7831) – 11.32; 6.90; 16.10; 2.03; 50.46/ 14.96; 48.36; 4.20; 58.04; 4:37.33)…Well behind was Tstsko Mitrakoev – 10th with 7752 (7679).

At Bulgarian multiple Champs on 20-21 June it was raining for almost whole time during the two days of contest…. Atanas Andonov (just married to world record holder Lyudmila Zhecheva – 2.07 m) was inspired with excellent score of 8217 (8199 – Bulgarian record). This time he opened appearance nicely – 11.08; 7.32; 15.90; 2.08 (despite unrelieved rain) and ended the first day with 49.47 on 400 m. The second day was rainy too. But Andonov was in best shape – 14.57 m at 110 m hurdles, 50.58 m at DT. The PV was careful - 4.40 m. After that Atanas had only to accomplish JT with 56.92 and 1500 m – 4:37.48. Second placed Tsetsko Mitrakiev 7810 (7778) – 11.35; 7.00; 13.48; 2.11; 49.62/ 15.05; 41.54; 4.50; 60.56; 4:36.93)…

At EC semifinal in Malmö on 11-12 July Andonov won his greatest victory – 8099 (8081) – 11.46; 7.15; 15.53; 2.07; 50.07/ 14.64; 49.72; 4.40; 58.72; 4:27.70)…Mitrakiev was fifth with 7633 (7573) and Bulgarian team gained tickets for EC final in Birmingham…

In Pleven on 25-26 July 1981 took place Junior Balkaniade. Two Bulgarian were above the rest – winner Georgi Stanoev 7187 (7125) and Nikolai Ivanov 7146 (7048)….

At 01-02 Aug 1981 in Sofia held the Bulgarian Multiple Team Champs. Atanas Andonov maintained his super form – 8220 (8191) – 11.02; 7.18; 15.94; 2.05; 49.54/ 14.60; 48.88; 45.0; 55.12; 4:25.75….First four were over 7600 points – sounding almost envying. Second was Dimcho Slavov Dimov 7788 (7745) – 11.44; 7.12; 14.37; 1.99; 51.34/ 14.96; 42.44; 4.50; 60.64; 4:27.08. Third placed Stanislav Katsarov 7747 (7685) – 11.02; 7.08; 15.42; 1.99; 52.32/ 15.70; 46.40; 4.50; 56.92; 4:43.29). And fourth finished Ivan Krastev 7677 (7626) – 11.32; 7.29; 15.09; 2.05; 50.78/ 15.08; 43.54; 4.40; 55.16; 4:56.94)…

But five days after great parade Atanas Andonov injured badly his Achilles tendon and his ambitions for EC final in Birmingham were ruined. In English town Birmingham Bulgarians were well below their season bests – Dimcho Slavov was 12th with 7492 (7436), Tsetso Mitrakiev – 17th with 7404 (7308) and Stanislav Katsarov – 19th with 6959 (6854)…

1982

1982 began some more quietly – third and fourth place for Tsetsko Mitrakiev 7658 (7601) and Atanas Andonov 7588 (7534) at the international meeting in Praha on 05-06 June 1982….

The 19 years old junior Nikolai Ivanov became Balkan junior champion in Drama with national U20 record 7577 (7506) – 11.21; 7.05; 13.29; 2.07; 51.17/ 15.92; 42.98; 4.60; 50.24; 4:36.46)..

At Bulgarian Champ on 03-04 July national winner became Tsetsko Mitrakiev with pb 7949 (7910) – 11.15; 7.02; 13.89; 2.09; 49.49/ 14.73; 41.64; 4.60; 58.18; 4:30.95)..His advance before the record man Andonov in the first day was untouchable. Atanas rested second with 7739 (7702). Third with personal best was Dicho Todorov 7644 (7574) – 11.13; 7.30; 15.52; 1.97; 50.71/ 15.20; 45.68; 4.20; 50.74; 4:53.64)..And fourth with 7581 was Ivan Krastev – 11.53; 6.86; 15.26; 2.06; 50.35/ 15.59; 47.74; 4.30; 51.70; 4:57.44)….

The tests continued – in Sofia on 31 July – 01 Aug Atanas Andonov scored 8081 (8077) – 11.24; 7.18; 15.32; 2.06; 50.40/ 14.77; 47.56; 4.70; 62.92; 4:45.10), followed by Tsetsko Mitrakiev 7924 (7890) – 11.28; 7.23; 13.82; 2.09; 49.89/ 14.82; 41.90; 4.60; 56.26; 4:28.85).

At Balkaniade in Bucuresti on 13-14 Aug 1982 22 years old Dicho Todorov became Balkan champion with 7672 (7604) – 11.05; 7.40; 14.64; 2.01; 50.89/ 15.41; 43.24; 4.10; 53.36; 4:41.00…

At the end – European Championship in Athina was on schedule – 07-08 September 1982. Atanas Andonov began in mediocre tempo – 11.34; 6.69; 15.15; 2.06 and 51.09 during first day. At the start of second day the things went a little bit better – 14.91 at 110 m hurdles, 48.20 at DT; 4.60 at PV, 62.08 at JT and the last 4:40.72 at 1500 m. All that meant 7904 (7878) points and tenth place overall!.....

Bulgaria was chosen (after 10 years) to organize Europa Cup of combined events. This time Sofia hosted the athletes for Big Final on 10-11 September 1983. In Izmir on 24-25 June at Balkaniade Atanas Andonov with 7778 (7767) was again announced Balkan Champion. Two tests were specified for the places in the team..At first test Tsetsko Mitrakiev with 7712 (7659), Stanislav Katsarov 7554 (7482) and Ivan Krastev 7541 (7466) were aiming. Second test was held at 13-14 Aug 1983. This time Atanas Andonov appeared with 7833 (7798) 11.29; 6.70; 15.78; 2.04; 51.72/ 15.20; 47.76; 4.60; 61.52; 4:45.98), ahead of Stanislav Katsarov 7657 (7586 – 11.16; 6.89; 14.13; 2.04; 51.04/ 15.61; 46.10; 4.40; 55.80; 4:43.78. Third was Ivan Krastev with 7468 (7537) points.

At Europa Cup final A in Sofia on 10-11 September 1983 bulgarian decathletes were shadows and clouds under their real natures…. Atanas Andonov was 13th with 7866 (7851) – 11.34; 6.94; 14.98; 1.98; 51.09/ 14.69; 49.84; 4.80; 60.50; 4:56.47….Some figures like 11.15 at 100 m, 7.20 at LJ and 2.05 at HJ would have brought him stead score over 8100 points. Tsetsko Mitrakiev was 17th with 7637 (7690) – 11.41; 7.22; 14.18; 2.07; 50.53/ 15.21; 41.96; 4.50; 54.10; 4:42.31). And Ivan Kratev remained 19th with 7537 (7466)….. All expectations for reasonable appearance ruined…

1984

Summer season 1984 for Bulgarians began with understanding, that they will not take a part at OG in Los Angeles…. At 12-13 May in Sofia Tsetsko Mitrakiev scored good 7715 (7668) for beginning. At Bulgarian Championship at 16-17 June 1984 winner was Tsetsko Mitrakiev with 7829 (7790) – 11.34; 7.03; 14.28; 2.03; 50.39/ 14.78; 43.44; 4.70; 55.98; 4:36.56. His advance over Atanas Andonov was only ….SIX points. Andonov scored 7823 (7802) – 11.47; 6.85; 16.08; 2.06; 52.64/ 14.93; 48.36; 4.60; 63.26; 4:56.09). Both decathletes travelled to Sopot (Poland) for international meeting there. Andonov took third palce with 7726 (7679), and a place behind him was Mitrakiev – fourth with 7572 (7506).

At alternate “Druzhba” tournament in Moscow on 17-18 August Atanas Andonov placed a fraction behind the medals – fourth with 7783 (7736). This time he began well – 11.22; 7.16; 15.80; 1.97; 51.35. But on the start on second day he hit second and third hurdle at 110 m hurdles and almost fell… in a short Atanas finished with weak 15.63, following with 47.80 at DT, 4.70 at PV 54.26 at JT and 4:47.60 at 1500 m. In case he would has run his usual 14.80 at 110 m hurdles, that would have caused him a score of about 8150 points…. At 07-08 September in Athina Tsetsko Mitrakiev became Balkan champion with 7614 (7559)….

1985

Situation around Bulgarian decathletes improved a little bit in 1985. First Tsetsko Mitrakiev got 12th place in Götzis with 7685 points. After a while he maintained shape with 7726 in Sofia on 15-16 June (second here was Atanas Andonov with 7471 points).

At individual champs in Sofia on 13-14 July Tsetsko Mitrakiev again beat Atanas Andonov. Mitrakiev lead after first day – 11.24; 7.11; 14.50; 2.01; 50.03 against Andonov – 11.36; 7.09; 16.04; 1.95; 51.54…. In the second heat of sixth event – 110 m hurdles – Mitrakiev succeed to overwhelm Andonov – 14.34 to 14.54. Tsetsko contunuied with 43.04 DT, 4.50 PV, 57.72 JT and finally 4:31.89. And gained a score of 7887. Andonov tried to catch Mitrakiev – 48.96 DT, 4.40 PV, 57.50 JT, but was so tired at 1500 m – 4:56.55…. and the score occurred no more than 7736 points. Third placed Dimcho Slavov Dimov appeared with 7685 points (winning the battle for bronze against Ivan Krastev – 7623 p.

Atanas Andonov fought as the known warrior at the Balkaniade in Stara Zagora – gold medal with 7818 points (11.36; 6.95; 16.02; 1.91; 51.20/ 14.99; 49.56; 4.40; 67.72; 4:52.88….Mitrakiev somehow lost his good shape – second with 7676 (11.28; 7.16; 14.26; 2.00; 50.75/ 14.80; 42.00; 4.20; 57.84; 4:30.56)….

In Sofia the last test on 17-18 Aug 1985 for places in the team was made. With personal best of won Dimcho Slavov Dimov – 7800 (11.35; 6.93; 14.89; 1.98; 51.55/ 14.95; 44.94; 4.60; 60.44; 4:29.14) ahead of Ivan Krastev 7669 (11.21; 7.16; 15.69; 1.98; 50.47/ 15.60; 45.06; 4.50; 53.40; 4:45.15. Third completed Nikoali Ivanov 7553 (11.27; 7.55; 13.64; 2.01; 51.00/ 15.71; 43.28; 4.50; 53.84; 4:50.89)…

And at EC Final A in Krefeld on 07-08 Sep 1985 again disaster happened – Tsetsko Mitrakiev was 16th with 7392, Atanas Andonov 19th with only 7140 and Ivan Krastev - 20th with 7097 points….

1986

The year of European Champs in Stuttgart – 1986 – showed the tendency of the irreversible regress. At Bulgarian Individual Champ first three finished with score over 7400 points. Winner Tsetsko Mitrakiev with 7487 (11.30; 6.98; 14.11; 2.03; 50.50/ `5.07; 41.12; 4.30; 49.32; 4:34.33) overwhelmed Nikolai Botev 7476 (11.16; 7.20; 13.49; 1.97; 53.05/ 14.69; 40.34; 5.20; 46.48; 4:58.23) only because of fast 1500 m – advance of eleven points was good enough for Mitrakiev for the victory. Third remained Alben Kardamov (Alper Kasaboglu) with 7462 p. (10.89; 7.58; 13.51; 2.00; 50.76/ 16.24; 38.52; 4.50; 46.78; 4:37.10)…

In Ljubljana on 06-07 September 1986 Tsetsko Mitrakiev became for third time Balkan champion with score of 7454 points.

1987

Mitrakiev was Bulgarian champion also in 1987 (13-14 June) with 7504 (11.44; 7.36; 14.05; 1.99; 50.64/15.00; 40.86; 4.40; 52.30; 4:41.25). Second was ex shot putter Borislav Kolov with 7380 points (& 15.66 SP)… The “junior” title went to Asen Alexandrov 7319 points (10.8; 7.23; 14.09; 2.02; 49.88/ 14.86; 37.70; 3.80; 54.32; 5:06.70)….Another disaster (expected) occurred at EC in Basel…

1988

Olympic 1988 year didn’t mean anything for Bulgarian decathletes – they fell slowly but consistently down worsening their score steadily…. At 18-19 June in Sofia Bulgarian individual champion was announced Alben Kardamov (Alper Kasaboglu) in the sake of his score of 7563 (10.7; 7.55; 13.10; 1.91; 50.1/ 14.5; 38.54; 4.40; 54.22; 4:45.9) won the supreme place. Well behind was placed Tsetsko Mitrakiev withg 7329 points.

Young Asen Aleksandrov won bronze medal at Balkan Games in Ankara on 16-17 Jul 1988 with score of 7303 points.

Two athletes improved their best for 1988 – in Sofia on 06-07 Aug 1988 Borislav Kolov scored 7456 (11.0; 7.22; 15.11; 2.00; 53.0/ 15.7; 45.98; 4.30; 53.34; 4:46.5) ahead of Asen Aleksandrov 7410 (10.9; 7.16; 14.84; 2.00; 51.0/ 14.4; 40.04; 4.40; 53.54; 5:19.8.

A week later in Nyiregyhaza – on 13-14 Aug 1988 – Rumen Georgiev (17 years old!) won bronz medal at “Druzhba”(Friendship) tournament with 7105 points (11.38; 6.98; 12.19; 1.87; 50.53/ 15.52; 34.42; 4.30; 57.06; 4:38.88)….

1989

Life goes on. But Bulgarian athletes are not the same as before…No ambitions, no aiming for something better….. At Individual Champs in Sofia on 17-18 June 1989 Winner was Georgi Arnaoudov 7354 (with poor 5:20.80 at 1500 m), followed by Asen Alexandrov 7278….At SKDA (Sport Committee of Friendship Armies) in Sofia on 07-08 July Asen Alexandrod finished second with 7573 pb (11.18; 7.18; 15.12; 2.04; 49.95/ 14.50; 41.36; 4.10; 57.52; 5:10.75). Alben Kardamov (Alper Kasaboglu) was fourth with 7228….

Our team traveled to Helmond for Europa Cup Group B on 15-16 July 1989. There Arnaoudov scored 7403 for 12th place. Alexandrov was 15th with 7170 and Alben Kardamov (Alper Kasaboglu) finished 17th with 7032 points. The night after contest Kasaboglu (ethnic turk native from Razgrad) escaped from the hotel and flied to Turkey. Later Alper became turkish citizen and made several Turkish records (up to 7818 points) at Decathlon. He studies in USA and, participated at OG in Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996 and also at WC in Tokyo 1991…..

Promised junior Rumen Georgiev became Balkan junior champion in Satra Zagora with 6839. Another talented prodigy – Zdravko Minkov – stole gold medal at “Druzhba” tournament in Phongjang on 11-12 Aug….. At Balkaniade in Serres (Gre) on 12-13 Aug Asen Alexandrov won bronze with 7225.

1991

Only Georgi Arnaoudov “went” over 7000 points – 7143 in Plovdiv on 25-26 May 1990.

1992

Two men “climbed” above 7000 points – Krasimir Petlichki 7158 points and Georgi Arnaoudov 7046 points.

1993.

Bulgairan champion Krasimir Petlichki improved to 7531 points set in Sofia on 07-08 Aug. Here are marks – 11.15; 7.15; 14.20; 2.03; 51.40/ 14.10; 40.60; 4.20; 62.00; 5:06.19)

1995

That was the last year when bulgarian decathlete made a score over 7000 points – Krasimir Petlichki achieved 7050 at individual champ in Plovdiv on 03-04 June. At next 1996 Georgi Petrov reached the limit with 6963 points in Sofia on 01-02 June. After that Bulgarian decathlon went to a sincere climax. In 2006 19 years old Borislav Borisov scored 6078 point to take the “men’s” title. He also bettered junior U20 record (with junior implements) up to 6687 points the same year (for the silver at junior Balkaniade). Borisov became Bulgarian champion also for 2007 & 2008 in a row. Six years later Ivan Minchev was only to score over 6000 points. That happened in 2012 – Minchev won the title with 6192 points…..After him Kiril Zagorski became decathlon champion of Bulgaria for 2013, 2014 and 2015 consecutively……..

Bulgarian decathlon “had” glory days, glory persons. But good traditions were lost somewhere in the past. Who knows – maybe some day a new prodigy will be born to revive the well forgotten.

Alexander Vangelov for Decathlon 2000

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