Boxers Kubrat Pulev, Tervel Pulev Top Bulgaria's Sportsman of 2012 Ranking
Bulgaria’s first and only professional heavyweight boxer Kubrat Pulev has been voted its top sports personality of 2012 in the traditional annual poll.
In 2012, Kubrat Pulev, aka The Cobra, won the heavyweight title of the European Boxing Union, after in 2011 he triumphed with the intercontinental title in heavyweight boxing.
“I am extremely happy with the greatest award that I have won in my life. Because several years ago when I was still in amateur boxing, I was ranked No. 7 out of Bulgaria’s top 10 sports personalities, then No. 4, and in all these years becoming No. 1 seemed impossible. I cannot describe how happy I am about this award,” Kubrat Pulev said after getting Bulgaria’s biggest annual sports prize.
Kubrat Pulev’s younger brother, Tervel Pulev, who is in amateur boxing, was ranked second because of his bronze medal from the 2012 London Olympics.
He was followed by Stanka Zlateva, Bulgaria’s top female wrestler, who is the only other Bulgaria to win a medal from London 2012, a silver medal.
Zlateva was unable to attend by the Pulev Brothers, who were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively were awarded at a ceremony late Thursday night by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
Bulgaria’s best female sprinter Ivet Lalova was ranked fourth, followed by chess player Antoaneta Stefanova, male tennis player Grigor Dimitrov, legendary veteran gymnast Jordan Jovtchev, swimmer Petar Stoychev, female tennis player Tsvetana Pironkova, and volleyball player Georgi Bratoev.
Bulgaria’s volleyball team was voted “Team of the Year” for 2012. The coach of Bulgaria’s boxing team in the London Olympics, Mihail Takov, was selected as Bulgaria’s best sports coach for 2012. Stela Eneva, who won two medals from the 2012 London Paralympics was declared Bulgaria’s best athlete with disabilities.
The 2012 annual awards for Bulgaria’s best athletes were handed at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia in a ceremony called “The Superheroes of Our Time”.
Bulgaria’s top 10 sports personalities are selected each year by a list of eligible accredited sports journalists. The ranking dates back to 1942, later held in 1948, 1955, and 1956. The first official ranking was organized in 1958.
In 2010 and 2011, female wrestler Stanka Zlateva topped the ranking of Bulgaria’s best athletes.