Harsh Sentence Looms for Bulgarian World Sprint Champion
The Veliko Tarnovo Regional Court left under permanent detention the former Bulgarian World and European Champion in 200 m sprint, Nikolay Antonov.
The magistrates have debated for over three hours before reaching a decision, Darik radio reports.
Antonov, 43, aka the Talent and known as "the fastest white man" in years past, had been one of the two perpetrators of an armed robbery in the village of Parvomaytsi near the central town of Gorna Oryahovitsa.
According to police reports, last Friday two masked man, holding a Kalashnikov gun and a handgun, carjacked a van with BGN 11 500 and a large amount of cigarettes. The van with the driver tied inside was found later near the village of Samovodene.
Antonov has been arrested Sunday in his home city Razgrad in northeastern Bulgaria. He is charged with armed robbery, kidnapping, illegal gun ownership and several other counts.
The permanent detention can be appealed within a two-week deadline.
Antonov had made full confessions and is facing 10 years to life without parole.
Nikolay Antonov started as a 200 meters sprinter, and won the 1991 World Indoor Championships and the European Indoor Championships in 1992.
His personal best time was 20.20 seconds, achieved at the 1991 World Championships, which earned him the title "the fastest white man on earth". This is still the Bulgarian national record. In 1993 Antonov switched to long jump.
Since he finished his active sports career, he has reportedly had problems with drugs and alcohol. In 2005, the former athlete tried to commit suicide.
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