|Full name||Benjamin Kudjow Thomas Boukpeti|
August 4, 1981 |
|Height||1.77 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)|
|Weight||76 kg (168 lb)|
|Coached by||Jean-Jérôme Perrin|
|Achievements and titles|
Benjamin Kudjow Thomas Boukpeti (born August 4, 1981 in Lagny-sur-Marne, France) is a French-born Togolese slalom canoer who has competed professionally since the mid-2000s. Competing in two Summer Olympics, he won a bronze in the K-1 event at Beijing in 2008. Boukpeti was the first athlete from Togo to win an Olympic medal.
Born in Lagny-sur-Marne, France to a French mother, he holds dual Togolese-French citizenship and chose to represent Togo, the country of his father, in Olympic competition. He began kayaking at age 10. His elder brother Olivier is a member of the French flatwater canoeing team.
Competing in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, he placed fifteenth in the first heat of the Men's K1 Kayak Single to become the first Togolese to reach an Olympic semifinal, but only ranked eighteenth in the semifinal run and did not advance to the final.
In January 2008, Boukpeti placed first at the African Championships.
In the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, Boukpeti led after the semifinal, eventually claiming the Bronze medal in the K1 Kayak Single, the first ever Olympic medal for Togo. After clinching his medal Boukpeti snapped his paddle over his kayak in celebration.
Following his Olympic success, Togolese Olympics fans expressed an interest in meeting him, as he is mostly unknown in Togo, only having visited that nation once, during his childhood.
Boukpeti failed to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London after he was beaten by Jonathan Akinyemi at the African Championships. However, Boukpeti received a wild card and was able to enter the event. Once again he managed to qualify for the final run of the K-1 event where he finished in 10th place.
Boukpeti is today a member of the ‘Champions for Peace’ club, a group of 54 famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization.
- Benjamin, lui, vit à Toulouse, où il vient de terminer des études de management. A l'âge de 10 ans, il plonge dans un kayak, pagaie dans les trois disciplines, le slalom, la ligne et la descente non-olympique. Cinq ans après, il opte pour le slalom, "un jeu qui demande de l'habileté. A côté, le canoë en ligne était rébarbatif, peu ludique". Barré par la densité de kayakistes en France, il choisit alors de naviguer pour le Togo même s'il reste proche des Bleus. D'ailleurs, lors des récentes sélections olympiques qui ont désigné le sélectionné tricolore, Boukpeti avait terminé cinquième.
- La Tribune (France): Benjamin Boukpeti, héros togolais, avec le bronze en kayak
- Togo paddler tops Men's Slalom K1 semi. Beijing 2008. 2008-08-12
- Olympic Medal: M K1 Slalom. UPI.com. 2008-08-12
- "Johnathan Akinyemi claims Africa's Men's K1 spot at London 2012". ICF. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
- Peace and Sport
- "Boukpeti: Togo's hero in Olympics", Xinhua, August 12, 2008
- Sports-reference.com profile
- Overview of athlete's results at canoeslalom.net
|Flagbearer for Togo