Stefka Kostadinova

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Stefka Kostadinova
Stefka Kostadinova.JPG
Personal information
Native nameСтефка Георгиева Костадинова
Full nameStefka Georgieva Kostadinova
Born (1965-03-25) March 25, 1965 (age 57)
Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Years active1985–1997
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight60 kg (132 lb)
Country Bulgaria
Event(s)High jump
Turned pro1985
Achievements and titles
Olympic finals1st (Atlanta, 1996)
Highest world ranking1st (Rome, 1987)
Personal best(s)High jump
outdoor: 2.09 m (WR)
indoor: 2.06 m[1]

Stefka Georgieva Kostadinova (Bulgarian: Стефка Георгиева Костадинова; born March 25, 1965) is a Bulgarian retired athlete who competed in the high jump. Her world record of 2.09 metres has stood since 1987. She was the 1996 Olympic champion, a twice World champion, and a five-times World Indoor champion. She has been the president of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee since 2005.[2]

Early career[edit]

Born in Plovdiv, Kostadinova went to a specialist sports school, but was only introduced to high jump in a Year Six (12-13 year olds) athletics meet in Sofia, on a day she is quoted as saying she would never forget (on TransWorldSport interview in 2012). She jumped 1.66 m (5 ft 4) and was informed that it was a world record for her age group; and the same as the adult female world record in 1941.[citation needed]


A plaque on Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria, commemorating Kostadinova's world record of 2.08 m set on 31 May 1986

Kostadinova is the reigning world record holder in the women's high jump at 2.09 m, which she jumped during the 1987 World Championships in Athletics in Rome. Her world record is one of the oldest in modern athletics. Altogether Kostadinova set seven world records - three outdoors and four indoors. She also holds the distinction of having jumped over 2.00 m 197 times.

Kostadinova won the gold medal in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, setting an Olympic record of 2.05 m. She also won a silver medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. Kostadinova won the outdoor World Championships in 1987 and 1995. She won the World Indoor Championship five times between 1985 and 1997. Kostadinova also won gold in all European Championships in Athletics in which she competed. She was a European outdoor champion in Stuttgart in 1986 and a four-time European indoor champion in 1985, 1987, 1988, and 1994.

Kostadinova was voted Sportsperson of the Year in Bulgaria four times (1985, 1987, 1995 and 1996).

Personal life[edit]

In 1995 Kostadinova gave birth to her son, Nikolay, just several months before winning gold in the 1995 World Championships in Athletics. In 1999 she divorced her long-standing husband and coach, Nikolay Petrov. The same year she officially put an end to her athletic career, though she had actually not participated in any major sports competition since the World Indoors Championship in 1997. In 2007 Kostadinova married businessman Nikolai Popvasilev. [3]

Sports administration career[edit]

After retiring Kostadinova started a career in sports administration. She has served as vice president of the Bulgarian Athletic Federation, vice president of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee and was deputy sports minister of Bulgaria from 2003 through 2005.

On November 11, 2005 Kostadinova was elected president of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee. She replaced Ivan Slavkov, who was expelled by the International Olympic Committee for violating its standards in ethics.

International competitions[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing  Bulgaria
1984 Friendship Games Prague, Czechoslovakia 4th 1.93 m
1985 World Indoor Games Paris, France 1st 1.97 m
European Indoor Championships Piraeus, Greece 1st 1.97 m
World Cup Canberra, Australia 1st 2.00 m
1986 Goodwill Games Moscow, Soviet Union 1st 2.03 m
European Championships Stuttgart, Germany 1st 2.00 m
1987 European Indoor Championships Liévin, France 1st 1.97 m
World Indoor Championships Indianapolis, United States 1st 2.05 m
World Championships Rome, Italy 1st 2.09 m WR
1988 European Indoor Championships Budapest, Hungary 1st 2.04 m
Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea 2nd 2.01 m
1989 World Indoor Championships Budapest, Hungary 1st 2.02 m
1991 World Championships Tokyo, Japan 6th 1.93 m
1992 European Indoor Championships Genoa, Italy 2nd 2.02 m
Olympic Games Barcelona, Spain 4th 1.94 m
1993 World Indoor Championships Toronto, Canada 1st 2.02 m
World Championships Stuttgart, Germany 15th (q) 1.90 m
1994 European Indoor Championships Paris, France 1st 1.98 m
1995 World Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 1st 2.01 m
1996 Olympic Games Atlanta, United States 1st 2.05 m
1997 World Indoor Championships Paris, France 1st 2.02 m

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stefka Kostadinova's IAAF profile
  2. ^ "Radostin Kishishev opened a new soccer field in kindergarten "Andersen"".
  3. ^ "На тази дата преди 29 г. Стефка Костадинова поставя световен рекорд".

External links[edit]

Preceded by Women's High Jump World Record Holder
June 1, 1986 –
Succeeded by
Sporting positions
Preceded by President of the
Bulgarian Olympic Committee

November 11, 2005 –
Succeeded by
Sporting positions
Preceded by Women's High Jump Best Year Performance
1985 – 1988
Succeeded by
Preceded by Women's High Jump Best Year Performance
1992 – 1993
Succeeded by
Preceded by Women's High Jump Best Year Performance
1996 – 1997
Succeeded by
Preceded by Women's Bulgarian National Champion
1985 — 1988
Succeeded by
Preceded by Women's Bulgarian National Champion
Succeeded by
Preceded by Women's Bulgarian National Champion
Succeeded by