Bulgaria’s most successful rowing competitor for the last 20 years, Rumyana Neykova, bagged her country’s first gold medal from the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing.
She triumphed in the women’s single 2000 meters sculls competition with a time of seven minutes and 22 seconds, beating the American Michelle Guerette and long-time rival Ekaterina Karsten from Belarus. During the first 500 meters, Rumyana managed to bide her time and rowed in second place.
She then accelerated and whizzed past her rivals. The win gave the Bulgarian a complete set of Olympic medals – she won silver in Sydney (2000) and bronze in Athens (2004).
After the victory, the 35-year-old mother of two promised her husband and trainer, Svilen Neykov, an unexpected gift – a third child.