Petar Stoychev

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Swim cap of Petar Stoychev commemorating his English Channel world record
Professional marathon swimmer Petar Stoychev setting the English Channel world record
Professional marathon swimmer Petar Stoychev after setting new record of Puck Bay crossing
Professional marathon swimmer Petar Stoychev’s record-breaking course across the English Channel
Petar Stoychev of Bulgaria is one of the greatest marathon swimmers of all time and an Honour Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. He was voted as the 2009 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year and is nominated for the 2011 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.

He is formerly the Minister of Sport in the government of his native Bulgaria.


International Career

Stoychev is an open water swimmer who has won the gold medal at the 2011 FINA World Swimming Championships 25 km in Shanghai, China, the bronze medal at the 2005 FINA World Swimming Championships in Montréal, Canada for the 10 km and 25 km events, and a bronze at the 2003 FINA World Swimming Championships in Barcelona and at the 2010 World Open Water Swimming Championships in Roberval, both in the 25 km event.

Stoychev has been victorious in numerous locations around the world, including the 2012 BCT Gdynia Marathon in Poland, and was the overall winner of the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit for an unprecedented ten straight years. Stoychev participated in the 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China winning the extraordinarily difficult 25 km race under inhospitable conditions.

He is coached by Krassimir Toumanov.

Olympic Career

Stoychev participated in his fourth Olympics when he finished 9th in the Olympic 10km Marathon Swim at the 2012 London Olympics. He swam in pool events in 3 Olympics and in marathon swimming in 2 Olympics.

Administrative Roles

He is also a member of the FINA Athletes Commission and the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee.

English Channel World Record

From 25 August 2007 to 8 September 2012, Stoychev held the world record for the English Channel in a time of 6 hours 57 minutes. He also successfully swam in the English Channel in 2006 in 7 hours 21 minutes prior to setting his record. He beat the previous record set by Christof Wandratsch of Germany in 2005 of 7 hour 3 minutes; his record was eclipsed by Trent Grimsey of Australia in 2012 with a time of 6 hours 55 minutes.

Fastest English Channel Crossings in History

1. 6:55 by Trent Grimsey, Australia, E-F in September 2012
2. 6:57 by Petar Stoychev, Bulgaria, E-F in August 2007
3. 7:03 by Christof Wandratsch, Germany, E-F in August 2005
4. 7:05 by Yuri Kudinov, Russia, E-F in August 2007
5. 7:16 by Vitek Rostislav, Czech Republic, E-F in August 2009
6. 7:17 by Chad Hundeby, USA, E-F in September 1994
7. 7:20 by Christof Wandratsch, Germany, E-F in August 2003
8. 7:21 by Petar Stoychev, Bulgaria, E-F in August 2006
9. 7:22 by David Meca, Spain, E-F in August 2005
10. 7:25 by Yvetta Hlavacova, Czech Republic, E-F in August 2006
11. 7:40 by Penny Lee Dean, USA, E-F in July 1978

Other Honors

He was also selected as the flag bearer for the Bulgarian Olympic team at the 2008 Beijing Games, where he swam both in the open water event (10K marathon swim) and the 1500m freestyle in the pool. He finished 6th in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim.

He was selected in a global online poll as the 2009 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year for his victorious marathon swims throughout the year.


2012 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim Results

1. Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia - 1:49:55.1
2. Thomas Lurz of Germany - 1:49:58.5
3. Richard Weinberger of Canada - 1:50:00.3
4. Spyridon Gianniotis of Greece - 1:50:05.3
5. Daniel Fogg of Great Britain - 1:50:37.3
6. Sergey Bolshakov of Russia - 1:50:40.1
7. Vladimir Dyatchin of Russia - 1:50:42.8
8. Andreas Waschburger of Germany - 1:50:44.4
9. Petar Stoychev of Bulgaria - 1:50:46.2
10. Alex Meyer of the USA - 1:50:48.2
11. Julien Sauvage of France - 1:50:51.3
12. Troyden Prinsloo of South Africa - 1:50:52.9
13. Erwin Maldonado of Venezuela - 1:50:52.9
14. Igor Chervynskiy of Ukraine - 1:50:56.9
15. Yasunari Hirai of Japan - 1:51:20.1
16. Brian Ryckeman of Belgium - 1:51:27.1
17. Valerio Cleri of Italy - 1:51:29.5
18. Csaba Gercsak of Hungary - 1:51:30.9
19. Arseniy Lavrentyev of Portugal - 1:51:37.2
20. Ky Hurst of Australia - 1:51:41.3
21. Ivan Enderica Ochoa of Ecuador - 1:52:28.6
22. Yuriy Kudinov of Kazakhstan - 1:52:59.0
23. Francisco Jose Hervas of Spain - 1:53:27.8
24. Mazen Aziz Metwaly of Egypt - 1:54:33.2
25. Benjamin Schulte of Guam - 2:03:35.1

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