Benjamin Kudjow Thomas Boukpeti (born August 4, 1981 in Lagny-sur-Marne, France) is a French-born Togolese slalom canoeist who competed at the international level from 2003 to 2012.[1] Competing in three Summer Olympics, he won a bronze in the K1 event in Beijing in 2008.[2] Boukpeti was the first athlete from Togo to win an Olympic medal.[3]

Benjamin Boukpeti
Benjamin Boukpeti in 2008
Personal information
Full nameBenjamin Kudjow Thomas Boukpeti
Nationality Togo,  France
Born (1981-08-04) August 4, 1981 (age 42)
Lagny-sur-Marne, France
Height1.77 m (5 ft 9+12 in)
Weight76 kg (168 lb)
Country Togo
SportCanoe slalom
Coached byJean-Jérôme Perrin
Achievements and titles
Olympic finals
  • 2004 K1, 15th
  • 2008 K1,  Bronze
  • 2012 K1, 10th
Medal record
Men's canoe slalom
Representing  Togo
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 2008 Beijing K1

Early life Edit

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.[4] His elder brother Olivier is a member of the French flatwater canoeing team.[5]

Canoeing career Edit

Competing in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, he placed fifteenth in the first heat of the Men's K1 event 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.[5]

In the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, Boukpeti led after the semifinal, eventually claiming the Bronze medal in the K1 event, the first ever Olympic medal for Togo.[6][7] 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 was mostly unknown in Togo, only having visited that nation once, during his childhood.[8]

Boukpeti failed to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London after he was beaten by Jonathan Akinyemi at the African Championships.[9] 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 K1 event where he finished in 10th place.

He recently completed management studies in Toulouse, France, where he lives.[5]

World Cup individual podiums Edit

Season Date Venue Position Event
2008 27 Jan 2008 Sagana 1st K11
1 African Championship counting for World Cup points

Commitment Edit

Boukpeti is a member of the 'Champions for Peace' club, a group of more than 90 famous elite created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization placed under the High Patronage of H.S.H Prince Albert II. This group of top level champions, wish to make sport a tool for dialogue and social cohesion.

References Edit

  1. ^ "Profile and results". Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Profile and results". Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Togo claims first Olympic medal". 2008-08-12. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ a b c La Tribune (France): Benjamin Boukpeti, héros togolais, avec le bronze en kayak
  6. ^ Togo paddler tops Men's Slalom K1 semi Archived 2008-08-15 at the Wayback Machine. Beijing 2008. 2008-08-12
  7. ^ Olympic Medal: M K1 Slalom. 2008-08-12
  8. ^ "WordPress › Error". Archived from the original on 2014-04-25. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Johnathan Akinyemi claims Africa's Men's K1 spot at London 2012". ICF. Archived from the original on 15 August 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
Olympic Games
Preceded by Flagbearer for   Togo
Beijing 2008
London 2012
Succeeded by