|Full name||Benjamin Kudjow Thomas Boukpeti|
August 4, 1981 |
|Height||1.77 m (5 ft 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 canoeist who competed at the international level from 2003 to 2012. Competing in three Summer Olympics, he won a bronze in the K1 event in 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 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.
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. 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.
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 K1 event where he finished in 10th place.
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. http://www.peace-sport.org/our-champions-of-peace/