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Ivet Lalova

Ivet LalovaIvet Lalova, born on the 18th May 1984 in Sofia, Bulgaria is an athlete who specialises in the 100 metres and 200 metres sprint events.

She is the 12th-fastest woman in the history of the 100 metres and is tied with Irina Privalova for the fastest time by a sprinter not of West African descent.

She finished fourth in the 100 meters and fifth in the 200 meters at the 2004 Summer Olympics.

Her career was interrupted for two years between June 2005 and May 2007 due to a leg injury.

In June 2012 she won gold at the European Athletics Championships in the women’s 100 meters.

In July 2016 she won two silver medals at the European Athletics Championships in both the women’s 100 and 200 meters. She participated at four editions of the Olympic Games.

Lalova's parents, Miroslav Lalov and Liliya Lalova, were also athletes. Miroslav was the Bulgarian 200 metres champion in 1966.

Ivet LalovaLalova began competing in swimming and gymnastics at age 10, and soon switched to track and field.

She became the Bulgarian Youth champion in the 100 metres competition in 2000, and placed fourth in the 200 metres at the 2001 IAAF World Youth Championships.

At the 2003 European Athletics Junior Championships, she won both the 100 metres and 200 metres events.

On the 19th of June 2004 in Plovdiv, Lalova tied with Irina Privalova as the sixth fastest woman in 100 metres history at that time, recording a time of 10.77 seconds.

At the 2004 Summer Olympics, she placed 4th overall in the women's 100 metres competition, and 5th in the 200 metres. At the 2005 European Athletics Indoor Championships, she was awarded a gold medal for her time of 22.91 seconds in the 200 metres.

On the 14th of June 2005, Lalova's career was interrupted when she broke her right femur after a collision with another athlete while warming up for the 100 meters sprint at the Athens Super Grand Prix.

Ivet LalovaIn June 2006, the Bulgarian Olympic Committee awarded her the IOC "Sports and Fair Play" prize for her conduct in the aftermath of the incident, when she declined to seek compensation from her fellow competitor or the event's organizers.

Lalova was appointed to the European Athletic Association Athletes Commission for 2006–2010 following an election held in August at the 2006 European Athletics Championships.

Lalova returned to competitive racing on the 29th May 2007, at the Artur Takač Memorial in Belgrade, winning the 100 metres in a time of 11.26 seconds.

In August 2007 she reached the quarterfinals of the women's 100 metres sprint at the IAAF World Championship in Osaka but failed to progress, finishing in fifth place with a time of 11.33 seconds.

At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Lalova was eliminated in the semifinals of the Women's 100m, finishing her heat in seventh place with a time of 11.51 seconds, and was eliminated in the second round of the Women's 200 metres.

In March 2011 she moved to Italy, joining the group of Professor Roberto Bonomi. Later in 2011 she started her season with 11.08 and 22.66 and after a week won the 100 metres Diamond League event in Oslo with 11.01 (2.1 m/s).

Ivet LalovaAfter another week she ran the second best time of her career - 10.96 s (+0.8 m/s wind) during the Balkan Championships in Sliven, Bulgaria.

At the 2012 European Athletics Championships in Helsinki, Lalova ran the distance in 11.06 during Round 1, setting the best European result of the year so far. She went on to win her heat in the semifinals, as well as the final on the 28th of June, beating Olesya Povh and Lina Grinčikaitė for her second career gold medal from a major championship.

At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Lalova finished second in her heat during the quarterfinals on Women's 100 Metres, equaling her season best of 11.06.

She was eliminated in the semifinals, where she ran the distance for 11.31, finishing 6th in her heat and 19th overall. At the 200 metres distance she finished 5th in her heat with a season-best time of 22.91.

In the semifinals she ran the distance for 22.98, finishing 6th in her heat and missing on a place in the final.

In her first 2013 IAAF Diamond League appearance, Lalova finished third in the 200 metre sprint at the Golden Gala in Rome, with a personal season-best time of 22.78 (+1.2 m/s).

This was also the best time for a European athlete so far throughout the year. She continued well in the next round at the Bislett Games in Oslo, winning the 100 metre sprint with a season best of 11.04 (+1.2 m/s). She then finished 3rd in the 200 metre at the British Grand Prix on the 30th of June, with a time of 23.02.

Ivet LalovaAt the 2014 European Athletics Championships, she finished 5th in the Women's 100 metres with a time of 11:33. In the 200 metre event she ran a season best time of 23.17 in the first round, but only finished 6th in her semi-final group with 23.30 and did not qualify for the final.

At the 2015 World Championships in Athletics in Beijing Lalova recorded a season best 11.09 in the 100 metre qualifiers, but failed to pass the semifinal stage. In the 200 metre discipline she recorded a season best time of 22.54, qualifying for the semifinals.

There she ran the distance in 22.32, qualifying for the final and setting a new personal best. In the final she finished 7th with a time of 22.41, becoming only the third Bulgarian female athlete to participate in a 200 metre final at a World Championship, and the first one since the World Finals in Rome in 1987.

In the first 200 metre event of the 2016 IAAF Diamond League, the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix, Lalova reached the final, placing 4th with a time of 23.04.

On the 18th of May she won the silver medal in the 100 metre event at the 2016 Beijing IAAF World Challenge, with a season best time of 11.11.

Lalova then participated in her second Diamond League event of the year, the 2016 Golden Gala in Rome, finishing 4th in the 100 metre final with a time of 11.15.

On the 6th of June she won the Women's 100 metres at the 2016 Gala Dei Castelli in Bellinzona, Switzerland, setting a time of 11.19 in the semi-final, and 11.20 in the final itself.

Ivet LalovaLalova's third Diamond League event of the year was at the 2016 Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway, where she won the bronze medal in the 200 metre event with a season's best time of 22.78.

At the 2016 European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam Lalova recorded a season best time of 22.57 in the Women's 200 metres semifinal, tied with Dina Asher-Smith for the fastest qualifying time in the discipline.

In the final she improved her time to 22.52 and won Silver, her second major medal from European Championships and the first 200 metre Euro medal ever for Bulgaria.

In the Women's 100 metres Lalova won her heat in the semifinals with a time of 11.26, before clinching her second Silver of the tournament with 11.20 in the final.

Lalova opened her 2017 season by winning both the Women's 100 and 200 metres events at the Golden Grand Prix in Kawasaki, the third round of that year's IAAF World Challenge.

She first triumphed in the 200 metres final with a time of 22.98, before winning gold in the 100 metres competition later that day with a time of 11.40.

At the Olympics in Tokyo in 2021, Ivet did not bring home any medals as she was eliminated in the first round due to an injury she suffered just prior to the games - the 5th Olympic Games she competed in - an amazing feat in itself.

In December 2012 Lalova had opened her own sports club under the name the Ivet Lalova Sprint Academy, meant to help amateur, children, youth and professional athletes in Bulgaria. It became a member of the Bulgarian Athletics Federation.

Ivet LalovaIts mission is to support the development of athletics in Bulgaria and to manage and train athletes of all ages in national championships and tournaments; to promote the basic ideals, principles and values of sport and to contribute to their dissemination, especially among younger generations; to fight against all forms of discrimination and violence in sport.

Ivet Lalova-Collio delighted more than 60 athletes at the first annual awards that coincided with the fifth birthday of Ivet Lalova Sprint Academy.

The event was held at the Palace of Happy People where the 33-year-old sprinter personally awarded all the kids, and the most loyal have recieved a special diamond to attach to their club track suits. Ivet delighted the club’s representatives with many more surprises.

Special guest of the celebration was the president of the Bulgarian Athletics Federation, Dobromir Karamarinov, who praised Ivet and encouraged the young athletes to follow her successful footsteps.

At the event were also the closest people of the Bulgarian sprinter – her husband Simone Collio and her family.

There was a big surprise for Ivet as well: she received a gift from the parents of the kids training at Ivet Lalova Sprint Academy.

”In Bulgaria we say that “if you gave yourself, you did not live in vain. Today I wanted to give you part of me, part of my love for the track. Love, that takes me back to the stadium every single day for the last 21 years to give my all there."

Ivet Lalova"Love that makes me feel how my heart beats every time I am on the starting block. To sleep over victories and losses, medals and tears, to dream. And above all to believe."

"To believe that making yourself better in something will make the world better for others. I invite you to join me at the Ivet Lalova Sprint Academy.

"Let’s work and have fun together in the world of athletics. Because in sports you can find yourself, your friends, even your love."

"It does not matter how old you are, what you can do and whether you want to win the Olympic gold or run for yourself."

"Everyone starts from somewhere. Everyone can run - I can help you run faster to your dreams.“

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Personal best

Results were last updated on 2 June 2016.

2013 European Indoor Championships
Discipline Time Date Location Event Notes
100 metres 10.77 19 June 2004 BulgariaPlovdiv,Bulgaria 2004 European Cup
200 metres 22.32 27 August 2015 ChinaBeijing,China 2015 World Championships in Athletics
50 metres indoor 6.23 14 February 2012 FranceLiévin,France
60 metres indoor 7.12 3 March 2013 SwedenGothenburg,Sweden
200 metres indoor 22.87 1 February 2004 BulgariaSofia,Bulgaria

Competition record

Representing Bulgaria Bulgaria
Year Competition Venue Position Event Measure Notes
2003 European Junior Championships FinlandTampere 1st 100 m 11.43
1st 200 m 22.88
2004 Olympic Games GreeceAthens 4th 100 11.00
5th 200 m 22.57
2005 European Indoor Championships SpainMadrid 1st 200 m 22.91 NR
2007 World Championships JapanOsaka Quarter 100 m 11.33
2008 Olympic Games ChinaBeijing Semi 100 m 11.51
Quarter 200 m 23.15
2009 World Championships GermanyBerlin Quarter 100 m 11.54
Heats 200 m 23.60 SB
2010 European Championships SpainBarcelona Round 1 100 m 11.58
2011 World Championships South KoreaDaegu 7th 100 m 11.27
Semi 200 m 23.03
2012 European Championships FinlandHelsinki 1st 100 m 11.28
Olympic Games United KingdomLondon Semi 100 m 11.31
Semi 200 m 22.98 SB
2013 European Indoor Championships SwedenGothenburg 3rd 60 m 7.12 PB
World Championships RussiaMoscow Semi 100 m 11.10
Semi 200 m 22.81
2014 European Championships SwitzerlandZurich 5th 100 m 11.33
Semi 200 m 23.30
2015 World Championships ChinaBeijing Semi 100 m 11.13
7th 200 m 22.41
2016 European Championships NetherlandsAmsterdam 2nd 100 m 11.20
2nd 200 m 22.52 SB
Olympic Games BrazilRio de Janeiro Semi 100 m DNS
8th 200 m 22.69
2017 World Championships GreeceLondon Semi 100 m 11.25 SB
Semi 200 m 22.96
2018 European Championships GermanyBerlin 5th 200 m 22.82
2019 World Championships Qatar Doha 7th 200 m 22.77



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