The dominant sprint hurdler of the late 1980s, Yordanka Donkova officially lowered the world record in the 100 m hurdles four times, and had one other unofficial world record, which could not be ratified because of a dope testing irregularity when the bottle sample was broken in transit. The first two official records were set within one hour at the Weltklasse in Köln (Germany) in 1986. Her 1988 time of 12.21 seconds, remains the world record through 2010. As of that same date, five of the ten all-time best performances have been achieved by Donkova. Donkova won her most important title in 1988, taking the Olympic gold in Seoul. She also earned honors at the European Championships (gold in 1986, silver in 1982, bronze in 1994). In indoor competition, she won silver at the 1987 World Indoor Championships, and took the European indoor title three times (1987, 1989 and 1994) in addition to to three bronze medals. Donkova, who lost three fingers on her right hand in an accident as a child, also won a second Olympic medal by winning the bronze medal in Barcelona 1992. Donkova was ranked in the world top 10 in the high hurdles nine times between 1982 and 1994, ranking first in 1986 and 1988. She had an up-and-down career, marked by excellent performances against the clock, but she was known for struggling at times in major championships, although she overcame this to win her Seoul Olympic and 1986 European gold.
Personal Bests: 100 – 11.27 (1982); 100H – 12.21 (1988).