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Mihail Zhelev

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameMihail Stoykov•Zhelev
Used nameMihail•Zhelev
Original nameМихаил Стойков•Желев
Born15 July 1943 in Sliven (BUL)
Died5 January 2021 in Sliven (BUL)
Measurements175 cm / 63 kg
NOC Bulgaria

Biography

Mihail Zhelev was primarily known as a steeplechase runner who competed at the 1968 and 1972 Olympics. Zhelev was European Champion in the steeplechase in 1969, also competing at the Europeans in 1966 and 1971, though with less success. His other international titles were the 1970 Universiade and he won seven titles at the Balkan Games – five in the steeplechase (1967-71) and the 1967 10,000 metres and 1969 5K.

Domestically Zhelev was an 11-time Bulgarian Champion, winning the 5,000 in 1969-70, the 1968 10,000, the steeplechase in 1968-70 and 1974, cross-country in 1967-68 and 1971, and the indoor 3,000 metres in 1973. He also set nine Bulgarian records, four in the steeplechase, two at 10K, and one each at 2,000m, 5,000m, and indoor 3,000m.

Zhelev was world ranked #1 in 1969 and #3 in 1970 in the steeple. In 1969 he was chosen the best European runner by the newspaper “Czechoslovenski sport”. His wife, Rayna, was a top 800 metre runner and his progeny all became athletes; his son Zhelyazko ran the 1,500 and 5,000, daughter Olga was an 800 and 1,500 metre runner, while his grandson Mikhail played volleyball for the Bulgarian U23 national team.

Personal Best: 3000S – 8:25.02 (1969).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1968 Summer Olympics Athletics BUL Mihail Zhelev
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men (Olympic) 6
1972 Summer Olympics Athletics BUL Mihail Zhelev
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men (Olympic) 12

Special Notes