Came Penew

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Kamen Penew ( Bulgarian Камен Пенев ; born January 15, 1959 ) is a former Bulgarian wrestler . He was European champion in free style in 1983 in lightweight.


Kamen Penev started as a teenager with rings . After his first successes at national level, which showed his great talent, he was drafted into the Bulgarian army and delegated to the Central Sports Club of the Army (CSKA) in Sofia . There he was able to concentrate fully on the wrestling and had excellent coaches in Vasil Pletnow, Stoine Pinow and Yancho Patrikow. He wrestled exclusively in free style.

His international career began at the European Junior Championships (Espoirs = age group up to the age of 20) in Oulu in 1978 . He finished there in the lightweight behind the Soviet athlete Taram Magomedow an excellent 2nd place. In 1979 he won the Balkan Games in Yambol in front of the top Yugoslav wrestler Saban Sejdi .

In the following years Kamen Penew had to clear tough competition out of the way in Bulgaria before he could start at World and European Championships. In Bulgaria wrestling was the number two national sport in those years, and ranked right behind football in terms of popularity. Ivan Jankow , Angel Sirakow , Micho Dukow and Simeon Schterew all wrestled in the same weight class as Kamen Penew and made it extremely difficult for him to get a starting place.

1981 Kamen Penew started for the first time at a world championship. In Skoplje he immediately achieved an excellent 3rd place. He defeated the strong American Andrew Rein in the semifinals and was defeated in the final battle by Saban Sejdi, whom he had defeated in Yambol in 1979. Also in 1982 Kamen Penew started at the World Cup, but retired early and only reached 9th place.

Despite this, for a Bulgarian wrestler rather moderate result, he was used in 1983 both at the European Championships in Budapest and at the World Championships in Kiev . Kamen Penew justified this trust placed in him by the Bulgarian Wrestling Association. In Budapest he was European champion in superior style in front of the Turks Fevzi Şeker and David Guigaouri from the Soviet Union and in Kiev he came in 3rd place, losing to Arsen Fadsayev from the Soviet Union, who in the following years became one of the best freestyle wrestlers should rise at all times. So this defeat was no shame for Kamen Penew.

In 1984 Kamen Penew was back at the European Championships. He fought very well in Jönköping , but failed again in the semifinals to Arsen Fadsayev. In a preliminary round fight he defeated the German starter Ahmet Çakıcı with 10: 3 points at this event . Participation in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles was prevented by the boycott of these games by the socialist states.

After 1984 Kamen Penew came to no more starts at international championships. From 1985, the Bulgarian lightweight wrestling federation mainly relied on Simeon Schterew.

International success

(WM = World Championship, EM = European Championship, F = free style, Le = lightweight, at that time up to 68 kg body weight)


  • Trade journal Der Ringer , numbers: 10/1981, pages 5/6, 9/1982, pages 4/5, 9/1983, page 9, 10/1983, pages 5/6, 5/1984, page 11

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