The Bulgarian National Martial Arts Association announced the winners
of the prestigious annual awards Golden Belt 2018. The awards are given to fighters for enormous accomplishments in the field of martial sports
The fighters with the greatest contribution to the development and popularization of the martial sports in Bulgaria and the ones with greatest sports accomplishments during the year were awarded with the prestigious awards Golden belt 2018 from the National Association of Martial Arts.
The annual award ceremony was held for the first time in Bulgaria on December 1st at Sofia, Bulgaria and gathered at a special gala event representatives and leaders from all 12 federations of the Association, as well as some of the most famous Bulgarian boxers, fighters and legends from various martial sports. Among them were the famous boxers Kubrat Pulev and Tervel Pulev and the Olympic champion and coach Armen Nassaryan. The awards were highly appreciated and welcomed by the Bulgarian minister of sports Krasen Kralev, who made an opening speech to the whole audience. All 12 federations awarded their number 1 fighters in men and women categories and distinguished their best coach for 2018. The winners of the individual honors were also nominees for the big prizes – the Golden Belt statuettes.
The first award Golden Belt in category “Best athlete – Man” went deservedly to Tihomir Todorov, who won became World and European Shotokan karate champion in the category up to 87 kg. His award was given by the two-time Olympic wrestle champion Armen Nassarian.
Mariella Lyubenova, who less than two monts ago became a World karate kyokushin champion in Kazakhstan, won the award “Best Athlete – Woman”. Her prize was bestowed by the the national coach of the Bulgarian Women Wrestling Team Petar Kasabov.
Shihan Asen Assenov from the Managing Board of the Bulgarian Karate Kyokushin Federation announced the winner of the statuette “Best Coach for 2018”. The prize in this category went to the only European champion of Shotokan karate-do and coach of the Bulgarian national team Dimitar Todoranov.
The bronze Olympic Boxing Medalist Tervel Pulev presented the Golden Belt for a long-term contribution to the development of martial sports in Bulgaria – “Faithfulness of Traditions” to Alexander Arabadjiyski – Chairman and Co-founder of the Bulgarian Kendo Federation. In 1990, he founded the first Kendo club in Bulgaria, and later became involved in the creation of the Bulgarian Kendo Federation, which over the years played a major role in the popularization and teaching of Japanese Martial arts in Bulgaria.
The 5th Grand Prize at the Golden Belt 2018 – “Bright Victory”, was awarded to the Absolute World karate Kyokushin champion Zahari Damyanov. His statuette was given by the famous Bulgarian heavyweight boxer Kubrat Pulev. Zahari Damyanov is the first Bulgarian and European fighter to win the championship cup in the most difficult and prestigious karate tournament – the World Open Championship without categories. He is also a four-time winner of the European Championship in a 90 kg category, four-time champion of the Uncategorized United States Championship, where he also won a prize for the Highest Fighting spirit.
The ceremony was sealed with a photo of all the winners as well as the members of the Managing Board of the Bulgarian National Association of Martial Arts: Dimitar Angelov, Alexander Slavkov, Mario Bogdanov, Plamen Yurukov and its chairman Shihan Ivo Kamenov.
The awards of the National Association of Martial Arts were organized for the first time in Bulgaria. Their aim was to distinguish the best athletes and coaches in Bulgaria in the field of martial arts that have glorified the country with dozens, even hundreds of medals from international competitions and with great displays of sporting spirit, discipline and talent. Alongside with the ceremony the audience had the opportunity to enjoy astonishing special demonstrations from athletes from the 12 martial arts of the Association.