Benjamin Boukpeti in Beijing in the 2008 Olympics

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France (also known as FRA) Flag of France.svg, Togo (also known as TGO) Flag of Togo.svg

Toulouse, France

College, Institut de Formation aux Affaires et à la Gestion (IFAG)

Benjamin Kudjow Thomas Boukpeti (born August 4 1981) is a Togolese whitewater kayaker.

Born in Lagny-sur-Marne, France to a French mother, he holds dual Togolese-French citizenship and chose to represent Togo, the country of his father, in Olympic competition. He began kayaking at age 10.[1] His elder brother Olivier is a member of the French flatwater canoeing team.[2] Competing in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, he received fifteenth place in the first heat of the Men's K1 Kayak Single to become the first Togolese to reach an Olympic semi final, but only achieved eighteenth place in that race and did not advance.

In January 2008, Boukpeti placed first at the African Championships.[3]

In the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, Boukpeti led after the semifinal, eventually claiming the Bronze medal in the K1 Kayak Single, the first ever Olympic medal for Togo.[4][5] After clinching his medal Boukpeti snapped his paddle over his kayak in celebration.

Following his Olympic win, Togolese Olympics fans expressed an interest in meeting him, as he is mostly unknown in Togo, only having visited that nation once, during his childhood.[6]

He recently completed management studies in Toulouse, France, where he lives.[7]

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  1. Benjamin, lui, vit à Toulouse, où il vient de terminer des études de management. A l'âge de 10 ans, il plonge dans un kayak, pagaie dans les trois disciplines, le slalom, la ligne et la descente non-olympique. Cinq ans après, il opte pour le slalom, "un jeu qui demande de l'habileté. A côté, le canoë en ligne était rébarbatif, peu ludique". Barré par la densité de kayakistes en France, il choisit alors de naviguer pour le Togo même s'il reste proche des Bleus. D'ailleurs, lors des récentes sélections olympiques qui ont désigné le sélectionné tricolore, Boukpeti avait terminé cinquième.
  2. La Tribune (France): Benjamin Boukpeti, héros togolais, avec le bronze en kayak
  3. La Tribune (France): Benjamin Boukpeti, héros togolais, avec le bronze en kayak
  4. Togo paddler tops Men's Slalom K1 semi. Beijing 2008. 2008-08-12
  5. Olympic Medal: M K1 Slalom. 2008-08-12
  7. La Tribune (France): Benjamin Boukpeti, héros togolais, avec le bronze en kayak
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