Ivet Lalova was born in the city of Sofia on 18 May 1984, she is tall 168 centimeters and her weight is 55 kg. She graduated the Secondary Vocational School at the 151 High School of SOUPI, major “Publishing activities and mass communications”. Presently, Ivet is a attending her higher education at the Southwest University in Blagoevgrad, fourth year course of study with major “International Relations”.
All connoisseurs of athletics know by experience that the velocity is a natural talent, which derives from Ivet’s genes. Her father Miroslav Lalov is one of the best and famous Bulgarian sprinters, Bulgarian champion in 1966, who reached 10,4 seconds in 100 meters track-and-field events and 21,9 seconds in 200 meters events. For all sport spectators who observed Miroslav Lalov through his athletic career as a competitor realized that the little Ivet is the spit and image of her father. The sport fanciers maintain the opinion that Ivet has the same soft ankle as her father, which creates the illusion when running that the competitor flies. Her mother Lilia Lalova is also an ex-track and field competitor, athlete in heptathlon.
At the beginning, she has been taken up with swimming and sport gymnastics, but gradually in the course of time she has been deeply impressed with the ongoing conversations at home about athletics, trainings and camps. This had a major influence over her life and she decided to go into training for track-and-field atlethics.
In 1996, Ivet’s father stepped back to her requests and took her to the stadium where he orientated her to Konstantin Milanov. He is a good friend of their family and trainer in “Levski” team. Since then they work together for the next 15 years, both in the national and “Levski” team.
From the very first beginning Ivet Lalova seemed to be extremely stubborn and dedicated to the sport career. At that time, most of the athletes in the Milanov’s team were older than her age and this only led her to be eager to win and in year 2000 she become for the first time Bulgarian champion in 60 meters with the presence of young girls on the track.
A year later she won the titles in 60 meters in youth and elder age. In 2001, she is already in the national team and she participated in the World Championship for teenagers and girls up 17 years old in the Hungarian city Debrecen, where she scored a success for the first time. By the skin of a gold medal , she took a 4th place in 200 meters with 24.39 seconds and only a one hundredth of a second was not enough to play in the finals in 100 meters. The charming face of this girl impressed the photographers and her photo appeared in the Championship’s website.
The winter of 2003 she won 3 champions titles, namely: in 60 meters for women, 60 meters and 200 meters among women elder age. Despite of her perfect physical condition in the winter, the real high quality achievements swept over the stadiums in summer. In May 2003, Ivet recorded her personal achievement of 11.54 seconds in 100 meters and a day later she reached running of 200 meters for 23.10 seconds, which in fact is the best achievement for the season in Europe and 2nd place for young women up to 19 years old. A month later without even taking a breath Ivet without any competition broken the national record in 100 meters for young women ( 11.30 seconds achieved by Nora Ivanova in 1996 ) crossing the distance for 11.14 seconds ( the best world’s achievement for young women up to 19 years old). Following this success, on the next day she registered 22.87 seconds in 200 meters (the 3rd best achievement in the world for the season and the first one in Europe for young women up to 19 years old).
After these starts, the purpose of Ivet and her trainer was the European Championship for teenagers and young women in Tampere (Finland) in July 2003. In Finland, Ivet again exceeded the expectations of the greatest optimists. Lalova recorded two consecutive achievements as she won the titles in 100 meters (11.43 seconds) and 200 meters (22.88 seconds). Thus, she becomes to be the 8th European woman, who won the European competition for young women in 100 and 200 meters.
A gateway to athletics has been started to open for Ivet. She participated actively in several tournaments for women and presented herself very well, but the experts foreseen a great future for her in a 3-4 years time. These forecasts collapsed like greased lightening in the winter of 2004. Then the sprinter hinted for her great potential recording 22.87 seconds in a sport hall, which is the world’s best achievement for the season. An absurd contusion from life incident canceled her participation in the World Championship in a sport hall in Budapest. The great surprise and shock for the athletic world come on the track-and-field events for World Cup in the city of Plovdiv in June 2004. At that time Ivet achieved the unbelievable 10.77 seconds in 100 meters to gain a win for the Bulgarian team. Thereby, Lalova become to be the fastest white woman in the world, the fastest woman for 2004 and the fastest woman in the new millennium. The achievement is sixth in the story of the track-and-field athletics for all the time.
During the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, Ivet Lalova proved the right of attendance at the world sport top-drawer. She changed the story of Bulgarian track-and-field athletics with her first athletic competition among women, taking the 4th place in 100 meters and 5th place in 200 meters, achieving results of 11,00 seconds, respectively 22,57 seconds.
For the first time in the World’s history Bulgaria won the 4th place in the Olympic Games in 100 meters among women and she become a finalist in the Olympic Games in 200 meters.
The sport season of 2005 started with a lightening speed for the 21 years old athletics’ sprinter with her participation in the European Championship in a sport hall in Madrid. Ivet overcome in a fitting manner her competitors and become to be the European Champion in a hall in 200 meters (22.91 seconds) achieving a new national record. Winning the gold medal, Lalova become the last European Champion in the history in this discipline in 200 meters in a sport hall (after the amendments made in the sport regulations, there will be no sprints in 200 meters in a hall).
The perspectives for the summer were magnificent and the main purpose of Ivet was the forthcoming greatest event for 2005 – the World Championship in Helsinki in August. The physical condition of this fascinating young lady was improving with every passed running distance. She run a great distance in 100 meters for 11.09 seconds in Sofia on the National Championship that took place on 7th June.
On 10 June 2005, the sprinter won the running in 100 meters of „Golden Spike“ in Ostrava, Czech Republic with a record of 11,03 seconds in the tournament leaving behind her main competitor Sharon Simpson from Jamaica with four hundredths. Two days later, on June 12th in Ulm, Germany, Ivet Lalova won the running in 200 meters with time achieved of 23,12 seconds, taking a significant lead before the second finished Brigitte Rockmayer. These phenomenal results made her a main favourite for the forthcoming events and the World Championship. However, all these future plans dwindled to nothing for a short moment on 14th June in Greece. A 15 minutes before the start of tournament “Tsiklitiria”, Athens Grand Prix, Ivet tried to avoid a run into another sprinter on the training stadium. The high speed and the stagger of our sprinter caused a killing combination and the best Bulgarian athlete for 2004 get a serious fracture of the thigh bone. The bad news paralyzed our country. Lalova was successfully operated early in the morning on June 15th by the Greek surgery luminary- Doctor Pantelis K. Nikolaou. Because of this serious contusion, Lalova let passed the rest of the season of year 2005, but neither Ivet nor her trainer Koce Milanov lost their strong spirit and they started to work on her rehabilitation and long lasting recuperation.
On 26 June 2006, Ivet was awarded with honored prize from the International Olympic Committee “Sport and Fairplay”. The Chairwoman of BOC (Bulgarian Olympic Committee) Stefka Kostadinova personally give the prize on Ivet, because she did not take the responsibility for her trauma from the sponsors of the tournament and her overall behavior after the accident is an example for a fair player.
In September 2006, Ivet was awarded with the following consecutive great honour. Immediately after that she get a personal invitation from the president of the European Associations of Athletics (EAA) – Hansjörg Wirz and she become a member of the Athletics Committee (EAA).
As a result of the complex surgery operation, there is a 38 centimeters’ surgical nail that remained into her leg!!! It’s situated in the length of the whole thigh bone on her right leg. This was the serial of obstacles she was able to overcome on her way to the triumph. Despite of doctors’ explicit opinion that the trauma will put an end of her sport career, Ivet is again on the track events.
Two years later after the tragic accident in Greece, with joy for her admirers and with dread for her competitors Ivet Lalova coped as fate has willed and come back again as a winner. According to the opinion of leading experts in the sport medicine this is a precedent of worldwide importance.
On 29 May 2007, in the international tournament “Arthur Takach” held in Serbia, 714 days after the trauma, in her first official start in 100 meters this charming sprinter gained a win with achieved result of 11.26 seconds, eliminating Chandra Sturrup and the American woman Stephanie Durst. What’s so wonderful to be a winner with the first running and to get a place in the team for the World Championship in Osaka, Japan in 2007 and for the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008!
On 8.06.2011 Ivet became the first Bulgarian to win in spectacular Diamond League series. And with results on 100m of 11.01 with min wind above the limit, Ivet shows serious intentions to be among the fastest women of the year.
At 2.07.2011 Bulgaria is proud to host the revitalized Balkan Games. City of Sliven witnesses quality athletics and great results. One is an impressive 10.96 of Ivet Lalova. The best result in Europe for the past six years and one of the first 7 in the world. For Ivet, it means more because it is the second result under 11 seconds in her career.
At the World Championships in South Korea, 24 years after the last final with Bulgarian participation, Ivet wins in the heats, is third in the semifinals, so found a place in her first World Ch final and got seventh. A day later bad luck took away from Ivet the dream of a final in 200m, but 22. 62 seconds in the series as her strongest result this season is more than wonderful.