Rayko Petrov Award

The Rayko Petrov Award is presented annually by the INWR and the UWW Scientific Commission for significant contributions to Wrestling Sport Science.

The Rayko Petrov Award is named in honor of PROFESSOR RAYKO PETROV (1930 – 2011) His legacy shall always be remembered as part of present-day wrestling. A coach, a scientist, a pedagogue and outstandingly erudite person, he dedicated all his life to the “romantic idea, love, and magic…” of wrestling. In 1969, Rayko Petrov left the wrestling practice room to excel in his academic pursuits. That same year he was elected President of the Bulgarian Wrestling Federation, a position in which he remained for 21 years. At the National Sports Academy he worked alongside distinguished professionals who introduced great values and an outstanding level of intelligence to Bulgarian sports science. Rayko Petrov, in turn, had the unique ability to translate theory into practice and his scientific inquiry had always been characterized by universality, large scope and applicability. Prof. Rayko Petrov’s works are numerous; hundreds of titles in scientific publications, textbooks, manuals, programs, sports regulations and over 80 books. Dr. Petrov was inducted into the UWW Hall of Fame in 2010.

Tzeno TZENOV and Valentin Jordanov with the Bulgarian Wrestling Federation commissioned a sculpture to be produced to represent the award. Christo Christov produced a beautiful bronze work of book with wrestling techniques, demonstrating the thought and action of this great man. Christov lives and works in Varna, Bulgaria. He has studied at the National Academy of Art.




2014    Professor Dr. paed. habil. Harold Tünnemann (GER)




2015    Professor Dr. Boris Podlivaev  (RUS)







2017    Dr. David Curby (USA)





2018    Professor Dr. paed. habil. Wlodzimierz Starosta (POL)

2019    Dr. Ioannis Barbas (GRE)

2022 Professor Bahman Mirzaei (IRI)

2023 Prof. Dr. Georgiy Korobeynikov (UKR)