London Olympics 2012: Benjamin Boukpeti beats Jonathan Akinyemi to place in the semi-finals
Benjamin Boukpeti won a bronze medal in canoeing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and hopes to win the gold in the London Olympics.
Born and raised in France, he is the son of a French mother and Togolese father. Boukpeti has been kayaking since he was 10 years-old. In the 2004 Olympics he placed 15th in the Men’s K1 Kayak Single, become the first Togolese to reach an Olympic final. In 2008 he placed first in the African Championships and then went on to win the bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
In the race against Jonathan Akinyemi of Nigeria, he narrowly won the race, placing 14th out of 15th and earning a spot in the semi-finals.
Johnathan Akinyemi, the son of a British mother and Nigerian father, has been canoeing since he was very young. He put on a brave showing in the canoe race and came in 20th.
There are more and more Africans going into sports that are deemed ‘non-traditional’ for Africans, and it is heartening to see that they are viable contenders in their particular sports. We will continue to highlight their progress as the Olympics go on. Boukpeti is scheduled to race again on August 1, 2012. For more information about the race, visit London 2012′s website.