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Jordan Jovtchev (ヨルダン・ヨブチェフ) (sometimes written as Yordan Yovchev or Iordan Iovtchev) is an Olympic gymnast from Bulgaria who has attempted SASUKE seven times.

Early Tournaments

He debuted in SASUKE 8 wearing #59, and he managed to fly through the obstacles in the First Stage though he struggled a few times. On the Jump Hang he was able to climb up and roll down the net quickly, but struggled to get out of the netting, and on the Soritatsu Kabe he failed to scale the wall several times, until he was able to scale it with only 10 seconds left and he powered up the Rope Climb and he cleared with 00.00 seconds left on the clock and move on. In the Second Stage he performed well on all of the obstacles, and he cleared with about 11 seconds left. In the Third Stage he was able to once again fly through the course. He had slipped back many times on the Pipe Slider and could only swing his legs and he eventually swung onto the mat and cleared the Third Stage. He had become the first foreigner to reach the Final Stage. In the Final Stage he had struggled. He started his ascent two seconds late, and unfortunately reached the top of the Spider Climb too late and the walls slid apart, causing him to fall off with only seconds remaining.

He returned after a two year absence in SASUKE 12 and wore #99 due to his performance in SASUKE 8. In the First Stage he once again flew through part of the course. On the Ipponbashi he almost toppled into the water, but he held on, and on the Soritatsu Kabe he struggled like last time, but he managed to clear the final two obstacles in time. He once again cleared the Second Stage easily, but in the Third Stage he managed to barely clear the Lamp Grasper, but he held on. On the Cliffhanger he struggled and was unable to cross the downward gap and failed.

In SASUKE 14 he would once again fly through the First Stage, but once again he struggled on the Soritatsu Kabe, however he cleared with 1 second left. In the Second Stage he once again easily cleared with 2 seconds left. In the Third Stage he tried his best to clear each of the obstacles, but he struggled on the Curtain Cling. Even prompting him to cup his hands and blow on them to cool them off. On the Cliffhanger he failed the same way he did in SASUKE 12 and his run ended.

He returned in SASUKE 15 and wore #97. He was able to fly through most of the First Stage, but on the Soritatsu Kabe he had suffered the same fate as most people suffered in that tournament and he timed out on it due to the high temperatures. This was his first time failing the First Stage.

In SASUKE 16 he would once again perform well, and he was able to clear with 4.9 seconds left. In the Second Stage he was able to clear the Metal Spin that took out 7 other people in that tournament, and he managed to clear with 2 seconds left. In the Third Stage he cleared the new Arm Rings and was able to fight all the way to the Cliffhanger before once again failing.


After a three tournament, two year break from SASUKE, Jovtchev returned to compete in Shin-SASUKE for the 20th Anniversary Tournament. There, he performed well, clearing many of the obstacles in good time. He reached the re-designed Soritatsu Kabe with about a minute left but was unable to scale the wall and timed out there.

He then returned to compete in SASUKE 23. Although, he initially stumbled on the new Jyunidantobi, he was able to clear. He moved fairly slow through the course even though he cleared each obstacle without a mistake, even clearing the Soritatsu Kabe that he failed in SASUKE 20 on his first attempt. On the Slider Jump, he went slow down the tracks and almost lost his grip when he grabbed the net. Moving downwards, he almost touched the water. However he made it safely and made it to the top of the Rope Ladder before timing out.


Jovtchev (listed by the IOC as Iordan Iovtchev) has competed in a gymnastics record six Olympic Games. He has won one silver medal and three bronze medals. He won bronze in the rings and floor exercise in 2000 in Sydney, and added to that with a silver in the rings and bronze in the floor exercise. He looked poised to repeat his rings performance in 2008, qualifying second overall, but in the finals he missed a crucial handstand, causing him to finish in last place among the finalists. He returned for the 2012 Olympics in London, qualifying eighth in the rings.


  • Jovtchev is the first foreigner out of four to attempt the Final Stage, followed by Kane Kosugi in SASUKE 8Lee En-Chih in SASUKE 24, and Rene Kaselowsky in SASUKE 37.
  • In addition, Jovtchev is the first European who attempted the Final Stage, followed by Rene Kaselowsky, 29 tournaments later in SASUKE 37.
  • While he has cleared the First Stage four times, in each attempt, he has cleared with less than five seconds remaining on the clock.
  • Jovtchev has never failed the Second Stage in SASUKE, despite clearing with less than 3 seconds left in 3 out of his 4 attempts. He is also the only competitor to have cleared the Second Stage at least 4 times without failing.
  • Jovtchev was the only competitor to fall of the Spider Climb, as he failed to complete the obstacle within 15 seconds, resulting in the walls splitted apart, with him unable to finish the obstacle before they split completely.
  • His name is pronounced "YOR-daan YOAV-cheff", although Ninja Warrior narrator Dave Wittenberg pronounces "Jordan" the American way.
  • Jovtchev has competed in six Olympic Games, the most recent being the 2012 Games in London, where he was Bulgaria's flag bearer during the Parade of Nations in the Opening Ceremonies.
  • In SASUKE 16 Jovtchev almost ran through the gates in the Second Stage without pressing the button like Paul Hamm did in SASUKE 14. Fortunately, he remembered to press the button before crossing the line.
  • By receiving #99 in SASUKE 12, it would be the highest number ever given to a foreigner. The record would be matched in SASUKE 21 where Levi Meeuwenberg was given #99.
    • Jovtchev is also the only foreigner who is not an American to receive the number.


SASUKE # Result Notes
8 59 Failed Spider Climb (Final Stage) 11m up. The walls split after 15 seconds, and Jovtchev fell to the ground.
12 99 Failed Cliffhanger (Third Stage)
14 91 Failed Cliffhanger (Third Stage)
15 97 Failed Soritatsu Kabe (First Stage) Time Out.
16 95 Failed Cliffhanger (Third Stage)
20 1993 Failed Soritatsu Kabe (First Stage) Time Out.
23 79 Failed Rope Ladder (First Stage) Time Out.