Bulgaria has been competing in the FIVB World Championship since the inaugural edition in 1949, where they claimed the first bronze medal. They repeated this feat in the following World Championship four years later, and then repeated the feat twice more, in 1986 and 2006. Their best World Championship performance to date came in 1970, when they hosted the event and finished runners-up to East Germany.
This year marks the country’s 18th appearance in the competition. Their sole absence was in 1960. Only Russia (including the USSR), the only country never to have missed a World Championship, has more appearances.
Bulgaria competed in the first Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964, where they finished fifth. They claimed the silver medal at Moscow 1980 and came joint-fifth again at Beijing 2008, before securing a fourth-place finish at London 2012.
In addition to these successes, Bulgaria came third at the 2007 FIVB World Cup, adding to four bronze and one silver European Championship medals. In the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Bulgaria ranked 11th with a 6-9 record in pool play.
Historically, Bulgaria have a strong volleyball pedigree and have been regular participants in the World League since 1994, when they finished fourth - a position they have since held four more times. In 2018, Bulgaria will hope to go at least one better in 2018 and make the podium, for the first time in the nation’s history.