Born on 03.09.1976 in Plovdiv
Petar Merkov is one of the eight Bulgarians (7 of them from Plovdiv), who have won more than one medal from the same Olympic Games (together with Stoyan Delchev, Lyubomir Lyubenov, Vanya Gesheva, Diyana Paliyska, Nikolay Buhalov, Yordan Yovchev and Mariya Grozdeva). Merkov is two-time Olympic vice champion at single kayak at 500 m and at 1,000 m in Sydney, Australia, in 2000, with fifth place at K4 – 1,000 m in the same kayak. In 2004, in Athens, Greece, he was fourth at four-person team. He is a world Junior Champion at K1 – 500 m from Milan, Italy in 1999. At the World Championship in Seville, Spain, in 2003 he won a silver medal at K1 – 500 m and a bronze medal at K4 – 1,000 m. Merkov is European Champion at K1 – 500 m (1999) and vice-champion at K4 – 500 m and 1,000 m and at K4 – 1,000 m. At the European Championship in Poznań, Poland, in 2000 he won three medals: silver at K1 – 1,000 m, bronze at K1 – 500 m and K4 – 1,000 m. He is also European Champion at K1 – 500 m from Szeged, Hungary, in 2002, with a bronze medal at K4 – 1,000 m.
Petar Merkov graduated from the Vasil Levski Sports School and Paisii Hilendarski Plovdiv University. He competed for the team of Trakiya until 2004, after which he was transferred to Levski-Spartak. His first coach was Marin Marinov.
In 2010 he became senior coach of the National Canoe-Kayak Team. He has also been honorary citizen of Plovdiv since 2000.