Born on 21.02.1955 in Plovdiv
At the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, Russia, Nikolay Ilkov ranked third at C2 – 500 m. His World Championship rankings are as follows: 1975 in Belgrade, Serbia – fourth place at C1 – 10,000 m; 1977 in Sofia, Bulgaria – fourth place at C1 – 1,000 m and C1 – 10,000 m; 1978 in Belgrade, Serbia – fourth place at C1 – 10,000 m and fifth place at C1 – 1,000 m; 1979 in Duisburg, Germany – sixth place at C1 – 10,000 m; 1983 in Tampere, Finland – fifth place at C1 – 10,000 m.
Ilkov started training canoeing in 1969 under the coach Angel Arnaudov. He competed for the team of Trakiya Plovdiv from 1971 until 1976, for the team of Akademik Sofia from 1977 until 1982 and for the team of Levski-Spartak from 1983 until 1984. His active sports career ended in 1985. From 1986 until 1989 he was coach of the team of Levski-Spartak, as well as a coach of the national team. After 1989 he ended his coaching career.
Nikolay Ilkov graduated from the National Sports Academy. His brother, Sevdalin Ilkov, is world kayak champion.