Greece Ready for World Indoor Championships

Greece Ready for World Indoor Championships

Nine athletes will represent Greece at the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, UK this weekend.

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The big name that stands out is Ekaterini Stefanidi. The pole vaulter has won her last 19 competitions, and will hope to add to that tally here. She is one of the favorites this year, despite only having the fourth-best jump in the world this season. This is the only major title she has not won, as her previous best result was taking bronze two years ago during the last edition of this event. Since then, she has won gold at the Olympics, European Championships, European Indoor Championships, World Championships, and Diamond League, so this is the only gold missing from her stellar resume.

Paraskevi Papachristou will hope to add to her medal collection here. Like Stefanidi, she is also a major contender to win, as the has had the fourth-best jump in the world so far this year. The experienced triple jumper won a bronze at this event in 2016, and since then, has gone on to win medals at the European Championships and European Indoor Championships.

Other women competing for Greece are Elisavet Pesiridou (60m hurdles), Rafailia Spanoudaki (60m), and Maria Belibasaki (400m).

On the men’s side, Kostas Filippidis is another possible medal winner, having won gold at this event in 2014. The experienced pole vaulter was a silver medalist at last year’s European Indoor Championships. He comes in to Birmingham as one of the top ten pole vaulters of the season. 18-year-old Emmanouil Karalis will also be competing in the pole vault. The youngster has made noise in 2018, as he broke the U20 world record a few weeks ago with a jump of 5.78m in Piraeus. Although a medal may be unlikely for him, it is not completely out of question, and he will have many chances in the future.

19-year-old Miltiadis Tentoglou will be competing in the men’s long jump. Like Karalis, Tentoglou is also considered one of the future stars of Greek athletics, having won multiple medals in major international competitions at the youth and junior levels. 

Experienced Kostas Douvalidis will participate in the men’s 60m hurdles. Though he has competed at this event several times, he has never finished higher than 9th place, which he achieved back in 2014.

Things get started for Greece today, with Belibasaki, Pesiridou, Spanoudaki, Tentoglou all in action. Saturday may be Greece’s best chance to win medals, with Papachristou and Stefanidi both competing that day, in addition to Douvalidis. Things wrap up on Sunday with Filippidis and Karalis battling it out in the men’s pole vault.

by Andrew Stamas
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