Great start for Greece in Glasgow

Great start for Greece in Glasgow

It was a successful Day 1 for Greece at the European Indoor Athletics Championships, as six Greek athletes qualified for the finals of their events.

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2018 European champions Miltiadis Tentoglou (men’s long jump) and Paraskevi Papachristou (women’s triple jump) qualified for the finals with ease, as they both placed second overall in their qualifying rounds. After failing to register a valid jump in his first attempt, Tentoglou jumped 8.01 metres in his second attempt, which was enough for the 20-year-old from Grevena in Macedonia to qualify automatically without any further jumps. It should be noted that he is the overwhelming favorite to win the gold medal this year. On the other hand, there were many doubts about Papachristou’s form as she had not competed in six months. With an opening jump of 14.28 metres, she qualified automatically without needing any more attempts. Both Tentoglou and Papachristou will be competing again on Sunday in the finals of their events.

In the men’s pole vault, both Konstantinos Filippidis and Emmanouil Karalis qualified for the final. The 19-year-old Karalis cleared three heights each on the first try, with his biggest clearance coming at 5.70 metres. He finished qualifying tied in first place with Poland’s Piotr Lisek, the defending champion. Filippidis, who won silver last time, had his best clearance of the day at 5.60 metres. This was enough to finish tied for eighth place with Poland’s Pawel Wojchiechowski, who won bronze last time, and the two grabbed the last two qualifying berths for tomorrow’s final.

Konstantinos Baniotis got the last spot for the final in the men’s high jump, with a jump of 2.25 metres. He nearly got eliminated at 2.21 metres, before clearing the bar on his third (and final) attempt at that height. The 32-year-old from Komotini in Thrace will be hoping to finally win his first medal at a major competition, as this will be the 11th big final of his career.

Shot putter Nicholas Scarvelis had his two best throws of the season in qualifying, as he threw 20.34 metres and then 20.30 metres, to make the final. The final also took place today, and he finished in eighth place overall with his best throw being 20.13 metres. This marked his best placing ever at a major competition, as he previously finished 11th twice at both the 2016 and 2018 European Championships.

Three other Greek athletes competed today, with all three of them failing to advance in their respective events. Andreas Dimitrakis finished 22nd in the men’s 1500 metres, while Tatiana Gusin finished 23rd in the women’s high jump, and Irini Vasiliou finished 26th in the women’s 400 metres.

Tomorrow, eight Greeks will be in action in the afternoon session. That includes three Greeks in the qualifying of the women’s pole vault, with defending champion Ekaterini Stefanidi, as well as Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou and Helen-Claudia Polak taking part. Konstantinos Douvalidis will be participating in the qualifying of the men’s 60 metres hurdles. Efthimios Stergioulis, Panagiotis Trivyzas, and Konstantinos Zikos will compete in the qualifying of the men’s 60 metres, with Rafailia Spanoudaki doing the same in the women’s version of the event.

In the evening session, Baniotis will be competing in the final of the men’s high jump, and Filippidis and Karalis in the final of the men’s pole vault. Additionally, the semifinals and finals of the men’s and women’s 60 metres will be held, which could see Stergioulis, Trivyzas, Zikos and Spanoudaki should they advance.


by Andrew Stamas

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