Petrounias Puts Himself in Record Books
AGONAsport takes a look at Eleftherios Petrounias’ dominance in the men’s rings event after winning his third consecutive World Championships gold medal.
With victories in 2015, 2017, and 2018 (the World Championships were not held in 2016 due to it being an Olympic year), the Greek has become just the third gymnast ever to win three gold medals in the rings event. In the 115 year history of the World Championships, only Italian Jury Chechi (five gold medals) and China’s Chen Yibing (four gold medals) have also been able to achieve this. Petrounias has also become the first to win three consecutive golds in the 21st century.
Petrounias’ gold medal in Doha also put him on the top of the list of Greek gymnasts. In its gymnastics history, Greece has won 11 World Championships medals. Seven of these are golds, and Petrounias won three of these seven. The only other Greek gymnast to have won three World Championships medals is Vlasios Maras, who won two golds and one bronze in the men’s horizontal bar.
Outside of gymnastics, Petrounias has also made some Greek history. He now joins the exclusive list of Greek athletes to have won three World Championships gold medals in Olympic sports. Also on the list are weightlifter Pyrros Dimas (1993, 1995, 1998), weightlifter Kakhi Kakhiashvili (1995, 1998, 1999), sailor Nikolaos Kaklamanakis (1996, 2000, 2001), sailors Sofia Bekatorou and Emilia Tsoulfa (2001, 2002, 2003), and judoka Ilias Iliadis (2010, 2011, 2014).
Having won nine consecutive major titles from 2015 to now, and being undefeated in all competitions (qualifying and finals) since April 2016, it is likely that the Greek will add to his gold medal tally in the future. A gold medal at next year’s World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany could see him further cement his place in the record books, as it would be his fourth consecutive gold medal. He would also become the first Greek gymnast to win four World Championships medals, and first Greek in any Olympic sport to win four World Championships gold medals.