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IAAF World Indoor Championships in Valencia March 12, 2008

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Greece’s Piyi Devetzi competing at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Valencia on the weekend, where she settled for the silver medal in the women’s triple jump after leading the final most of the way.

11-03-08_devetzi.jpg  Devetzi’s 15-meter leap, a National record, was surpassed by Cuba’s Yargelis Savigne on her final attempt, a 15.05 m performance. ‘I risked everything on the last jump,’ said Savigne. ‘I feel so good, I can’t explain it.’

11-03-08_ioannou.jpg  Cyprus’ Kyriacos Ioannou, with the bronze medal he won at the World Cup in Valencia.  With 2.30 in his third attempt, Kyriacos won the bronze medal. After two unsuccessful attempts at 2.30 and knowing that if it goes through the bar would conquer the bronze medal, has placed flight and sent heaven all Cypriots friends of the track. Kyriacos Ioannou had the same performance in the same efforts with American Manson and thus shared the bronze medal. The first two positions were won by Russia’s Giaroslav Rimpakof and Sweden’s Stefan Holm.

Related Link > http://www.rfea.es/competi/2008valencia/eng/eng_index.htm

Kyriacos Ioannou > new high jump record February 14, 2008

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Cypriot World Championship bronze medalist Kyriacos Ioannou set Cyprus’ new high-jump record, 2m 32cm, in an international competition in Novi Sad, Serbia, on Saturday February 9th.

Ioannou also held the previous record of 2m 30cm.

Kenyans rule in Athens Marathon November 5, 2007

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Kenya’s Hosea Kiptanui Kimutai crossed the finish line of the 25th Athens Classic Marathon to join his compatriot Benjamin Korir Kiprotich at Athens’s Panathenaic Stadium yesterday. Kiprotich won the race in 2 hours, 14 minutes, 40 seconds.

Kenyan runners dominated the annual Athens Classic Marathon yesterday, capturing the first six places of an event won by Benjamin Korir Kiprotich, who set a new course record of 2 hours, 14 minutes, 40 seconds. He ended 23 seconds ahead of the runner-up, Hosea Kiptanui Kimutai.

Last year’s winner, Henry Tarus, ended third in 2:15.57. A new track record was also set in the women’s category by Russia’s Svetlana Ponomarenko with a time of 2:33.19.

Though the number of runners rose slightly for this 25th edition of the race, offering organizers encouragement for efforts aimed at boosting its international profile, the race did not end without a blemish. Kenyan athlete Bett James Kipkemboi was injured when he collided with a tram in the final kilometer, outside the marble Panatheniac Stadium. He missed the turnoff into the stadium and ran into the tram, on an intercepting route, further down the road. Kipkemboi’s condition was described as serious. Late last night, a doctor at KAT hospital, citing orders from the organizers, refused to say more.

Athens Marathon organizers seek higher profile for classic race October 31, 2007

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Distance running began along the fabled route from Marathon to Athens, where a messenger ran to bring news of one of the greatest military victories in ancient history.

Organizers of the modern Athens Marathon, however, conceded Wednesday that the annual Greek race remains eclipsed by world’s major marathons and announced a series promotional measures to make the classic course better known.

Ahead of Sunday’s event, marathon organizers from international races will meet at a conference, a sporting trade fair will be held this weekend, and schools along the classic route will join spectator events during the race itself.

“These events will take place every year,” Greek National Athletics Federation President Vassilis Sevastis said. “We have a long way to go, but runners are becoming convinced that the race is being now organized in a serious way. This race is special not just because of the history but also because, in Greece, it is a route along which peace rallies are held and has a broader importance.”

The Greek race traces the run of the messenger Pheidippides in 490 B.C. from the plain of Marathon to Athens, where legend says he collapsed and died after announcing the victory of the Greeks over Persian invaders. The marathon was first run as a race when the Olympics were revived as modern games in 1896 in Athens. The annual race in Athens still ends at the marble Panathenian stadium where those games were held.

The Greek course, with its steep inclines, is held on the same day each year as the New York Marathon and attracts much fewer runners. Last year, a record 38,368 runners started in New York, compared to 3,090 in Athens. About 4,100 marathon runners are registered for Sunday’s race.

Starting next year, Athens organizers are planning to change the date. Efforts to upgrade the Athens event began in 2001, when officials from the Boston Marathon visited Greece and came up with a long list of recommendations, including basic improvements like installing more water stops along the course and providing better medical services. The 2004 Olympics in Athens helped, too.

“The route was resurfaced and improved. People also watched the race on television and became aware of the history,” Sevastis said. “I don’t think we will ever be as popular as other marathons but improvements are being made steadily. This was the first year our Web site was working fully year-round and accepting applications for the race.”

African runners have dominated in Athens in recent years, and lead Sunday’s rankings. Henry Tarus of Kenya returns to defend his 2006 title, facing competition from Patrick Chumba and Steven Loruo, the winner of this year’s Hong Kong Marathon. Svetlana Ponomarenko of Russia, the winner of the 2006 Dallas Marathon, leads the women’s field, followed by Russian runner Victoria Zueva.

Related Links >
Marathon Symposium > http://aimsworldrunning.org/AIMS_Marathon_Symposium.html

Athens Marathon > http://www.athensclassicmarathon.gr

Bronze medal for Greece at Gymnastics Worlds October 31, 2007

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Greece’s Lefteris Kosmidis won a bronze medal in the men’s floor exercise event at the World Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.

The Greek gymnast, who accumulated 15,500 points for his routine, was ranked third behind Brazilian Diego Hypolito, who won the gold medal with 15,775 points and Romania’s Razvan Selariu, who won the silver medal with 15,575 points.

IAAF ruling needed on Thanou October 16, 2007

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The doping admission by five-time Olympic medalist Marion Jones is good for sport because it shows that drug cheats eventually get caught, IOC President Jacques Rogge told France’s Le Monde newspaper.

Jones recently admitted using performance-enhancing drugs and returned the three gold medals and two bronzes she won at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Greece’s Katerina Thanou, who finished second behind Jones in the 100, stands to move up to the gold medal, even though she was suspended for two years after missing doping tests before the 2004 Athens Olympics. “For Katerina Thanou, we will… wait for the advice of the IAAF and we will examine the case of each athlete individually. There have been lots of indignant comments.”

Athens Classic Marathon deadline October 12, 2007

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Those interested in enduring the torture and the glory of running in the 25th Athens Classic Marathon (42.195km), or its 10km and 5km walking and running versions, have until October 20 to sign up for the event.

While the races are open to everyone, elite international and Greek athletes will compete in the event as a national championship. As always, the race will be dedicated to Grigoris Lambrakis, the athlete and MP, who was murdered in 1963.

Following what organisers call “the original marathon course”, the main race begins in the town of Marathon at 9am on November 4 and ends at Athens’ Panathinaic, Kallimarmaro, Stadium.

A 10km power-walking race will start at 7am in Marathon and also end at the Marble Stadium. And for the first time, the 5km race will also pass through Athens’ historic stadium, passing over Dionysus Areopagitou Street.

Registration can be completed online at www.athensclassicmarathon.gr, or in person (for an extra 5 euros) at the offices of the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS), at 137 Syngrou Avenue, in Nea Smyrni.

Registration packages for Greeks and those residing in Greece are 25, 40 or 80 euros for the marathon, 20, 35 or 75 euros for the 10km run, and 15, 30 or 70 euros for the 5km race. If you live in Greece, make sure you register online on the Greek pages of the site, as non-residents must purchase the full packages in each category.

There will be an Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) symposium held the day before the event for race organisers from around the world. The registration deadline for the symposium is October 3.

For more info call SEGAS on 210 9331113, 210 9315886 or fax 210 9331152.