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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

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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

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.

Sporting Limassol > Cyprus’ biggest festival of sport October 11, 2007

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Cyprus’ biggest festival of sport kicks off next weekend in Limassol. Whether you watch or take active part is up to you

With so much attention given to the Cyprus Rally, it comes as great relief to the non-petrol heads among us to have an entire festival devoted to human sporting endeavours to look forward to, particularly now that summer is almost over and the beach is beginning to lose its appeal.

Now in its 8th year,Lemesia” is the largest celebration of sport in Cyprus and, while focusing on professional athleticism, it also aims to encourage citizens to haul themselves off their couches to enjoy some exercise and try something new. Athos Xenofontos is responsible for putting the whole thing together and is the man who first planted the seeds of the festival back in 1998. Since then, Lemesia has experienced an explosion of growth, attracting more sports events and international athletes every year.

Among the events is an exhibition of photographs depicting Cyprus’ sporting history and a ceremony to honour Cypriot sportsmen and women of the past, with special recognition to be given to the tremendous achievements of 2007’s heroes: Volvo World Youth Sailing champion Pavlos Kontides, World Championship high jump bronze medallist Kyriakos Ioannou and World Champion shooters George Achilleos and Antonis Nicolaides who train locally.

The nine-day free sporting smorgasbord will kick-off with fireworks, a band competition and dancing to ‘Street Beats’. Here are some of the highlights; whether you want to get active or simply watch is entirely up to you.

10th Marios Agathaggelou international race > The oldest and the catalyst event for the entire Lemesia Festival is the 10km run held in honour of Cypriot athlete and coach, Marios Agathaggelou. “We started in 1998 with the first race. He was a big sportsman, a man ahead of his time. We held the race for two years and afterwards the municipality asked me to make a tournament with other sports so in 2000 we started Lemesia,” explains Athos. Up to 500 athletes will compete in three different races starting from the Municipal Gardens; the main race will take in two and a half laps to the Old Port while a 3km fun style event will run alongside a 1km race for children under the age of twelve. €1,000 is the top prize in the main event in which international runners will compete against teams from the National Guard and United Nations. Registration begins one hour before the runners set-off, entry is free.
Date: Saturday October 20, Time: 4pm, Location: Main entrance of the Municipal Gardens.

Amateur boxing > To encourage more spectators, this year’s boxing championships are going alfresco at the Enaerios parking area, convenient if the early evening fights get a bit dull with numerous nearby cafes or bars nearby to take a break from the pummelling. Contestants from around 15 countries will take part in the Olympic standard competition culminating in a grand final on October 14. Contestants can register for the event by contacting Cyprus.box@cytanet.com.cy
Date: October 12 to 14, Time: 5pm, Location: Enaerios parking area, corner of Archbishop Makariou III and the beach road.

Triathlon > Triathletes tempted by a €500 cash prize for the race winner with €200 and €100 on offer to the runners up, will be competing for what is probably the most challenging Lemesia competition, a ‘full’ triathlon race. Consisting of a 1,500m swim followed by 40km cycle and 10km run on a circuit from the Old to the New Port along the beach road. “We’ve made a special effort to make it a spectator event including changing the course to do several laps instead of a single one,” says Triathlon Federation President Pambos Spanoudes. The best spot to watch from is opposite the Catholic Church on the beach road or along the route through the sculpture park.
Date: Sunday October 14, Time: 9am, Location: route from the old to the new port along the beach road and sculpture park.

Shooting > Undoubtedly one of the most popular activities given the country’s status in world competitive shooting. Around 100 shooters are expected to take part in the Sport discipline competition, each with 30 clay targets to blast into oblivion. With world champion George Achilleos away from the range competing in Belgrade, there’s a sporting chance for anyone who wants to have a go. Entry is free but competitors must register before 12pm on the day.
Date: Sunday October 14, Time: 8am to 1pm, Location: The Limassol Shooting Club, outskirts of Armenochori village.

Veteran Athletics > For ladies over the age of 35 it’s depressing to hear that in sports terms at least, we fall into the ‘veterans’ category. The good news is that the oldies (aged over 40 for men) are still going strong and can show Cyprus’ cafe obsessed younger generation a thing or two about sport. 1980s champion sprinter Angelos Angelides is organising the athletics event consisting of javelin, long jump, shot put and running among others. “Everyone who is coming is not in the best shape but it’s to demonstrate how older athletes still have the courage to compete. It’s a good message to the people of Limassol that they can be involved in sport forever, for their health and to live a better life,” he says. 100 athletes from all over Cyprus will compete against teams from Greece and Romania. All competitors will be awarded a medal.
Date: Sunday October 21, Time: 4pm, Location: Lanitium High School (near McDonalds), Contact for entrants: Angelos Angelides 99324263.

Rhythm Gymnastics > If you want to feel really old then pop along to this event where a host of nubile athletes will be springing, twisting, somersaulting and bending themselves into impossible positions while creating clever displays with balls, ribbon and rope. Organisers were not able to confirm if Cyprus’ most promising gymnast, Raissa Panagioutou, will be demonstrating the talents that took her to the finals of this year’s Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Date and Time: Saturday October 20, 10am to 1pm and 4pm to 8pm, Sunday October 21, 3.30pm to 8.30pm, Location: Spyros Kyprianou Lemesos Stadium off the B8 from Limassol to Troodos road.

Karate > Fluid movement of a more combative nature will be one of the disciplines of the 4th International Traditional Karate Festival organised by president of the federation, Vaso Vassiliou. ‘Kata,’ a set sequence of Karate techniques based on the principles of physical combat, will sit alongside the real ring fights called ‘Kumite,’ meaning ‘a meeting of hands,’ on the Karate festival programme.
Date: Saturday October 20, 4pm to 7pm / Sunday October 21, 10am to 1pm, Location: Ag. Neophitos School, near Orphanides supermarket.

Limassol Cycling Tour > A relatively sedate 20km two wheeled tour of the city, guided by members of the Limassol Cycling Club, will set off from the Enaerios parking area on a circuit to Omonia and back along Makarios Avenue and Molus, taking in a little of the beachfront scenery. Around 400 cyclists are expected at this free to enter event which Club Secretary Christos Geros describes as “purely fun and recreational.” If you want to take part get there early to register and don’t forget to bring a helmet.
Date: Sunday October 21, Time: 10am, Location: Enaerios parking area.