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inspired by Stoiximan
The Olympic Games mean something more to Greece than to any other country. In a year dominated by the scourge of the pandemic, the Olympics managed to strike a chord with the world, and our athletes, always making the greatest possible effort, stunned us with their performances against great opponents and countries. Let’s discover together the people behind top performances as we travel in this arduous and wonderful journey together with the athletes - members of Stoiximan Tokyo Team who qualified and succeeded.
By Alexandros Theodoropoulos
Lefteris Petrounias: Bronze medalist in Tokyo
Born in Athens in 1990, Lefteris Petrounias, father of two, is one of the most significant Olympic athletes our country has ever produced.
The top athlete of the Rings explains to Leader Talk how a serious shoulder injury stood in the way of Tokyo, as in January 2019 he had to undergo surgery in Switzerland. Although the recovery was difficult and long lasting, the Olympic gold medalist stubbornly and persistently managed to return strong by winning first place at the World Cup in Doha, qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.
In a very demanding final and having already surpassed himself to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, Lefteris won the bronze medal. This was his second Olympic medal, after the Gold he had won in Rio, making our country once again proud.
The Olympic gold medalist and certainly the most successful athlete of the rings, being 3 times world champion and 5 times European champion, has been a member of the Stoiximan family since 2014, when the company through the program "Adopt an athlete" supported the three Greek gold medalists of Rio Olympics, and he’s now a member of Stoiximan Tokyo Team.
Miltos Tentoglou: Olympic Gold medalist in the Long Jump
Born on March 18, 1998, Miltos Tentoglou, originally from Grevena, became a few months ago the second Greek track and field athlete to win two consecutive European gold medals after Katerina Thanou. After a jump of 8.38m in the indoor track and field championship of 2019 in Glasgow and a jump of 8.25m in the championship of 2018 in Berlin, the great Greek athlete managed to secure first place with a jump of 8.35m in the 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championship in Torun, Poland, to be followed by an even bigger feat in Tokyo this summer.
With a jump of 8.41m in his last attempt, he achieved the best performance in Tokyo and raised the Greek flag high as an Olympic gold medalist. Miltos became the second Greek athlete in the history of the Olympic Games to win a gold medal in the long jump.
At a meeting in Kallithea on May 26, 2021, he set an individual record in open track and field, achieving the second best performance of all time in Greece with a jump of 8.60m! This jump is the best performance in the world for the year 2021.
Kristian Gkolomeev: Secured the 5th place in Men’s 50m freestyle
After securing the 5th place in men’s freestyle, the Greek swimmer completed his great journey at the Tokyo Olympics. Born in Bulgaria on July 4, 1993, Kristian Gkolomeev, with a height of 2.01m and a weight of 90 kg, made history, equaling the fifth place occupied by Spyros Gianniotis in the 1,500m freestyle in 2004, while he is the only Greek swimmer who has competed in an Olympic final outside Athens.
The 28-year-old athlete won the silver medal in 50 meters freestyle in the summer of 2018 at the European Aquatic Championships in Glasgow and two gold medals at the Mediterranean Games in Tarragona the same year, in 50 meters butterfly and 50 meters freestyle. In 2021 he won the bronze medal in the 50 meters freestyle of the European Aquatic Championships in Budapest. Nevertheless, his biggest success came in 2019, when at the World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, he won the silver medal in 50m freestyle with a performance of 21.45 seconds.
Christina Bourmpou and Maria Kyridou: 5th place in the final of rowing coxless pair
The amazing effort of the two young girls in Tokyo was completed with the 5th place in the final of women’s coxless pair. Christina Bourmpou, born on October 21, 2000, with origin from Thessaloniki, and Maria Kyridou, born on April 26, 2001, have already won 4 gold medals for Greece, in just 4 months. Together they also managed to win first place at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics.
In Tokyo, the dynamic duo managed to be included in the top six against much more experienced crews, having broken the world record in the semifinals with 6:48.70! It is noteworthy that this was the first appearance at the Olympic Games for the two 20-year-old rowing athletes, with a lot of promise for the future.
Anneta Kyridou: 10th place in women’s single sculls
In her first appearance at the Olympic Games, the 22-year-old rowing athlete from Thessaloniki took 4th place in final B of single sculls and 10th place overall among the 32 rowers in the Olympic Tournament.
This is a particularly good result that came after hard work for the Greek athlete who together with her sister, Maria Kyridou, will definitely contribute a lot to Greek sports in the coming years.
Katerina Stefanidi: 4th place in the pole vault for our Olympic champion
Five years after her huge success in Rio, Katerina Stefanidi chased a second consecutive Olympic medal, without succeeding. Despite her great effort, she couldn’t pass 4.85m and 4.90m, as a result of which she kept the 4.80m jump as her top effort and finished in the fourth place of the final in the pole vault.
Born on February 18, 1990 to athletic parents, the gold medalist with a personal record of 4.91 meters in the outdoor and 4.90 meters in the indoor track, is a European and world champion at the World Athletics Championships, having won a total of 10 medals in all the international athletics championships. She was named European Women's Athlete of the Year in 2017, and Greek Female Athlete of the Year in 2017 and 2019. She is widely considered as one of the best athletes in the history of Greek sports and it’s certain that she still has a lot to offer to our country.
Anna Korakaki: 6th place for the Gold medalist of Rio
After an excellent effort in Tokyo, our Olympic gold champion, Anna Korakaki, took 6th place in the final of women’s 10m air pistol as well as in the final of 25m.
Born and bred in the town of Drama, Anna belongs to “Orion Thessalonikis” shooting club and comes from a family with a tradition in shooting, since her father, who is also her coach, has been involved in shooting too, while her brother is also in the national shooting team.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics she won the gold medal in the 25-meter pistol and the bronze medal in the 10-meter air pistol and became the second Greek athlete after Konstantinos Tsiklitiras in 1912 and the first Greek female athlete in the history of the Greek Olympic Teams to win two medals in the same Olympics. Anna Korakaki, who won two silver medals at the 2021 World Cup in Baku, also holds the World Record in the Junior category, following her performance at the 2014 European Junior Championships in Moscow.
Christos Volikakis: 16th place overall before quitting in the fourth race
33-year-old Christos Volikakis is a great athlete. The fact that he completed the fourth Olympic Games of his career, bitterly disappointed, doesn't reflect his amazing career in cycling. After all, defeat is in the program and the journey always counts more than the destination.
In the future, many people may not remember his 16th place in the overall standings before dropping out in the fourth race of the omnium at this year's Tokyo Olympics. But everyone will remember that he is the first Greek cyclist to win a gold medal at a World Championship. In total, the experienced cyclist has won 4 medals in World Championships, 9 medals in European Championships, as well as over 80 gold medals in Panhellenic Championships holding 11 national records. It is also noteworthy that he’s in the 1st place of the World ranking in the scratch race and in the omnium race and in the 3rd place in the points race.
Vasileia Karachaliou: 9th place in the world for the sailing champion
The champion of sailing secured the 9th place in the Laser Radial in Tokyo. After a great effort in the first Olympics of her career, the 24-year-old Greek athlete led the race to the middle, finished third and finally finished the race in the ninth place of the overall standings and with 112 penalty points.
The Greek sailor belongs to Piraeus Sailing Club and has achieved amazing distinctions despite her young age. She has won a bronze medal in the European Championship, two gold medals in world cups and one gold medal in regatta. As a result, she is rightfully at No.11 in the world rankings in the laser radial category.
Maria Prevolaraki: Early defeat for the world wrestling champion
Maria Prevolaraki was defeated 11-4 by Louisa Elizabeth Melentres Valverde in the round of 16 and left Tokyo too early as she was quite unlucky not to be given even the opportunity to claim the bronze medal.
The 29-year-old athlete has won two gold medals at the 2013 Mediterranean Games (Mersin, Turkey) and 2018 (Tarragona, Spain), in the 55 and 53 kg categories respectively, several bronze medals in various events from 2012 to 2018, while she reached the semifinals at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Despite the early defeat in Tokyo, the Greek athlete has proven many times that her successes are not accidental. The highlight of her career came in December 2020 in Serbia, when she won the gold medal at the Women's Wrestling World Cup, prevailing 5-1 over Poland's Zasina in the 53kg final. The first place in the world belongs to her and we are sure that she will return much stronger next time.
Giorgos Pilidis: defeated in the first round
Giorgos Pilidis was born on January 21, 2000 in Athens and holds 8 medals at the World and European Junior Championships, a record that has not been repeated by any athlete in freestyle wrestling.
It was the young athlete's first participation in the Olympics and the experience he gained was certainly much more important than the grief of defeat.
Giorgos competed in the 65 kg category and qualified in Tokyo after a unique appearance, being injured, in the Pre-Olympic tournament in Sofia, in May 2021.
Men's National Water Polo Team: first medal in its history
With the huge victory against Hungary with 9-6 in the semifinals, the national polo team gave us amazing moments that our country had never experienced in the magical world of water polo. For the first time, the Greek water polo team reached the final of the Olympic Games, making the whole country cheer.
Against a better, more prepared and more experienced Serbia the national team didn’t make it, losing 13-10 in the end, but the silver medal won for the very first time is the beginning of everything for a young team that intends to bring great glory in the future.
Since the Rio Olympics in 2016, Stoiximan has implemented an ambitious and expanded sponsorship program, unceasingly supporting our Greek athletes in their endless effort to make us proud and to live up to the expectations of the country that gave birth to the Olympic Games.
This year in Tokyo, Stoiximan Tokyo Team embraced the 12 athletes who qualified, including the Olympic Gold medalists Katerina Stefanidi, Lefteris Petrounias and Anna Korakaki, as well as the National Men's Water Polo Team.
Get to know the athletes of Stoiximan Tokyo Team at: https://www.iroes.gr/stoiximan-tokyo-team/