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Greek Swimming Triumphs at the European Championships in Belgrade

Greek Swimming Triumphs at the European Championships in Belgrade

Πηγή Φωτογραφίας: Screenshot//Apostolos Papastamos Secures Olympic Ticket, Earns Gold in 400m Individual Medley

Apostolos Papastamos Secures Olympic Ticket, Earns Gold in 400m Individual Medley

Apostolos Papastamos Secures Olympic Ticket, Earns Gold in 400m Individual Medley

The Greek swimming team kicked off their European Championships campaign in Belgrade with a bang, securing two medals on the opening day. Apostolos Papastamos clinched gold in the 400m individual medley, while the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay team bagged a bronze medal.

Papastamos delivered the performance of his life in the 400m individual medley final, claiming victory with a time of 4:10.83. This remarkable achievement not only broke his own national record, set in 2019 but also secured his qualification for the Paris Olympics, marking his second Olympic appearance.

The 23-year-old swimmer showcased his versatility throughout the race, staying close to the two Hungarian frontrunners, Balazs Hollo and Gabor Zombori, in the butterfly leg. In the backstroke, he took the lead, significantly extending his advantage in the breaststroke. Despite facing some challenges in the final 50 meters, Papastamos held off the Hungarian duo to secure a resounding gold medal.

This victory holds special significance as it marks Greece’s second European Championship medal in the 400m individual medley since Giannis Drymonakos’ bronze in 2012. Papastamos also becomes the fifth Greek swimmer to claim the European title, following the footsteps of Aris Grigoriadis (twice), Andreas Vazaios, Anna Ntountounaki, and Apostolos Christou.

Greece Bags Bronze in 4x200m Freestyle Relay, Ending 18-Year Medal Drought

The Greek team’s jubilation continued with a bronze medal in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay. The quartet of Dimitris Markos, Kostas Englezakis, Kostas Stamou, and Andreas Vazaios finished third in the final with a time of 7:09.73. This achievement marks Greece’s first medal in a team event at the European Championships in 18 years, a remarkable feat in the same relay race where they had previously claimed bronze in 2002 and 2006.

Lithuania secured gold in the event with a time of 7:08.04, while Hungary took silver with 7:09.59. Markos led the charge for Greece, delivering a strong performance with a time of 1:47.12, not far off his own national record. Englezakis followed with an exceptional 200m leg, clocking an unofficial time of 1:46.60 and putting Greece in the lead.

Stamou maintained his position in the first 100 meters of his leg but slipped to second in the second half, with Hungary and Israel in close pursuit. However, Lithuania’s powerful and experienced anchor, Danas Rapsys, surged ahead in the final stretch, securing victory and Lithuania’s first men’s gold medal at the European Championships. Despite falling to fourth in the final 100 meters, Vazaios managed to outpace Israel’s Guy Grummy in the closing stages, clinching Greece’s bronze medal. This remarkable achievement marks Greece’s first team event medal in 18 years, once again in the same event where they had previously claimed bronze.

The Greek swimming team’s impressive performance at the European Championships in Belgrade is a testament to their dedication, talent, and unwavering spirit. Papastamos’ gold medal and the team’s bronze medal are a source of immense pride for Greece, showcasing the nation’s prowess in the aquatic arena. As the championships continue, the Greek team is poised to deliver further stellar performances, leaving an indelible mark on the European swimming scene.

Source: GCT

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