Five more medals lift Greek spirits

Slowly recovering from the withdrawal of their top two athletes after they evaded doping control tests, and after the new shock of weightlifter Leonidas Sampanis being stripped of his bronze medal after testing positive for excessive testosterone, Greeks began to celebrate other medals and inspiring performances over the weekend. Gymnast Dimosthenis Tampakos won gold on the rings last night with 9.862 points, beating Jordan Jovtchev of Bulgaria (9.850) and Yuri Chechi of Italy (9.812). Sailors Sophia Bekatorou and Emilia Tsoulfa, winners in the 470 class, picked up their gold medal on Saturday. Greece has won four golds, a silver and two bronze medals. Anastasia Kelesidou won her second straight Olympic medal in the women’s discus event, with a throw of 66.68 meters, which gave her the lead until Russia’s Natalya Sadova bested this with her second-last throw (67.02). Yesterday, Vassilis Polymeros and Nikos Skiathitis gave Greece its first medal ever in a rowing event – bronze in the men’s lightweight double sculls. In the 85-kilogram weightlifting, three-time gold medalist Pyrros Dimas bade farewell to the sport with a bronze medal on Saturday. He lifted a total of 377.5 kilograms, 175 in the snatch and 202.5 in the clean and jerk. Georgi Asanidze of Georgia was first with a total of 382.5 kilos and Belarus’s Andrei Rybakov was second, with 380. Dimas left his shoes on the platform after his last attempt, to signify his retirement and received a standing ovation for many minutes during the award ceremony.

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