Greece sends 105 athletes to the London Olympics

The Greek Olympic team to fly to London from next week for the 2012 Games will consist of 105 athletes, the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) announced on Tuesday. There will be 66 men and 39 women in what will be the smallest Greek Olympic squad of the last 20 years.

The largest group comprise the track and field athletes, consisting of 12 men and 13 women. It will include 39-year-old hammer thrower Alexandros Papadimitriou, who will be taking part in his fifth Olympics, a record for a Greek track and field athlete. Back in 2000 he made it to the event’s final at Sydney.

Other athletes with previous Olympic experience to represent Greece in London will be Periklis Iakovakis (400-meter hurdles), Costas Douvalidis (110 m hurdles), Costas Baniotis (high jump), Louis Tsatoumas (long jump), Michalis Stamatoyiannis (shot put), Tonia Stergiou (high jump), Nicole Kyriakopoulou, (pole vault), Athanasia Perra (triple jump), Sava Lika (javelin) and Despina Zapounidou (20 km walk).

Dimitris Chondrokoukis is one of Greece’s star Olympic rookies in track and field as he is Greece’s great hope for a medal in the high jump. Other first-timers include Alexandros Papamichael (20 km and 50 km walk), Costas Poulios (marathon), Lykourgos Tsakonas (200 m), Costas Filippidis (pole vault), Spyros Lembesis (javelin), Constantina Kefala (marathon), Katerina Stefanidi and Iro Ledaki (both pole vault), Maria Belibasaki (100 m and 200 m), Voula Papachristou and Niki Panetta (both triple jump), Sofia Yfantidou (heptathlon) and Eleni Filandra (800 m).

Greece will only be represented in two team sports: the men’s water polo and the national rhythmic gymnastics ensemble.

HOC chief Spyros Kapralos stated that his hope is for the squad to return from London with more medals than the squad that went to Beijing four years ago, when it secured four.

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