Women discus throwers win silver and bronze at Worlds

Greece earned its first two medals at the Ninth World Athletics Championships yesterday in women’s discus throwing. Anastasia Kelesidou was second, with a throw of 67.14 meters, only 18 centimeters behind the winner, Irina Yatchenko of Russia. Katerina Voggoli was third, with a personal best of 66.73 meters. Kelesidou was very steady throughout the contest, establishing herself in second place from the very first throw (65.76 meters). But try as she might, she could not shake off Yatchenko. On the contrary, Voggoli, the reigning European champion, who had begun with a null throw, threw 66.04 meters with her third throw, gaining second place from Kelesidou. However, Kelesidou threw 67.13 meters in her fourth throw to regain second place. Her fifth throw was probably farther, but was slightly out of bounds. Her last throw was the best. Kelesidou, 31, who also finished second at the Sydney Olympics, is no stranger to high placings. Voggoli, 33, had to wait until last year for her big breakthrough. «I felt very well, but I was slipping somewhat on the plate,» said Voggoli afterward. Two more athletes competed in the finals. Christos Meletoglou was seventh in the triple jump, with a season best of 16.92 meters and Alexandros Papadimitriou was eighth in the hammer throw, with 77.79 meters, far from his personal best of 80.50 meters. Katerina Thanou, who finished fifth in the women’s 100 meter on Sunday, withdrew yesterday from the 400-meter relay squad, saying she was «disappointed.» By contrast, after the race Thanou had said she had had to battle injury throughout the season and had decided to take part in the event just a few weeks ago. Still, injured or not, she ran a season best of 11.03 seconds. If she returns to top form next year at the Athens Olympics, she can challenge anyone, except, perhaps, Marion Jones who recently gave birth and skipped the World Championships. The biggest attraction for Greeks over the remainder of the Games will certainly be Costas Kenteris in the 200 meter. However, there are a handful of others with hope of a medal, notably Olga Vasdeki in the triple jump and Niki Xanthou in the long jump.