Mixed day at Europeans

It was a day of mixed results for the national weightlifting team at the European Championships in Kiev yesterday, despite the session’s gold medal and two bronzes for the Greek squad. Leonidas Sabanis, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, raked in the team’s first gold medal at this event in the men’s 62-kilo division with a 137.5-kilo lift in the snatch. He made three unsuccessful attempts at lifting 162.5 kilos in the clean-and-jerk, which left him without a medal in this discipline, as well as overall. Teammate Natasha Tsakiri, a world champion and world recordholder in the women’s 63-kilo category, had to settle for two bronze medals at these Europeans. «I’m happy about the medals, but, generally, I would have preferred better lifts and fewer failed attempts,» said the 25-year-old medical student, who managed to lift only twice for her two medals. «I’m not used to having just two lifts in one event,» Tsakiri added. Harikleia Kastritsi, a bronze medalist at European level, failed to contribute to yesterday’s medal count. Competing in the 58-kilo category, the athlete, who traveled to Ukraine with a minor knee injury, ended a disappointing 10th in the snatch with an 85-kilo lift, ninth in the clean-and-jerk with a 107.5-kilo lift and 10th overall. «I’m disappointed because I could have made the effort at 92.5 and 112.5 kilos [snatch and clean-and-jerk, respectively], and was in good psychological condition,» said Kastritsi. «It wasn’t my day, an unlucky moment. I’ll now look forward to the future, because there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done.»