Greece announces expanded team for the Olympics

Greece unveiled its track and field team for the Olympics yesterday with no surprises and only one major absence in javelin thrower Costas Gatsioudis. Three-time world championship medalist Gatsioudis was unable to shrug off a longstanding shoulder injury and will be out of action until after the Athens Games. Sprint stars Costas Kenteris, world and Olympic champion at 200 meters, and Katerina Thanou, Olympic silver medalist in the 100m, lead an expanded team of 63 athletes for the Games. «The Greek Olympic athletics team is the largest and most optimistic in the last decade,» said Greek Amateur Athletics Federation (SEGAS) president Vassilis Sevastis. Head coach Odysseas Papatollis said he was confident home advantage would see the hosts improve on their medal count in Sydney. Greece claimed four track and field medals to add to 10 in other sports at the Sydney Games in 2000 for 17th place in the overall standings, their best haul at an Olympics. Sevastis said that vacant berths on the team would be left open until August 8 for any athlete able to match the Olympic qualifying mark in their event. The Greek team was selected on the discretion of senior coaches without a formal Olympic trial. (Reuters)

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