World Cup exposes track and field’s lack of readiness

Last weekend’s World Cup was proof that Greek track and field is in decline. Not that we didn’t know that already, but the euphoria from the men’s and women’s teams reaching the top category in the European Cup had masked reality. Our mid- and long-distance runners proved that they are far behind international standards. Our sprinters, once a powerhouse, are now mediocre. Women’s discus, long our strongest event, is no more. Javelin throwing is also suffering and there is no new prospect to take over from declining hammer-thrower Alexandros Papadimitriou. Shot put is worse. We are left with Pigi Devetzi in the long and triple jumps, the excellent 400m hurdlers Fani Halkia and Pericles Iakovakis, the new revelation, 20-year-old 400m runner Dimitris Regas, and a couple of others.