Mixed results in Munich

The Greek men’s track and field team maintained its place in the European Cup’s top-tier Super League yesterday after ending sixth in the eight-team category at the weekend event in Munich. The bottom two teams, Ukraine and Belgium, were relegated to the lower league. The national women’s team, however, failed to retain its place in the top league after ending seventh, five points behind Bulgaria. Spain, which ended last, 10.5 points behind Greece, joins Greece in the lower league. France snatched the tightest of victories over Germany to retain the men’s European Cup crown. Russia’s women extended their dominance with an 11th straight win. The tussle in the men’s competition was much tougher, as France and Germany finished level on 116 points with the same number of individual victories, the French prevailing thanks to more second places. Poland came third on 110. Leading performances by Greek athletes included Louis Tsatoumas’s victory in the men’s long jump with an 8.16-meter performance. Periklis Iakovakis won the men’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 48.35 seconds. Poland’s Marek Plawgo came second with 48.90 seconds. Fani Halkia, a gold medalist at the Athens 2004 Olympics in the women’s 400-meter hurdles, captured first spot at Munich’s 400-meter event with a time of 51.85 seconds, just ahead of Russia’s Zhanna Kashcheyeva, who registered 51.87 seconds. Anastassis Gousis ended third in the men’s 200 meters with a time of 20.43 seconds. The UK’s Marlon Devonish won the event in 20.33 seconds. Kalliopi Astropekaki ended third in the women’s 5,000-meter race with a time of 15:46.22. Volha Chuprova of Belarus won in 15:20.35. Meanwhile, the country’s track and field federation, Segas, has announced two doping cases involving Greek athletes following the previous weekend’s national championships. The athletes, who tested positive in the first round of tests, were not named. However, based on the limited information disclosed by Segas, one of the two athletes is a female runner of hurdle events who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. The other athlete, a male sprinter whose testosterone levels exceeded normal levels, joined the Greek squad, as a substitute, at the weekend’s European Cup in Munich. Last week, Costas Filippidis, the national champion in the men’s pole vault, also failed a drugs test. (Kathimerini, Reuters)

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