Gymnasts shine again

Elevating the national team’s presence on the international gymnastics circuit, Greek athletes added to recent successes by acquiring three medals – two gold and one silver – at the Men’s European Gymnastics Championships in Patras, western Greece, over the weekend. Vassilis Tsokalidis lived up to earlier signs of promise by winning one of the Greek team’s two gold medals, on the parallel bars event with a score of 9.837. Last summer he had ended seventh in the same event at the World Championships in Ghent, Belgium. Teammate Vlassis Maras, who had also made his arrival in Ghent with gold in the high bar event, consolidated his international position by adding a European title to Ghent’s glory. Judges handed him a score of 9.812. France’s Florent Maree ended second with 9.712, and Igor Cassina of Italy third with 9.687. Demosthenes Tambakos, a silver medalist at the Sydney Olympics on the rings, won silver in the event with 9.737. Bulgarian Jordan Jovtchev deprived him of gold with 9.750. Last weekend, the national team had its first-ever win by a female athlete in gymnastics, at either senior or junior level, in the Europeans, also held in Patras. Maria Mastroyiannopoulou delighted local fans with a silver medal – at junior level – on the uneven parallel bars.

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