Iliadis loss a big blow to medal aspirations

One of Greece’s best hopes for a gold medal, judoka Ilias Iliadis was dumped out of the Olympic Games yesterday after losing his match against Dutchman Mark Huizinga in the 90kg category. Iliadis, who was Greece’s flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony in Beijing on Friday, was unable to reproduce the form that saw him win a gold at the Athens Olympics. He lost to his experienced Dutch opponent by Ippon, Uchi-mata. Irakli Tsirekidze of Georgia won the gold, defeating Amar Benikhlef of Algeria in the final. The head of the Greek Judo Federation, Vangelos Sefleris said that Iliadis had been unlucky to lose. «Nothing went right today. Any great athlete can have an unlucky moment as happened to Ilias Iliadis today. Ilias’s elimination is just a brief interlude in the fantastic course that judo in Greece has had over the last eight years,» he said. There was better news for Greece in the boxing, where Ilias Pavlidis made the last eight of the heavyweight division thanks to a win over Milorad Gajovic of Montenegro on Wednesday. Also Maria Ferekidi qualified for today’s semi-final in the C1 class of the canoe-kayak competition.