More frustration for Greek athletes

After winning three medals on Sunday, Greek hopes for more success at the Beijing Olympics were high yesterday but it proved to be another disappointing day for the country’s athletes. Long jumper Louis Tsatoumas was one of Greece’s best hopes for a track and field medal after qualifying for the final in first place. But nerves appeared to get the better of the 26-year-old. He failed to register a valid jump in three attempts after overstepping the mark on each occasion and was eliminated from the competition. The event was won by Panama’s Irving Jahir Saldino Aranda with a jump of 8.34 meters. Periklis Iakovakis finished a disappointing last in the final of the 400-meter hurdles. The race was won by the USA’s Angelo Taylor with a time of 47.25 seconds. Iakovakis later revealed that he had been carrying an injury in recent weeks and did not feel that he could run to the best of his ability. «It’s not the best way to complete a final but I was faced with either really going for it and risking a more serious injury that could have kept me out for months or ended my career or with taking it a bit easier,» said the hurdler. Triple jumper Dimitris Tsiamis said he put in his worst performance of the year at the Olympics after failing to qualify for the final. Tsiamis jumped just 16.65 meters in the qualifying round, which was only good enough for 23rd place. Philips Idowu of Britain qualified in first place with 17.44 meters. «I am not happy at all with my performance,» said Tsiamis. «I definitely expected something better than 16.65 meters, at least a personal best. Konstantinos Douvalidis, however, set a new national record as he qualified for the next round of the 110 m hurdles. Douvalidis came home first in his heat in a time of 13.49 seconds but his achievement was overshadowed by the withdrawal of home favorite and defending champion Liu Xiang from the same heat with an Achilles tendon injury. Greece’s two contenders in the women’s hammer throw also missed out. Stiliani Papadopoulou peaked at 69.36 meters while Alexandra Papageorgiou managed 66.72 – neither of them good enough to reach the final.