SPORTS

A new era to begin for Greek weightlifting

The national weightlifting championship begins today in Loutraki, central Greece, and is scheduled to last until Sunday. The Hellenic Weight-lifting Federation and its new president, Pyrros Dimas, are hoping that the new generation of Greek weightlifters will begin to shine in this event in order to erase the blemish on the sport from the doping scandal last spring involving 11 members of the men’s and women’s national teams. The championship includes all categories for men and women, including youth categories. The competition begins today at 10 a.m. «The new day for Greek weightlifting is dawning in Loutraki, a hospitable town where major weightlifting events have taken place in the past, such as the European Championship of 2003,» said Dimas. «In a difficult period for the sport, the town and its mayor are coming to help us in our effort to develop weightlifting outside the capital as well,» he added. New national team coach Valerios Leonidis stated «all eyes will be fixed on the athletes. Our aim is to begin an effort to slowly create a large team that will naturally rely on a mix of old, experienced weightlifters and some young kids who are thirsty for success.» «Greek weightlifting has never had it easy, everything has always been, and will be, achieved by very hard work. That is the recipe for every success,» said Leonidis.