SPORTS

In brief

Iakovakis, Devetzi are gearing up Track champion Periklis Iakovakis finished fourth in the 400-meter hurdles in Prague last night in his first real competition this season. He clocked 49.57 seconds as he gears up for the summer season, which culminates in the World Championships in Berlin in August. On Friday, triple-jump Olympian Piyi Devetzi had won the Ukrainian Cup with an effort at 14.67 meters. She will also be one of the star participants in tomorrow’s high-profile international track and field «Thessaloniki 2009» meeting at the Kaftanzoglio Stadium. Four-year-ban on disgraced weightlifter Weightlifter Tasos Triantafyllou received a four-year suspension form the Greek federation for the use of a banned substance during the European Union championship in the spring. The 22-year-old went on record yesterday, stating on the radio that the penalty is extremely hard on him and he is even contemplating giving up the sport. Earlier reports indicated that another four weightlifters, though not any of national-team level, have also had their first sample come back positive following doping tests. Handball Worlds Greece has won the right to host the 2011 World Junior Championship which will be staged in Thessaloniki. In the voting by the International Handball Federation that took place on Saturday in Cairo, Greece’s candidacy garnered 105 votes against 35 for Bosnia-Herzegovina. «This is one of the biggest and most important successes in the history of Greek handball,» said Stelios Angeloudas, the head of the Hellenic Handball Federation. Water polo The women’s national water polo team is today entering the finals of the World League in Russia, starting against Australia. In the first round’s group stage, Greece will also face Spain tomorrow and Canada on Thursday. The quarterfinals are scheduled for this Friday. Marcos through Cypriot tennis player Marcos Baghdatis needed no more than 54 minutes yesterday to beat Britain’s James Ward 2-0 (6-2, 6-3) in the first round of the ATP Queen’s tournament in Birmingham, UK.