Greeks hold on to Super League status

The Greek track and field team managed to retain its Super League status during last weekend’s European Team Championship in Leiria, Portugal, but only just. Greece needed an impressive late sprint by 400-meter hurdle champion Periklis Iakovakis in the 4×400-meter relay, the competition’s last event on Sunday evening, in order to overcome a challenge by the Czech Republic and finish in the top nine teams in the overall standings. The new format of the championship, formerly known as the European Cup, dictates that the bottom three of the 12 countries participating in the 40-event meet, including both men and women, are relegated to the First Division. Greece managed to finish ninth with 216.5 points, just above the Czech Republic with 213.5 points and ahead of Portugal (200) and Sweden (138). Few Greek athletes impressed with their performances, with the best showings coming from Tonia Stergiou in the women’s high jump with 1.91 meters and from Costas Philippidis in the men’s pole vault with 5.65 meters. Louis Tsatoumas earned Greece 10 precious points by finishing third in the long jump with 7.91 meters.