Volleyball playouts are heating up While the volleyball league playoffs remain up in the air, as the sports judge has yet to decide on the fate of the Iraklis versus Aris clash that was interrupted by a beer can hitting an Aris player, the playouts are heating up after Kifissia’s 3-0 home win over Apollon Kalamarias. The result means that Kifissia, which is last in the table and set for relegation, is now within just one point of AEK. Separately, the volleyball federation announced the hiring of Argentine coach Claudio Coello, a former Olympiakos coach, for the women’s national team. It also confirmed the hiring of former internationals Antonis Tsakiropoulos, Marios Giourdas and Manolis Roumeliotis as assistants to the US coach of the men’s national team, Gordon Mayforth. Four gymnastics medals for Markousis Greek gymnast Dimitris Markousis won a gold medal yesterday at the artistic gymnastics meet held in Bucharest over the weekend by finishing first in the parallel bars. He added this medal to the silver in floor exercise and the two bronze medals in the rings and the all-around, which he took on Friday and Saturday, showing that he is on his way for a good showing at the European Championship in Birmingham later on this month. Baghdatis Cypriot tennis star Marcos Baghdatis today will enter the Monte Carlo Masters, facing Spain’s Albert Montanes in the tournament’s first round. Montanes was No 32 in the world last week. If Baghdatis goes through, he will face either Belgian Olivier Rochus or Italian Andreas Seppi. Handball PAOK has secured the top spot in the handball league’s regular season with one more game left to play, after gaining a four-point lead over second-placed Filippos Verias through its 38-28 victory at home over Zafirakis Naousas on Saturday. PAOK, the league title holder, will enjoy home advantage in the playoffs.