In Brief

Greece hopes despite winning one in three The national volleyball team has kept its hopes of reaching the European Championship finals alive by emerging from the first half of the qualifying groups games played in Latvia with one win and three defeats. Greece first lost to favorite Finland 3-0 on Friday and then on Saturday to host Latvia (3-2) but on Sunday it defeated outsider Great Britain 3-0. The second half of the group will be played in Iraklio, on Crete, Friday to Sunday, May 28-30, and Greece needs to finish in the top two to avoid elimination. If, against all odds, Greece comes first, it will qualify straight for the finals, while its main aim now is to end second in order to enter the qualification playoffs. Marinakis stakes claim at Olympiakos shares Olympiakos soccer club is actively looking for a fresh injection of cash, if not for a new owner as well, ahead of the June 14 board meeting to elect its new administration. The announcement by shipowner Vangelis Marinakis on Saturday made an impact, as he said in an interview that he expects owner Sokratis Kokkalis to offer him a controling stake, while reports in the press suggested that Marinakis is prepared to pay 50 million euros to this end if Kokkalis covers the club’s debts. Roland Garros Cypriot tennis star Marcos Baghdatis advanced to the second round of the French Open yesterday by sweeping US player Jesse Witten in straight sets (6-3, 6-4, 6-3). Baghdatis, the Roland Garros Number 25 seed, will play Spain’s Marcel Granollers in the second round, probably tomorrow. Pole vault Greek champion Nicole Kyriakopoulou has matched her own national record in pole vault by clearing 4.55 meters in Doha, Qatar, showing she is in great shape ahead of this summer’s European Championships.

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