The Greek table tennis champion was unable to qualify to the next round of the table tennis Olympic tournament in London. The Greek champion played well but was unable to win the Japanese athlete Seigia Kisikaoua, his opponent and 20th best athlete in the table tennis world rankings.
Gionis fought for the qualification until the 7th set where he lost by 12 – 10 by his Japanese opponent. The total winnings counted to 3 -4 in favor of the Japanese athlete, and the seven sets’ scores counted to 11 -7, 7 – 11, 11 – 9, 8-11 and 12-10.
Despite the disqualification, the Greek athlete was satisfied with his performance but he left the tournament in bitter feelings. “I am disappointed, because I lost by a slight difference. Sometimes, it is preferable to lose by big differences, than losing due to details. Such a disqualification is the worst case scenario for an athlete’s psychology. I fought until the end, I managed to qualify to the match –ball, but I cannot explain how I did not win the final set. Kisikaoua made three attacks and at the fourth; it was my turn to finish the game. However, the ball did not touch the table. This was the only moment in the game that I lost such a point.This happens in sports, though. I am disappointed today, but tomorrow is another day. It was certainly an amazing game for the spectators and I believe that I performed well,” Panagiotis Gionis stated shortly after the game.
On the other hand, his federal coach Kostas Vatsaklis stated, “Panagiotis did his best. He played against the 20th best table tennis champion in the world. Despite the fact that he was running behind in the score, he made a comeback and managed to find ways to win some sets. At the end though, he was unlucky. The disqualification is bitter, but Panagiotis is the kind of athlete that works systematically. He is certainly a very clever player, thus he deserves our applause”.