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Greek Archer Evangelia Psarra Qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Greek archer
Evangelia Psarra has qualified for her sixth Olympic Games. Credit: Hellenic Olympic Committee

Greek archer Evangelia Psarra secured a place earlier this week for the Tokyo Olympic Games for the sixth time in her illustrious career.

Psarra managed to reach the semifinals of the pre-Olympic tournament, which was held in Paris, and secured one of the last five tickets to Tokyo.

With her achievement she equals the record set by Agathi Kassoumi, a pistol shooter, and Tasos Boudouris, a sailor, who also represented Greece in six Olympic Games.

Greek Minister for Sport George Mavrotas hailed Psarra’s achievement saying that it is due to “faith, perseverance and hard work.”

The 43-year-old archer is already preparing for her next Olympic Games.

Previous five Olympic Games for Greek archer

At the 2004 Summer Olympics, Psarra entered the women’s competition as Greece’s best hope for a medal having finished eighteenth overall at the 2003 World Archery Championships. She placed 8th in the women’s individual ranking round with a 72-arrow score of 652. Psarra was also a member of the 5th-place Greek team in the women’s team archery competition.

At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Psarra finished her ranking round with a total of 613 points. This gave her the 50th seed for the final competition bracket in which she faced Chen Ling in the first round.

Psarra lost to Bombayla Devi Laishram of India in the first knockout round at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The Greek athlete narrowly missed qualifying for the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Final Qualification Tournament in Antalya in June 2016, which allocated the remaining six positions available for the women’s individual event.

The withdrawal of an archer from Côte d’Ivoire in July, however, led to a vacant position, which was assigned to Greece as the highest ranked nation without an Olympic berth. The Greek National Olympic Committee subsequently nominated the 42-year-old Psarra for her fifth Olympic Games.

Psarra entered Rio de Janeiro as the most experienced Olympian in the field, finishing the ranking round in fifty-fifth place. She was eliminated in the first round for her third Olympic Games in a row, losing to Japan’s Kaori Kawanaka by seven set points to three.

Following the Olympics, Psarra was one of four archers to donate apparel and equipment used in Rio de Janeiro to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne.

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