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Tokyo Olympics: Greece’s Petrounias Wins Bronze in Rings Finals

Petrounias Greece
Eleftherios Petrounias in Tokyo. Credit: Eleftherios Petrounias / Facebook

Eleftherios Petrounias, the Greek “Lord of the Rings,” won a bronze medal for Greece on Monday after a great performance in the men’s Rings finals in the Tokyo Olympics.

Petrounias received 15,200 points and made history, winning another Olympic medal for the country, five years after his personal triumph in Rio de Janeiro, where he finished first.

His dreams for another Olympic gold were not fulfiled this time, as the Chinese duo of Liu Yang and You Hao won the gold and silver medals respectively.

Liu received 15,500 points and You 15,300, one hundred more than Petrounias.

The Greek world champion competed against a total of ten different athletes from Brazil, China, Turkey, France, Russia, Italy, and Ukraine.

The long history of Petrounias’ success for Greece

The 30-year old artistic gymnast from Athens is one of Greece’s most successful athletes in modern times.

He is the 2016 Olympic champion for Greece, a three-time World champion in 2015, 2017, and 2018 and a six-time European medalist on the still rings.

Petrounias has won a total of five gold and one bronze medal in European championships.

He has been named the Greek Male Athlete of the Year, for the years 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, something that showcases how successful this decade has been for him.

Petrounias’s first major success at an international level came when he competed at the 2011 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Berlin, Germany.

At the time, he was just 20 years of age.

During the Championships, Petrounias won a bronze medal on the rings, scoring 15.675 points during the final, finishing behind Konstantin Pluzhnikov and Aleksandr Balandin of Russia.

At the Summer Olympic Games of Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Petrounias qualified for the rings final in second place with a score of 15.833. It is noted that Petrounias qualified first in Tokyo this year.

On August 15, 2016 he won the gold medal in this event with a score of 16.000, 0.234 points higher than the silver medal winner, Arthur Zanetti of Brazil.

His gold medal was Greece’s first medal in the rings since champion Dimosthenes Tampakos won gold at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.

Petrounias won Rings World Cup to qualify for Tokyo Olympics

After an impressive performance on June 25 in Doha, Petrounias won the World Cup, earning another gold medal. This medal was his ticket to Tokyo, as it allowed him to qualify for this year’s Summer Olympics.

Petrounias had won gold with a massive 15,500 points. 2012 Olympic gold medalist Arthur Zanetti came second and Ahmad Kohani of Iran won the bronze.

The thrilling effort of Petrounias has confirmed his amazing talent and huge mental reserves after many years of competition and surgery on his shoulder. In order to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, he needed a very high score — at least 15,334 points and above.

When he climbed on the World Cup rostrum to receive his gold medal he was clearly moved. He seemed to be holding back tears during the Greek national anthem.

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