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Greece’s Karalis Comes in Fourth in Pole Vault in Tokyo

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Greek pole vaulter Emmanuel, or Manolis, Karalis in Tokyo. Credit: Emmanuel Karalis / Instagram

Greece’s champion Emmanuel, or Manolis, Karalis came in fourth in the pole vault at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday.

The 21-year old athlete performed brilliantly and notched a personal best, at 5.80 meters (19.03 feet) for his efforts.

Karalis was one of the fourteen contestants who fought for a medal at Tuesday’s finals in Tokyo. For some time he appeared at the top of the standings, as he vied with Brazilian Thiago, Swedish vaulter Armand Duplantis and the American, Christopher Nielsen, for the gold.

In the end, Duplantis won the top honor, notching a jump of 6.02 meters (19.07 feet); the silver was taken by Nielsen, at 5.97 (19.7 feet) and the bronze was earned by Thiago, with a vault of 5.87 meters (19.25 feet).

Karalis’ pole vault effort establishes personal best in his first Olympics

Karalis qualified for the finals over the weekend with an astounding vault measuring 5.75 meters (18.86 feet). He had tried a vault measuring 5.87 meters but failed, while the US’ Christopher Nielsen and Brazil’s Thiago made the 5.87 height and went on to top well over nineteen feet in their vaults.

This was the 21-year-old’s first time at the Olympic Games.

Son of a Greek father and Ugandan mother, Karalis has consistently ranked highly in youth competitions across Europe.

In his most recent success, in the European Championship of athletes under 23 years of age in Sweden in 2019, Karalis came in second, jumping at 5.60 meters (18.37 feet).

In 2016, the then 17-year old athlete had won a gold medal for his performance at the European Youth Championship that was held in Georgia.

Manolis Karalis’ success follows that of Tentoglou, Petrounias

The day before, on Monday, Greece managed to secure two more Olympic medals: a gold by Miltiades (Miltos) Tentoglou in men’s triple jump and a bronze by Eleftherios Petrounias in rings.

Competing in the men’s long jump, Tentoglou won the gold medal at the very end of the final. The long jumper from the Greek Olympic Team stunned Cuba’s Juan Miguel Echevarria as he thought that he had already secured the gold.

Tentoglou wasn’t at his best in the first rounds and even missed a few attempts, but it was in round six where he made the 8.41-meter (27.59 foot) jump, enough to take down the Cuban star to second place.

The Greek athlete and Echevarria were toe to toe with both having 8.41 meters (27.59 feet) as their best effort. Tentoglou was ranked 1st and took gold on account of his second-best jump of 8.15 meters, which eclipsed Echevarria’s 8.09 meters.

Maykel Masso, who sustained an injury in the first rounds, picked up bronze with 8.21 meters in his second attempt.

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

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 had also 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.

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