Efstratios Nikolaidis, representing Greece in the Tokyo Paralympics, won the bronze medal in the shot put on Tuesday.
The Greek athlete, who was fourth at both the London and Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games, took third place with 15.93 meters in the impressive final of the F20 class ball.
Ukraine’s Maksym Koval won the gold medal and his compatriot Oleksandr Yarovyi the bronze. Malaysian Paralympian Ziyad Zolkefli threw the longest distance at 17.94 meters, but he was disqualified.
Nikolaidis recently also won the bronze medal at the European championships in Bidgoz, Poland. On this occasion too he was bettered by his Ukrainian rivals, who won gold and silver at Tokyo.
The Greek champion suffers from intellectual impairment. He studied Physiotherapy at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, before taking on Para athletics in 2008.
He has said that his most memorable sporting achievement until winning the bronze medal in Tokyo was finishing fourth in the F20 shot put at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Greece with six medals at Tokyo Paralympics
After Nikolaidis’ bronze, the Greek tally in the Tokyo Paralympic Games rises to a total of six medals.
The first medals for Greece were won on the first full day of the Paralymic Games in Tokyo, August 25. Panagiotis Triantafyllou and Demosthenes Michalentzakis won bronze for Greece in the wheelchair individual fencing category and swimming respectively.
The following day, Powerlifter Dimitrios Bakochristos of Greece won the bronze medal in the men’s 54 kg powerlifting event at the Tokyo Paralympics.
Greek swimmer Antonios Tsapatakis won the bronze medal in the 100-meter breaststroke SB4 at the Tokyo Paralympics on Sunday, and Athanasios Konstantinidis won silver in the men’s club throw event on Saturday.
Greece competes with 46 athletes in the Paralympics
The 2020 Summer Paralympic Games started with the opening ceremony in Tokyo on August 24, 2021.
A total of 4,400 athletes with disabilities from around the world, including 46 from Greece, are competing in 22 sports.
As Tokyo hosts the event, organizers urged participants to follow coronavirus rules with increased vigilance. “The infection situation today is different to how it was before the Olympics. It has deteriorated,” said Tokyo 2020 official Hidemasa Nakamura.
Team Greece will compete with a team of 46 athletes in 11 sports, including track and field, swimming, weightlifting, fencing, cycling, judo, archery and table tennis.
At the Rio Games in 2016, Greece won 13 medals (5 gold, 4 silver, 4 bronze), taking 24th place on the medal table. It was the second best place in the history of the Greek Paralympics, after the games in Beijing where it finished in 20th place.