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Greece’s Ghavelas Breaks World Record; Wins 100 Meter Gold at Tokyo Paralympics

Thanasis Ghavelas, running with the aid of his sighted companion Sotiris Garaganis, broke the world record in the Tokyo Paralympic Games. Credit: Twitter/George Mavrotas

Greek sprinter Thanasis Ghavelas won the gold medal for Greece in the 100 meter sprint  final on Thursday at the Paralympic Games held in Tokyo.

The 22-year-old athlete, together with his sighted companion Sotiris Garaganis, won the category T11 with a time of 10.82, improving the world record they had set in Wednesday’s qualifier of 10.88.

Frenchman Timote Adolf with 10.90 won the silver medal and Chinese Dongdong Di with 11.03 won the bronze.

In a recent interview published at the Hellenic Paralympic Committee website, Ghavelas, who also holds the European record in the distance, expressed confidence that he will return back home with a medal.

Athanasios Ghavelas’ Companion

Ghavelas who became blind when he was 10 years of age, started running at 15. He said that it is important to run next to his companion and friend Garaganis.

“You need a companion in the race that you can work in absolute harmony. In fact, your companion must have a better performance than you, so that he does not delay you in the race. You have to have excellent coordination, to move like a single body. The hands and legs movement must be absolutely coordinated. This requires hard practice in training,” the Greek gold medalist said in early August.

This is the first gold medal for Greece in the Paralympic Games, bringing the country to eight in total. Greek athletes have won two silver and five bronze medals.

Medals for Greece in Tokyo Paralympic Games

On Wednesday Greece added another medal to its tally at the Tokyo Paralympic Games as Grigoris Polychronidis won the silver at boccia, a precision ball sport, similar to bocce, and related to bowls and pétanque. The sport is contested at local, national and international levels, by athletes with severe physical disabilities.

On Tuesday, Efstratios Nikolaidis, representing Greece, won the bronze medal in the shot put.

The first medals for Greece were won on the first full day of the Paralymic Games in Tokyo, on 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.

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.

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