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Antigoni Drisbioti Wins Gold for Greece at the European Championships

Antigoni Drisbioti
Antigoni Drisbioti won another gold medal for Greece. Credit: AMNA

Greek race walker Antigoni Drisbioti won the gold medal in the 20 km walk at the European Championships that were held in the Czech Republic on Sunday.

The holder of the Panhellenic record finished ahead of her competitors in 1 hour 29 minutes and 17 seconds, achieving the third-best performance of her career.

The 39-year-old Greek athlete said after her triumph that she was in control for most of the race:

“It was a great race. All the athletes who will compete in the World Cup were there to claim the medals. I managed to get to the victory and I did it because I followed the plan that we had made with my coach and I managed the race correctly. I was in control.

“I accelerated to see the condition of the other athletes, but I also had to stay behind to get a rest and, finally, with an attack after the 16th kilometer I reached victory,” said Drisbioti.

In February Drisbioti achieved a pan-Hellenic record which automatically qualified her for the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024.

The “golden” career of Antigoni Drisbioti

The Greek champion also gold medals in the 20 km walk and 35 km race walk at the 2022 European Athletics Championships, the first double gold for Greece at the event.

Her medal at the longer distance was her first international victory and the first major championship title for her country in race walking.

Antigoni Drisbioti grew up in Karditsa, Thessaly. Her family runs a traditional restaurant in the city where, according to her own statements in a television interview, she has worked for many years alongside her training.

She decided to practice walking as a sport as a freshman in high school, and made her international debut at the age of 19 at the 2003 European Race Walking Cup held in Cheboksary, Russia.

Drisbioti celebrated her first major success at age 29 at the 2013 Mediterranean Games in Mersin, Turkey, where she won the bronze medal in the 20 km race walk with a time of 1:41:53.

She competed at the Summer Olympics for the first time in 2016 in Rio, finishing 15th in the 20 km walk. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, held in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she placed eighth in the event.

At the 2022 European Athletics Championships in Munich, the 38-year-old won the gold medal in the 35 km walk with a championship record of 2:47:00 after finishing fourth at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon the previous month in 2:41:58, a national record.

With her second gold medal in Munich in the 20 km walk event, with a personal best time of 1:29:03, she became the first Greek athlete to win two gold medals at a European Championships.

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