Greece won one silver and one bronze medal on Saturday at the European Rowing Championships 2023, held in Bled, Slovenia, and hopes for more on Sunday.
Greek athletes Dimitra Eleni (Milena) Kontou and Zoi Fitsiou took the silver in Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls, and a few minutes later Petros Gkaidatzis and Antonios Papakonstantinou took the bronze in Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls.
This is the first time in eleven years that Greek crews secure any medal in the respective rowing categories; Greece had won gold in Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls and silver in Women’s at the European Rowing Championships in Varese, Italy, in 2012.
Fierce racing as Greek athletes battled for medals
Although Ireland and Greece had the lead in the early stages of the race, it was Great Britain that finished first at the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls final.
The British crew started to look dominant towards halfway and they had over two seconds lead over Greece, with France continuing in bronze medal position. In the third quarter of the race, Great Britain was comfortable for gold but the battle for silver was on between Greece and France.
Similarly in the Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls A-final, Greece had the early lead, but Ireland and Switzerland were up with them.
By 500m, Greece had re-established gold medal position, and was trading places every stroke with Switzerland, World Rowing describes. In the meantime, Ireland slipped back to sixth place, and while the Swiss maintained their lead over Greece into the second half of the race, Italy sat in bronze medal position.
At that point, Italy had moved in front of Greece and the battle for silver was really on as the two teams approached the finish line with 200m left to go.
According to the Hellenic Rowing Federation, the Greek crew lost the silver medal to Italy for centiseconds.
Greece hopeful for more rowing medals on Sunday
All eyes will be on Greek Olympic winner Stefanos Ntouskos on Sunday, as the Tokyo gold medalist, who finished second in Saturday’s semi-finals in Bled, will battle for the European Men’s Single Sculls championship.
Greek athletes Evangelia Anastasiadou, Evangelia Fragkou, and brothers Zisis and Dimitrios Boukouvalas will be also competing in different rowing categories.