Latest update: 08/06/2009 18:18 +0300

Medal Still Eludes Cyprus, as Games Wind Down:

BEIJING, 19 August 2008 - Cyprus completed its 2008 Beijing Olympic Games appearance, today, with mixed emotions. Without doubt this was the best ever performance by the island nation in the Olympic Games, since competing independently as of Moscow 1980--but that all-elusive first ever medal still remains beyond reach.

Cyprus' love affair with Shooting goes back to the inaugural Olympic Games of the modern era. It was in 1896 in Athens that Ioannis Phrangoudis, the only Cypriot ever to win a medal, clinched a gold, a silver and a bronze--although these have been credited to Greece, under whose flag Cypriots participated.

One hundred and twelve years later Cyprus came as close as can be to bringing home its first medal since Athens 1896. Antonis Nikolaidis lost a shoot-off to Anthony Terras of France for the bronze medal of the men's Skeet competition, while the reigning world champion, Giorgos Achilleos, finished just behind, in 5th.

Just a day earlier, in Beijing, Andri Eleftheriou had become the best-ranked Cypriot since 1980 at any Olympic competition, finishing 7th in the women's Skeet and narrowly missing a berth in the finals--only to see her achievement bettered by Nikolaidis and Achilleos the next day.

In Sailing, too, Cyprus narrowly missed entering the top ten and an appearance at the medals races, with Andreas Cariolou in the men's RS:X class and Pavlos Kontides in the Laser class both ranking 13th overall. Gavriella Hadjidamianou ranked 21st in the women's RS:X class and Charis Papadopoulos was 22nd in the Finn class.

In Athletics Eleni Artymata finished her women's 200m heat fourth in 23.58, a personal season best, to qualify to the quarter finals of the event. In the quarter-finals heat she finished 7th in 23.77, for an overall ranking of 32nd. In other Athletics appearances jumpers and throwers failed to qualify to the finals: Kyriacos Ioannou cleared 2.25m in the men's High Jump--10cm below his own National Record for seventh place in his qualification group and 18th place overall. Ioannou was aiming to become the first ever Cypriot to qualify to an Athletics final. Anna Foitidou in the women's Pole Vault, Skevi Theodorou in the women's Hammer Throw and Alexandra Tsisiou in the women's Javelin Throw also remained below their personal bests and far from berths in the finals. Alissa Kallinikou also failed to move past the heats, but competition was so fierce in the women's 400m that she would have needed a new National Record to qualify to the next round.

Elena Mousikou was 56th in the Archery women's 70m Individual Ranking Round drawing a formidable opponent in the 1/32 Elimination Round--Japan's Nami Hayakama to whom she fell 103-112 for a 42nd place overall.

Both of Cyprus' swimmers failed to qualify past the first round in three events. But Anna Stylianou smashed two National Records in her first ever Olympic appearance. The 22-year old shattered her own National Record of 2:01.60 in the 200m Freestyle, finishing third in her heat in 2:00:55. A day later she swam the 100m Freestyle in 56.38 to break her own previous record of 56.77. Although in both cases this was not enough for a berth in the next round, her mission in Beijing can be considered as accomplished. Natalia Hadjiloizou, returning to action after an eight-year absence from the swimming pools, swam short of her own personal best in the 100m butterfly, for a 45th overall ranking.

Competing in the 69kg cateogry (instead of his usual 62kg) of the Weighlifting competition in Beijing Dimitris Minasides finished 20th overall, leaving high hopes for the future, as the second youngest athlete, at 19, of his category. Minasides was the first ever weightlifter to represent Cyprus in the Olympic Games.


Athlete Discipline Event


Elena Mousikou 70m (W) Individual Ranking Round 589 56th
Individual 1/32 Eliminations v. JPN 103-112 43rd

Athlete Discipline Event


Rk Overall

Kyriacos Ioannou

High Jump (M) Qualification - Group B 2.25m 7th 18th
Alexandra Tsisiou Javelin Throw (W) Qualification - Group B 53.24m 21st 45th
Anna Foitidou Pole Vault (W) Qualification - Group B 4.00m 16th 34th
Eleni Artymata 200m (W) Round 1 - Heat 3 23.58 q 4th 32nd
Round 2 - Heat 4 23.77 7th
Alissa Kallinikou 400m (W) Round 1 - Heat 7 52.40 5th 26th
Paraskevi Theodorou Hammer Throw (W) Qualification - Group B 61.00 22nd 44th

Athlete Discipline Score Overall
Andreas Cariolou RS:X (M) 7, 17, 14, 10, 11, 17, 11, (19), 14, 10 - 111 net pts 13th
Pavlos Kontides Laser 8, 7, 24, 14, 5, 12, 14, 29, (35) - 113 net pts 13th
Charis Papadopoulos Finn 13, 18, 21, 11, 24, 11, 17, (25) - 115 net pts 22nd
Gavriella Hadjidamianou RS:X (W) 19, 22, 23, 22, 15, 23, (25), 22, 20, 16 - 182 net pts 21st

Athlete Discipline Event Score Rk Overall
Giorgos Achilleos Skeet (M) Qualification 119/125 5th 5th
Final 24/25 5th
Antonis Nicolaides Skeet (M) Qualification - Day 1 120/125 4th 4th
Final 24/25 3rd
Shoot-Off +2 2nd
Andri Eleftheriou Skeet (W) Qualification 67/75 7th 7th

Athlete Discipline Event


Rk Overall
Anna Stylianou 100m Freestyle (W) Heat 3 NR 56.38 6th 36th
200m. Freestyle (W) Heat 3 NR 2:00.55 3rd 27th
Natalia Hadjiloizou 100m Butterfly (W) Heat 2 1:01.80 5th 45th

Athlete Discipline Score Overall
Dimitris Minasides 69kg (M) Snatch 128kg, Jerk 155kg: Total 283kg 20th


Photos for Press Use, free of rights (click on a thumbnail for higher resolution)

Giorgos Achilleos at the Beijing Olympic Shooting Range Antonis Nikolaidis at the Beijing Olympic Shooting Range Andri Eleftheriou at the Beijing Olympic Shooting Range Andreas Cariolou at Qingdao

Cyprus Olympic Sailing Team at Qingdao Anna Foitidou at the 'Bird's Nest' in Beijing Kyriacos Ioannou at the 'Bird's Nest' in Beijing Eleni Artymata at the 'Bird's Nest' in Beijing

Alexandra Tsisiou at the 'Bird's Nest' in Beijing Anna Stylianou at the 'Water Cube' in Beijing Dimitris Minasides at the Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics Gymnasium Anna Mousikou at the Olympic Green Archery Field


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