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Latest update: 08/06/2009 18:17 +0300

Cyprus Makes Record Gold Rush

NICOSIA, 6 June 2009 - Cyprus broke the all time record for the number of gold medals won at the Games of the Small States of Europe on Friday after clinching 12 gold medals in track and field athletics on Saturday to take the islandís grand total at this year's XIII Games to 59.

The Cypriot athletes swept in 12 gold medals (12 in team events) in the third and final day of the track and field events having already won 15 in the previous days.

Their 27 gold medals in this yearís games surpassed the gold medals won at the last GSSE in Monaco when the island took 24 gold medals.

The first gold medal at the GSP Sports Complex came from Evmorfia Baourda who broke the games and Cypriot record in the 100m hurdles whilst Eleni Artymata also broke the games record in the 200m.

In front of 1,800 home supporters, Stefanos Hadjinikolaou surpassed his personal best to take the gold medal in the 200m menís event having previously secured the gold in the 400m event.

Froso Drosou came first in the womenís high jump event with her leap of 1.78m leaving Icelandís Helga Thorsteinsdottir in second place with 1.75m and Luxembourgís Liz Kuffer in third with 1.72m.

Olympia Menelaou secured the gold medal in the shot put event with her winning throw of 14.70m with another Cypriot Florentia Kapa coming second with 14.55 and Icelandís Helga Thorsteinsdottir coming third with 13.60m.

In the long distance races, Luxembourgís Pascale Schmoetten secured a personal record in the 5,000m womenís race ahead of Icelandís Arndis Hafthorsdottir and Maltaís Giselle Camilleri. In the 10,000m menís race, Kari Steinn Karlsson easily took first place with Monacoís Omar Bachir coming in second and Marcos Sanza Arranz of Andorra finishing third. Arranz also finished second in the 5,000m race which Karlsson also won.

In the triple jump event, the Cypriot duo of Zacharias Arnos and Mathaios Volou redeemed themselves - after losing out in the long jump event on Tuesday - by taking first and second place ahead of the Icelandic athlete who had previously beaten them in the long jump event, Kristin Torfasson. Arnos finished first with his jump of 15.40m with Volou coming in second with 15.21m. It was Volouís second silver at the games whilst Arnos had finished third in the long jump.

Three out of the four relay races also ended in Cypriot success with the hosts losing out in the 4x400m womenís event to winners Luxembourg with Iceland finishing third.

In the 4x100m womenís race, Artymata easily crossed the finish line in first place winning her third gold medal of the competition. In the menís race, Cyprus resisted some intense pressure from Malta to take first place with Iceland finishing third.

Saturdayís schedule finished with the menís 4x400m menís relay race in which Cyprusí Hadjinikolaou also repelled some late pressure from Luxembourg to finish first with Malta coming in third just ahead of Monaco.

ΜP/JL

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