The gold medal of Nicole Kyriakopoulou in the Mediterranean Games' pole vault was Tuesday's pleasant surprise for Greek athletics in Pescara, on a day of many medals for Greece in the competition.
Kyriakopoulou topped the event on the first day of the athletics programme with a jump at 4.50 metres, with Cyprus's Marianna Zacharadi in second with 4.45 m.
Dimitris Tsiamis won silver in the triple-jump reaching 16.98 m., emulating the success of Spyros Lembesis who finished second in javelin with 78.66 m., a personal best.
Stella Papadopoulou won bronze in hammer throw with a shot at 67.55 m.
Gold in weightlifting, karate
Nikos Kourtidis won two gold medals in the 94-kilogram category in weightlifting, while Grigoris Satsian earned a bronze in the 105-kg category.
Dimitris Triantafyllos earned one more gold for Greece in karate's 67-kg category.
In swimming Aris Grigoriadis won silver while breaking the national record in 100 metres backstroke with 54.00 seconds.
Aspasia Petradaki finished third in the same distance, also clocking a new national record (1.02.48).
There were also bronze medals in cycling with Yiannis Tamouridis and in water ski (an exhibition event) with Angeliki Andriopoulou, Nikos Plytas, Evdokia Liakou and Giorgos Hatzis.
The central Greek cities of Volos and Larissa have been awarded the Mediterranean Games for 2013 after beating off a strong challenge from the Croatian city of Rijeka.
The joint Greek bid received 24 votes to Rijeka's 31 in the first round of voting in Pescara which saw the third contender Mersin in Turkey eliminated with just 13 votes.
In the second round, the Greek bid picked up 37 votes to 34 for Rijeka.
"These games are of major importance for Volos, Larissa and the wider region of Thessaly, which will acquire infrastructure that it lacks - infrastructure that will improve the quality of life of its citizens and significantly bolster the regional economy," said Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis who was Mayor of Athens during the 2004 Olympic Games.
At a news conference shortly after the decision win was announced, the bid committee's chief Isidoros Kouvelos, Bakoyannis's husband, said the event's committee had "embraced the ambitious Greek proposal for upgrading the Mediterranean Games."
Kouvelos described the joint Greek bid as difficult, noting that the relevant campaign commenced several months after the other two candidate cities had already begun preparations.
Held under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee and currently involving over 20 countries from three continents, the Mediterranean Games were first held in 1951 in Alexandria, Egypt, after the idea was proposed at the 1948 Olympic Games by Muhammed Taher, chairman of the Egyptian Olympic Committee.
Initially, the sporting event was held one year before the Olympic Games, but since 1993, it has been staged the following year. Italy leads the all-time medal tally. Greece is ranked sixth.