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Monday, March 15, 2010

Spyros LouisThe Museum of the Marathon Run in Marathonas, eastern Attica will permanently host the gold medal of 1896 Athens Olympics Marathon winner Spyros Louis as of this month.

The first Marathon gold ever will be officially presented to the museum by General Secretary for Sports, Panos Bitsaxis, on March 29 at 6.30 p.m. during a special ceremony at the museum, its director Maria Polyzou told sportingreece.com.

"We have been trying for years to secure this great piece of Marathon history and we have finally managed to secure it for our museum," Polyzou, a former Marathon champion herself, said.

Louis's medal will be permanently exhibited at the museum at a special bullet-proof display, along with the legendary runner's certificate by the Olympics organizers and his hat that formed part of the traditional uniform worn by Greeks at the time.

Louis, a Maroussi-born water-carrier, won the Marathon at the Olympic Games in Athens on March 29, 1896.

His victory gave great pride to the country, but his family was later forced to sell his medal due to its need for money in difficult times. They sold it to the General Secretariat or Sports, which a few decades later is now handing it over to the Museum of the Marathon Run.

The town of Marathonas this year celebrates the 2,500-year anniversary of the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. and this will form part of the celebrations that will culminate in the autumn.

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

Monday, February 15, 2010

Vancouver 2010The Greek father-daughter combination of Athanasios Tsakiris and Panagiota Tsakiri suffered a disappointing start to the Vancouver Olympics when they failed to make an impression on their opening events.

Panagiota Tsakiri finished in 86th position in the women's 7.5 kilometre biathlon sprint.

After the first round of prone shooting she lay in 80th, picking up one penalty. She has slipped to 87th after the second standing shooting where she picked up two further penalties.

However, she was able to overhaul Spain's Victoria Padial Hernandez to finish in a time of 24:28.8 - almost five minutes behind the winner Anastazia Kuzmina of Slovakia.

Magdalena Neuner of Germany was second with France's Marie Dorin taking the bronze.

Her father Athanasios fared less well in the men's biathlon 10k sprint as he failed to finish in difficult conditions.

The 45-year-old, who carried the Greek flag at the opening ceremony, struggled from the start and was already well off the pace after the prone shooting.

The race had started in fine weather but by the time Tsakiris, wearing bib number 52, went out it, conditions had worsened considerably, something that blighted the chances of some of the podium prospects, notably nine-time Olympic medallist Ole Einar Bjoerndalen who could only struggle in in 17th.

By the time Tsakiris had completed the standing shooting he was over five minutes back, the snow was falling heavily and he did not finish.

The race was won by Vincent Jay of France in a time of 24:07.8. Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen took the silver and Jakov Fak of Croatia the bronze. body
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