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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-08-11

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Greek Press & Information Office, Ottawa Canada <grnewsca@sympatico.ca>

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 1260), August 11, 1997

Greek Press & Information Office
Ottawa, Canada
E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


CONTENTS

  • [01] Athens '97 World Athletics Championships come to a successful end
  • [02] Anton outsprints Fiz to win marathon gold
  • [03] Komen races away with 5,000 meters title
  • [04] Riedel clinches fourth world discus title
  • [05] Bubka wins world title for sixth time
  • [06] Silver medallist in women's 10 kms walk disqualified
  • [07] Bailey gains some consolation with relay gold
  • [08] Norway wins women's high jump
  • [09] Women's 100 meters hurdles won by Sweden
  • [10] Greece wins silver medal in long jump
  • [11] Suzuki conquers grueling course for marathon course
  • [12] Quirot retains world 800 meters title
  • [13] Szabo adds world gold to Olympic title
  • [14] United States set second fastest 4x100 relay time
  • [15] Hattestad regains world javelin title
  • [16] IAAF president praises Athens' sporting public
  • [17] Greece ready to host the 2004 Olympic Games
  • [18] Medals table
  • [19] Incident at Evros
  • [20] Venezuela criticized at treatment of Greek captain

  • [01] Athens '97 World Athletics Championships come to a successful end

    Athens, 11/8/1997 (ANA)

    The Athens '97 World Athletics Championships came to a close last night as fireworks lit the sky at the Olympic Stadium of Athens, packed with sports enthusiasts, over 3,000 athletes representing over 200 countries, sports officials and Greek government representatives.

    The closing ceremony of the 6th International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) event began with participating athletes who paraded in the stadium under their flags.

    Following the IAAF hymn and the national anthem of Greece, this year's host city handed the flag to Seville, which will host them in 1999.

    A roll call was made of all athletes who had won gold medals, followed by wild clapping from the audience. No closing speeches were made, and during the music that followed athletes broke out in dance on the track and field, followed by fireworks.

    Despite some impressive victories in these championships, no world records were broken.

    The United States dominated the event with most medals (7 gold, 3 silver, 8 bronze), the Germans second (5 gold, 1 silver, 4 bronze), and Cuba (4 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze).

    In his message for the closing of the event, Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday congratulated the athletes "from all over the world who did their best in every event" in the championships and said the event had been "immensely successful".

    Mr. Simitis said, "A special recommendation must surely go to the Greek athletes who showed us that a new generation of great track and field athletes is being born".

    Sports Under-secretary Andreas Fouras in a statement thanked the athletes who took part, as well as the IAAF, the Greek political parties and the mass media.

    "Wishing good-bye to all those that we have hosted with love all these ten days, I assure them that the Greek people will do their best to host them again even more warmly in the future," he concluded.

    [02] Anton outsprints Fiz to win marathon gold

    Athens, 11/8/1997 (ANA)

    Spaniard Abel Anton outsprinted compatriot and reigning champion Martin Fiz to win the world men's marathon gold medal on the ancient course from Marathon to Athens yesterday.

    Anton, the 10,000 meters European champion, used his track speed to move past Fiz just before the leading pair entered the Panathinaikon Stadium, site of the 1896 Olympic Games, where the finish was decided.

    The winner clocked two hours 13 minutes 16 seconds, crossing the line just ahead of Fiz, who clocked 2:13:21. Veteran Australian Steve Moneghetti was a distant third, with 2:14:16.

    Anton and Fiz escaped from a group of 10 after some 25 kms, in the hilliest part of the 42.195 kms course.

    The 34-year-old Anton, who made a brilliant marathon debut when he won in Berlin last year, stayed safely behind Fiz until making his decisive move with a few hundred meters remaining in the race, based on the run of the messenger Pheidippides in 490 B. C.

    Greece's Nikolaos Pollias finished 19th, with a timing of 2:21:03.

    [03] Komen races away with 5,000 meters title

    Athens, 11/8/1997 (ANA)

    Kenyan Daniel Komen accelerated to the front with five laps to run and raced away to the world men's 5,000 meters title by nearly two seconds yesterday.

    Komen, who missed selection for the Atlanta Olympics last year, clocked 13 minutes 07.38 seconds.

    Morocco's Khalid Boulami overtook another Kenyan, Tom Nyariki, to take the silver in 13:09.34. Nyariki clocked 13:11.09 for third place.

    Komen holds four of the six fastest times ever for the 5,000 and set a year's best of 12:48.98 in Rome last June. He was the overall Grand Prix winner last year.

    [04] Riedel clinches fourth world discus title

    Athens, 11/8/1997 (ANA)

    German Lars Riedel clinched his fourth successive world men's discus title yesterday with a throw nearly two meters ahead of his nearest rival.

    The Olympic champion threw the discus 68.54 meters to take first place ahead of Virgilijus Alekna of Lithuania who had a best mark of 66.70 meters. Juergen Schult, a former Olympic, world and European champion who like Riedel competed for the former East Germany, was third with 66.14.

    [05] Bubka wins world title for sixth time

    Athens, 11/8/1997 (ANA)

    Sergei Bubka, the greatest pole vaulter in the history of the sport, won the world title for the sixth time in succession yesterday against all odds.

    Bubka did not start last year's Atlanta Olympic competition after sustaining an Achilles tendon injury while warming up for the qualifying round.

    The injury has continued to haunt him this year and he was not considered one of the title favorites here.

    But once again, the extraordinary competitive spirit which has seen the Ukrainian win the world title at each championships since the inaugural 1983 Helsinki competition prevailed.

    He cleared 6.01 meters to clinch the gold medal.

    He then had the bar set at 6.15 but ran through his only attempt on his own world record.

    Russian Maksim Tarasov took the silver with 5.96 and American Dean Starkey the bronze with 5.91.

    [06] Silver medallist in women's 10 kms walk disqualified

    Athens, 11/8/1997 (ANA)

    Russian silver medallist walker Olympiada Ivanova became yesterday the second athlete to be stripped of a world championship medal for cheating with drugs and now faces a two-year ban.

    In a statement the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) said Ivanova, who finished second in Thursday's 10 kms walk, had tested positive for the steroid stanozolol together with compatriot Lyubov Tsyoma who failed to finish her 800 meters semifinal heat on the same day.

    The 27-year-old Ivanova will also lose here $30,000 prize money. Under IAAF rules, both athletes will be banned for two years, the minimum penalty for a serious doping offense.

    Stanozolol was the drug used by Canadian Ben Johnson when he won the 1988 Seoul Olympics 100 meters final in world record time. Johnson lost the gold medal and the time was not recognized by the IAAF.

    Ivanova, who produced the best performance of her career to win the silver medal, was the second medallist to test positive after Ukraine's world shot put champion Aleksandr Bagach.

    Bagach was stripped of his gold medal after testing positive for the stimulant ephedrine but escaped with a public warning because the drug is not regarded as being as serious an offense as steroid abuse.

    French 400 meters hurdler Pascal Maran and women's triple jumper Oxana Zelinskaya of Kazakhstan, neither of whom made the finals, also tested positive for ephedrine and were given a warning.

    Under the IAAF's old rules the two Russians would have been banned for four years. But the IAAF decided to halve its bans for serious drugs at a meeting before the championships because of legal problems with the longer ban.

    Belarus walker Olga Kardopoltseva, who finished third, will now be given the silver medal in the 10 kms with her compatriot Valentina Tsybulkskaya elevated from fourth to the bronze medal position.

    [07] Bailey gains some consolation with relay gold

    Athens, 11/8/1997 (ANA)

    Olympic champion Donovan Bailey gained some consolation for his defeat in the world 100 meters final yesterday by anchoring Canada to victory in the men's 4x100 meters relay.

    German Grit Breuer, who was involved in two much-publicized doping scandals involving former double world sprint champion Katrin Krabbe in the early 1990's, made a spectacular late burst in the last 50 meters to give Germany the women's 4x400 meters relay title.

    Bailey, beaten to the gold in the individual 100 by American Maurice Greene, ran a powerful anchor leg as Canada retained the world title. Their American rivals, beaten in last year's Olympic final, crashed out in the heats on Saturday after a calamitous baton change.

    Bailey said he had strained a groin muscle in his leg during the warm-up for the race but he never looked like relinquishing the Canadian lead in a powerful final leg down the home straight.

    "Two golds here would have been better but gold and silver is okay," Bailey said after he combined with Robert Esmie, Glenroy Gilbert and Bruny Surin to clock 37.86 seconds ahead of Nigeria and Britain who clocked 38.07 and 38.14 seconds respectively.

    "I still think I can break the world record in the individual 100 this year," Bailey added.

    In the women's 4x400 the Germans looked set for bronze before Breuer stormed through on the inside to pip American Jearl Miles-Clark and Jamaica's Sandie Richards on the line.

    The Germans won in three minutes 20.92 seconds with the United States taking silver in 3:21.03 and Jamaica third in 3:21.30 just ahead of Russia (3:21.57).

    "I don't know why it is but in relay races I just seem to feel more free in my head," Breuer said. "I won the poker game. The Russian left me a gap to take and I went through it."

    The men's 4x400 meters saw a fascinating battle between the Americans, Britain and Jamaica which was not decided until a dramatic final leg when Tyree Washington just hung on to the lead to seal victory for the US in 2:56.47.

    Jamie Baulch ran a brilliant third leg for the British to put Mark Richardson in a perfect position just behind the Americans at the start of the last leg. But he was unable to produce a strong enough kick in the last 50 meters to win the race.

    Britain took the silver in 2:56.65 with Jamaica third in 2:56.75.

    [08] Norway wins women's high jump

    Athens, 11/8/1997 (ANA)

    Norway's Hanne Haugland won the women's high jump gold medal yesterday with 1.99 meters. The silver was won by Russia's Olga Kaliturina, who jumped 1.96 meters, and the bronze by the Ukraine's Inga Babakova, who also jumped the same height.

    [09] Women's 100 meters hurdles won by Sweden

    Athens, 11/8/1997 (ANA)

    Sweden's Ludmila Engquist won the women's 100 meters hurdles yesterday, with 12.50. She was followed in the silver by Bulgaria's Svetla Dimitrova, with 12.58, and Jamaica's Michelle Freeman with 12.61, who won the bronze.

    [10] Greece wins silver medal in long jump

    Athens, 11/8/1997 (ANA)

    Home crowd favorite Niki Xanthou won the world women's long jump silver medal on Saturday, making her the first Greek winner of a silver medal in the IAAF championships.

    Russia's Lyudmila Galkina won the world women's title with a leap of 7.05 meters to deny championship hosts Greece their first gold medal.

    Xanthou had led the competition after her third round effort of 6.94 but was overtaken by Galkina one round later.

    Galkina's distance added seven centimeters to her own personal best and is the best mark in the world this year. Xanthou could not improve but still secured the silver medal.

    Italy's Fiona May, the 1995 world champion, won the bronze medal with 6.91 after a huge jump in the final round was judged to be a marginal foul.

    Nigerian Olympic champion Chioma Ajunwa was stretched off after a modest first round effort.

    Ajunwa, who headed the qualifiers, strained her left thigh while warming up and exacerbated the injury during competition.

    Among other finalists, Germany's Heike Drechsler came fourth with 6.89, Jackie Joyner-Kersee from the United States came fifth with 6.79, and her compatriot Marion Jones came 10th with 6.63.

    [11] Suzuki conquers grueling course for marathon course

    Athens, 11/8/1997 (ANA)

    Hiromi Suzuki continued Japan's modern mastery of the marathon by winning the world women's gold medal on Saturday on the ancient course from Marathon to Athens, a distance of 42 kms and 195 meters.

    Suzuki, 26, competing in only her third marathon, clocked two hours 29 minutes 48 seconds over the traditional course covered by the Greek messenger Pheidippides in 490 B.C. and used for the first Olympics of modern times in 1896.

    She finished well clear of defending champion Manuela Machado of Portugal, who took the silver in 2:31:12 and Romanian Lidia Simon who clocked 2:31:55.

    Suzuki accelerated away from the field around 26 kms on the hilliest and most grueling part of the course, and was never in any trouble on the downhill section of the race, coming home alone at the Panathinaikon Stadium in Athens city center, the venue for the 1896 Games.

    Olympic champion Fatuma Roba of Ethiopia, the pre-race favorite and one of the leaders for the first 21 kms, suddenly dropped out of contention at that point and failed to finish.

    Suzuki's victory follows Junko Asari's win at the Stuttgart world championships in 1993. Hiromi Taniguchi won the men's title in Tokyo in 1991.

    Greece's Maria Polizou completed the course with 2:39.10, finishing 12th out of 30 who completed the race.

    [12] Quirot retains world 800 meters title

    Athens, 11/8/1997 (ANA)

    Ana Fidelia Quirot, who almost lost her life in a house fire four years ago, retained the world women's 800 meters title on Saturday.

    The 34-year-old Cuban, second at the Atlanta Olympics last year, kept a close watch on her closest rival, Mozambique's former world champion Maria Mutola, during the opening lap.

    Quirot moved up to Mutola's shoulder shortly before the bell, then sprinted to the front in the final 50 meters to win in one minute 57.14.

    Mutola, the 1993 champion, gave up when she saw Quirot was going to take the gold and finished third behind Russian Yelena Afanasyeva. Afanasyeva clocked 1:57.56 while Mutola finished in 1:57.59.

    [13] Szabo adds world gold to Olympic title

    Athens, 11/8/1997 (ANA)

    Romania's Gabriela Szabo added the world women's 5,000 gold to her Olympic title on Saturday after another perfectly judged race.

    Szabo stayed just behind the leaders in the early stages as Kenyan Lydia Cheromei made the early pace.

    Briton Paula Radcliffe tried to compensate for her lack of a finishing sprint by taking the lead with three laps to go but could not shake off the field.

    At the bell, Portuguese Fernanda Ribeiro, the Olympic 10,000 meters champion, took the lead and pressed hard down the final straight.

    Szabo accelerated as Ribeiro faded in the final 50 meters to win in 14 minutes 57.68 seconds while Italian Roberta Brunet, the Olympic bronze medallist, sped past the Portuguese to take the silver with 14:58.29. Ribeiro finished with 14:58.85, taking the bronze.

    [14] United States set second fastest 4x100 relay time

    Athens, 11/8/1997 (ANA)

    Olympic 100 meters champion Gail Devers set the second fastest time ever in the world women's 4x100 relay final on Saturday.

    Devers, who was given a wild card to compete in the championships as the defending 100 meters hurdles champion, ran the final leg for the Americans who clocked 41.47 seconds.

    The new world 100 gold medallist Marion Jones ran the second leg.

    Jamaica won the silver with 42.10, and France the bronze with 42.21.

    East Germany set the world record of 41.37 seconds at the World Cup in Canberra 12 years ago. At this event, the German team came fourth, with 42.44.

    [15] Hattestad regains world javelin title

    Athens, 11/8/1997 (ANA)

    Norway's Trine Hattestad regained the world women's javelin title on Saturday with her opening throw of 68.78 meters.

    Hattestad won the 1993 world title in Stuttgart but missed Gothenburg two years ago because she was pregnant.

    The first round effort was enough for victory but behind her a fierce competition developed for the silver and bronze medals.

    Australia's Joanna Stone twice improved her personal best and finished second with 68.64.

    German Tanja Damaske finished third with a final round personal best of 67.12 meters.

    Greece's Mirella Manjani-Tzelili came 11th with 61.02.

    [16] IAAF president praises Athens' sporting public

    Athens, 11/8/1997 (ANA)

    International Amateur Athletics Federation president, Italy's Primo Nebiolo, in an interview in Sunday's "To Vima", denied he ever even considered exploiting the current 6th world athletics championships in Athens to either promote or undermine the Greek capital's candidacy for the 2004 Olympiad. Rome is considered Athens' main rival for the 2004 Games.

    Mr. Nebiolo said that statements he had made Monday referring to a low turnout on the first two days of the championships had been "misunderstood".

    He explained that in response to a journalist's question regarding the first two days, he had said:

    "Perhaps the championships had not been promoted enough, but we mustn't forget that it was the weekend... let's wait and see over the next few days. I hope there will be more people."

    The IAAF president said in yesterday's interview that Athens had proved to be an ideal city to host the 6th World Athletics Championships, chiefly due to the "wonderful public that had filled the stadium".

    [17] Greece ready to host the 2004 Olympic Games

    Athens, 11/8/1997 (ANA)

    Greece has proven it is able to host the Olympic Games of 2004 and is committed to sports, president of the Athens 2004 Bid Committee Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said yesterday.

    In a press statement at the close of the World Amateur Athletics Championships hosted in Athens from August 1 to 10, Mrs. Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said the event proved to its visitors that "Athens is very capable of hosting a world-class competition."

    In the statement she also mentioned the fact that "the weather was wonderful, our sporting facilities were excellent, our traffic moved quickly". Everything pointed out to the fact that the 2004 bid "is based on a rigorously prepared technical plan for hosting the Olympics", she said, adding that the organization of the events allowed Greece to "show the reality behind (its) statistics" for the Athens bid.

    In a reference to the International Olympic Committee members, who attended the event as guests, Mrs. Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said that, "We have shown the International Olympic Committee that 72 per cent of the sporting facilities (and 93 per cent of the training facilities) needed to host the Olympics in 2004 are already in place".

    Mrs. Angelopoulos-Daskalaki asserted that by 2004, Athens "will become even better able to host the Olympic Games", citing major infrastuctural projects such as the new airport at Spata, the metro, and a new ring road that would improve transportation time and the quality of air.

    In the statement, the president of the Greek bid committee thanked the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF), under which the event was held, and its president Mr. Primo Nebiolo.

    She also thanked the Greek prime minister, the sports minister and the mayor of Athens "for their co-operation and commitment" throughout the event, and because they "worked together to show the world one simple truth: Greece is united in support of sport".

    [18] Medals table

    Athens, 11/8/1997 (ANA)

    Final medals table from the sixth World Athletics Championships which ended yesterday:

    United States: 7 gold, 3 silver, 8 bronze Germany: 5 gold, 1 silver, 4 bronze Cuba: 4 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze Kenya: 3 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze Ukraine: 2 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze Morocco: 2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze Czech Republic: 2 gold Norway: 2 gold Russia: 1 gold, 4 silver, 3 bronze Spain: 1 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze Portugal: 1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze Australia: 1 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze Italy: 1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze Romania: 1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze Canada: 1 gold, 1 silver Poland: 1 gold, 1 silver South Africa: 1 gold, 1 silver France: 1 gold, 1 bronze Japan: 1 gold, 1 bronze Mexico: 1 gold, 1 bronze Denmark: 1 gold Ethiopia: 1 gold New Zealand: 1 gold Sweden: 1 gold Trinidad: 1 gold Britain: 5 silver, 1 bronze Jamaica: 3 silver, 4 bronze Belarus: 2 silver, 2 bronze Greece: 1 silver, 1 bronze Lithuania: 1 silver, 1 bronze Bulgaria: 1 silver Finland: 1 silver Namibia: 1 silver Nigeria: 1 silver Sri Lanka: 1 silver Uganda: 1 silver Bahamas: 1 bronze Brazil: 1 bronze Mozambique: 1 bronze Slovakia: 1 bronze Switzerland: 1 bronze

    [19] Incident at Evros

    Athens, 11/8/1997 (ANA)

    Turkish soldiers on the opposite side of the Evros River, the Greek-Turkish border, opened fire against Greek amateur fishermen while the latter were trying to bring in a body they discovered floating in the water, local police announced Saturday.

    They said the incident occurred Thursday afternoon as 65-year-old Paschalis Efthymiadis and 60-year-old Stavros Aspiotis from Lavara village in the Evros prefecture were fishing on the banks of the Evros River.

    The two pensioners told police they had spotted a body floating on the river a short distance from where they were fishing and were trying to bring it to shore when the Turkish soldiers and civilians across the river started threatening them and shot at them three times. The two men panicked and gave up their attempt, rushing off to report the incident to the local police.

    The body, police said, belonged to an unidentified man, possibly an illegal immigrant.

    [20] Venezuela criticized at treatment of Greek captain

    Caracas, 11/8/1997 (Reuter)

    An international shipping organization criticized Venezuela on Friday for refusing to release the captain of a Greek oil tanker that spilled part of its cargo here five months ago. Captain Konstadinos Spyropoulos has been detained without charge since February 28 when the tanker Nissos Amorgos ran aground and leaked 25,000 barrels of crude oil just off Venezuela's northwestern coast.

    "This total lack of action on the part of Venezuelan authorities with respect to Captain Spyropoulos is most shameful and constitutes a basic infringement of recognized human rights," Dagfinn Lunde, managing director of the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (Intertanko) said in a statement.

    The Nissos Amorgos struck bottom while being piloted down the Maracaibo Lake shipping channel. More than a million barrels of Venezuelan oil are exported through the channel each day.

    Although not in jail, Captain Spyropoulos is forbidden from leaving the western Zulia state and has to report to authorities every 25 days. "He's in very low spirits," Constantin Hadjis, Greek consul in Maracaibo, told Reuters by telephone.

    Mr. Hadjis said Captain Spyropoulos had not seen his family for a year and was anxious to return to Greece to be with his seriously ill father-in-law.

    By refusing to let him go, Venezuela was not only infringing on Captain Spyropoulos' human rights but also violating international oil spill treaties, Intertanko said, adding that Caracas was running "the risk of being ostracized by its trading partners and censure by the United Nations."

    The Nissos Amorgos grounding was followed in quick succession by two others in exactly the same place; preliminary surveys indicated that the channel was heavily silted and strewn with large metallic objects, the Oslo-based shipping organization said.

    The spill dumped about 25,000 barrels of heavy crude into the sea, some of which washed up on a 20 km stretch of coastline. That prompted large protests by local fishermen who are suing the ship's owners for $130 million in damages.

    End of English language section.


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