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Greek Press on the 6th World Athletics Championships

Also:


Friday, 8 August 1997
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-08-08
Thursday, 7 August 1997
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-08-07
Wednesday, 6 August 1997
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-08-06
Tuesday, 5 August 1997
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-08-05
Monday, 4 August 1997
Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-08-04
Saturday, 2 August 1997
Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-08-02
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 97-08-02
Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-02
Friday, 1 August 1997
Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-08-01
Antenna: News in English, 97-08-01
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 97-08-01
Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-01
Thursday, 31 July 1997
Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-07-31
Antenna: News in English, 97-07-31
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 97-07-31
Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-07-31
Wednesday, 30 July 1997
Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-07-30
Antenna: News in English, 97-07-30
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 97-07-30
Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-07-30

Friday, 8 August 1997

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-08-08
  • [06] Expected good result for Johnson at World Championships
  • [07] Bagach loses gold medal for doping
  • [08] Faumuina wins New Zealand's first world gold
  • [09] Kumbernuss proves she is still woman to beat
  • [10] Korzeniowski adds world gold to Olympic title
  • [11] Sidoti wins 10 kms walk after champion disqualified
  • [12] Johnson blazes to second world high hurdles title
  • [13] Greek athlete passes to men's 200 meters final
  • [14] Perec's campaign ends in tears on training track
  • [15] Medals table
  • [16] Foreign journalists briefed on Athens' 2004 Olympics bid
  • [17] Greece to host Optimist European sailing championship in 1999

  • [01] US displeased with Turkish partial integration agreement

    Washington, 8/8/1997 (ANA-T. Ellis)

    The US State Department last night expressed its displeasure over the partial integration agreement between Turkey and the

    [06] Expected good result for Johnson at World Championships

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Yesterday's results at the Athens '97 World Athletics Championships revolved around an expected good result for American Allen Johnson, who won his second successive world high hurdles title and came very close to breaking the world record, and an unexpected stripping of a gold medal, nonetheless, from world shot put champion Aleksandr Bagach of the Ukraine, who was the first athlete to fail a drug test during this event.

    Greece's hopeful George Panagiotopoulos managed to hold his own and pass into the finals of the men's 200 race, while France's Marie-Jose Perec was forced to withdraw after hurting herself in warm-ups.

    [07] Bagach loses gold medal for doping

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    World shot put champion Aleksandr Bagach was stripped of his gold medal yesterday and lost $60,000 prize money after testing positive for the stimulant ephedrine.

    The 30-year-old Ukrainian, who became on Saturday the first person to win a title at the sixth world championships, also became the first athlete to fail a drug test here.

    American John Godina, competing here after he was granted a wild card as defending champion, is the new world shot put champion while German Oliver-Sven Buder has the silver.

    C.J. Hunter, fiancee of the new women's 100 meters champion Marion Jones, is elevated to the bronze medal position.

    French men's 400 meters hurdler Pascal Maran and women's triple jumper Oxana Zelinskaya of Kazakhstan also tested positive for ephedrine. Their results were also canceled.

    All three are beneficiaries of the International Amateur Athletic Federation's (IAAF) decision to scrap bans for first offenders for minor drugs such as stimulants and replace them with a "public warning".

    Bagach was suspended for two years after being found to have high levels of testosterone at the 1989 European Cup in Gateshead, England, while competing for the Soviet Union. Under the old rules, as a second-time offender Bagach would have been banned for life if he had tested positive for a more serious performance-enhancing drug such as steroids.

    [08] Faumuina wins New Zealand's first world gold

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Beatrice Faumuina won New Zealand's first gold medal in the 14-year history of the world championships when she won the women's discus final yesterday.

    The 22-year-old of Samoan descent, who came into the competition as a favorite after throwing a season's best of 88.52 meters at Oslo a month ago, fouled her first two throws and would have been eliminated if her third throw was illegal or too short.

    But she survived the pressure to unleash her winning delivery of 66.82 meters in the third round.

    That was good enough not only to win New Zealand's first world championship title, but also their first ever world medal.

    Defending champion Ellina Zvereva of Belarus, who led the competition after two rounds with a heave of 65.90 meters, could not improve on that and had to settle for the silver.

    Natalya Sadova of Russia, the Olympic silver medallist, took the bronze with a throw of 65.14 meters.

    Greece's finalist, Stella Tsikouna, came seventh out of 12, with a throw of 61.92.

    [09] Kumbernuss proves she is still woman to beat

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Germany's Olympic champion Astrid Kumbernuss continued her dominance of the women's shot put by defending her world title with ease yesterday.

    A second-round throw of 20.71 meters clinched the gold for the 27-year-old Neubrandenburg athlete.

    Vita Pavlysh took silver with 20.66 to bring some positive news to Ukraine on a day when their male shot put world champion Aleksandr Bagach was stripped of his title for doping.

    Germany's Stephanie Storp took bronze with a first-round effort of 19.22.

    [10] Korzeniowski adds world gold to Olympic title

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Poland's Robert Korzeniowski added the world gold to his Olympic title yesterday when he took the 50 kilometers walk in three hours 44 minutes and 46 seconds.

    Korzeniowski walked an almost flawless race, picking up only one warning, and took the lead with just over four kilometers to go.

    He had dueled for much of the race with Spain's Jesus Garcia, the 1997 World Cup winner, but managed to match Garcia's repeated attempts to pull away.

    Garcia stayed in close contact to finish second in 3:44.59. Mexico's Miguel Rodriguez took the bronze medal.

    Greece's Christos Karagiorgos, 44, completed the walk 29th at 4:30:05. Karagiorgos, a veteran in track events, is the oldest athlete participating in this year's IAAF championships.

    [11] Sidoti wins 10 kms walk after champion disqualified

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Italian Annarita Sidoti won the world women's 10 kms world title yesterday after defending champion Irina Stankina was disqualified.

    Sidoti was in the lead with Russian Stankina on her heels when the latter received her third warning with 5-1/2 laps remaining.

    Stankina, who had become the youngest ever world champion at 18 years 135 days two years ago in Gothenburg, collapsed by the side of the track, holding her head in her hands.

    The 28-year-old Sidoti, whose best result previously in world championships was a ninth place in 1991 and 1993, went on to record a comfortable victory in 42 minutes 55.49 seconds.

    It was the second major title for the diminutive Italian after her gold medal at the 1990 European championships.

    Russian Olimpiada Ivanova came a distant second in 43:07.63 and Olga Kardopoltseva of Belarus was third in 43:30.20.

    Hungarian Maria Urbanik-Rosza, who came last, fell unconscious after crossing the line.

    [12] Johnson blazes to second world high hurdles title

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    American Allen Johnson blazed to his second successive world high hurdles title yesterday in a time only two-hundredths of a second outside the world record.

    The Olympic champion brushed five barriers on his way to the finish but still won easily in 12.93 seconds from Briton Colin Jackson (13.05), who set the world record at the 1993 Stuttgard world championships.

    Igor Kovac of Slovakia took the bronze in 13.18 seconds.

    The race featured each of the Atlanta Olympic medallists, but Olympic silver medallist Mark Crear could finish only seventh in 13.55 seconds, while German Florian Schwarthoff, who won the bronze in Atlanta, was fourth in 13.20.

    Johnson's time was the quickest in the world this year and equaled the 12.93 clocked by former world record holder Renaldo Nehemiah in 1981.

    [13] Greek athlete passes to men's 200 meters final

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    George Panagiotopoulos became the first Greek athlete in history to qualify for the men's 200 meters final in a world championship, placing third in the first semifinals series yesterday with 20:43 seconds. He will be competing today along with silver medallist Frankie Fredericks from Namibia and bronze medallist Ato Boldon from Trinidad and Tobago.

    [14] Perec's campaign ends in tears on training track

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Marie-Jose Perec's world championship campaign ended in tears on the training track yesterday when she pulled a leg muscle while warming up and was forced to pull out of the 200 meters semifinals.

    The Olympic 200 and 400 meter champion from France, who originally did not want to compete in Athens because of her disappointing form this session, hurt a thigh muscle and left the warm-up arena in tears.

    Perec entered the 200 only here and admitted that it would need a miracle for her to win a medal. But she had looked confident in the earlier heats and could have had a chance of getting into the first three in today's final. Trinidad's Ato Boldon, who will run in the 200 men's finals and trains with Perec, said the Frenchwoman had had no chance of competing.

    "If she had come out and run (yesterday), she would have left the track on a stretcher," he said.

    Defending champion Merlene Ottey, who failed to win a medal in the 100 meters, looked sharp as she won her semifinal with meters to spare in 22.26 seconds.

    [15] Medals table

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Medals table after the sixth day of competition at the World Athletics Championships yesterday:

    United States: 5 gold, 2 silver, 5 bronze Germany: 3 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze Kenya: 2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze Cuba: 2 gold Czech Republic: 2 gold Poland: 1 gold, 1 silver Portugal: 1 gold, 1 silver South Africa: 1 gold, 1 silver Australia: 1 gold, 1 bronze Mexico: 1 gold, 1 bronze Morocco: 1 gold, 1 bronze Ethiopia: 1 gold France: 1 gold Italy: 1 gold New Zealand: 1 gold Ukraine: 3 silver, 1 bronze Britain: 3 silver Russia: 2 silver, 3 bronze Spain: 2 silver, 1 bronze Belarus: 1 silver, 2 bronze Canada: 1 silver Finland: 1 silver Jamaica: 1 silver Romania: 1 silver Uganda: 1 silver Bahamas: 1 bronze Greece: 1 bronze Japan: 1 bronze Lithuania: 1 bronze Slovakia: 1 bronze Switzerland: 1 bronze.

    [16] Foreign journalists briefed on Athens' 2004 Olympics bid

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    80 foreign journalists from the press and electronic media around the world were received yesterday at the Zappion Building by the President of the Athens 2004 Bidding Committee, Yianna Aggelopoulou-Daskalaki. The foreign journalists were analytically briefed by the president and members of the committee on Athens' bid for the 2004 Olympic Games.

    [17] Greece to host Optimist European sailing championship in 1999

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Greece will host the Optimist European sailing championship in 1999, putting Greece on the map as a center for international sailing events. In a vote to decide on the host for 1999, Greece got 16 "yes" votes and 4 "no" votes.

    Thursday, 7 August 1997

    Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-08-07
  • [05] Athens '97 world athletics championships
  • [06] Medals table
  • [07] Possible penal proceedings against junta leader
  • [08] Kranidiotis stresses need for adherence to EU-Cyprus talks
  • [09] Praise for Athens '97 Athletics
  • [05] Athens '97 world athletics championships

    Athens, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    Spectacular performances and unexpected comebacks in championships

    Yesterday's finals included some spectacular performances and unexpected comebacks, including an admirable win by Kenyans who took all three medals at the 3,000 steeplechase race. Cuban Jose Sotomayor reclaimed the world men's title despite repeated injuries that destroyed his chances in Atlanta last year, Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj came back to win the world 1,500 meters following a spill in last year's Olympics that cost him a gold, and Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie, who had withdrawn from Atlanta's 5,000 meters with severe blisters, winning his third consecutive 10,000 meters world title. Czech Thomas Dvorak was another surprise, winning the gold in the decathlon despite his third place in the 1,500 meters, having a clear lead of 96 points over the silver winner. The Athens Olympic Stadium was again packed with an enthusiastic crowd.

    Sotomayor bounces back after dreadful year Cuba's Javier Sotomayor bounced back after a dreadful 1996 yesterday to reclaim the world men's high jump title.

    Sotomayor took the title with a leap of 2.37 meters then, with the gold medal already confirmed, took one abortive attempt at 2.41.

    Poland's Arthur Partyka, second behind Sotomayor four years ago, finished with the silver again (2.35), followed by Australian Tim Forsyth (also 2.35).

    Sotomayor, the world record holder with 2.45 meters, won the Olympic title in 1992 and the world title the following year.

    He was hampered by knee, foot and ankle injuries in 1995 and again last year, finishing 11th at the Atlanta Olympics. Greece's hopeful, Lambros Papakostas, finished sixth with 2.32, after Norway's Steinar Hoen and Britain's Dalton Grant, who tied in fourth/fifth place also with 2.32.

    El Guerrouj inherits Morceli's crown Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj confirmed his promise yesterday when he took the world 1,500m crown from three times champion Noureddine Morceli.

    The 22-year-old world indoor champion, whose chance of the gold in Atlanta last year disappeared when he fell in the Olympic final, glided to victory in three minutes 35.83 seconds.

    Algerian Morceli, the Olympic champion and world record holder, who was bidding to become the first man to win four successive world track titles, finished out of the medals in fourth place behind Spaniards Fermin Cacho and fast-finishing Reyes Estevez who overtook him just before the finish line.

    Cacho, the 1992 Olympic champion, clocked 3:36.63, Estevez 3:37.26 and Morceli 3:37.37, exactly 10 seconds outside his world record.

    The race began at a pedestrian pace with the first two laps averaging 61 seconds.

    El Guerrouj, controlling everything from the front, kicked with 500 meters to run and again at the bell and was never in the slightest danger of losing, easily adding the world outdoor title to the indoor gold he won in Paris last month.

    Kipketer wins final sprint after race went to plan Wilson Boit Kipketer won a dramatic sprint finish between three Kenyans to seal his first major title in the world 3,000 meters steeplechase final yesterday, upstaging world record holder Moses Kiptanuyi in the process.

    After defending champion Kiptanui had led from the start, the 23-year-old Kipketer burst past his compatriot down the home straight to win in eight minutes 05.84 seconds.

    Kiptanui, who was bidding to become the first man to win four successive world track title, took silver in 8:06.04 with Bernard Barmasai completing a Kenyan clean sweep in exactly the same time.

    It was the second consecutive time that Kiptanui has lost out in a tight finish at a major championship after winning the world title in 1991, 1993 and 1995.

    At last year's Atlanta Olympics Kiptanui could also not match the final kick of compatriot and training partner Joseph Keter and also took silver.

    Kiptanui said the three Kenyans had talked about the race beforehand and had carried out a plan to make sure the pace was fast.

    "We had a plan. We knew that if the race was slow it would be difficult for us to finish in the top three," he said. "That is why we were in front and going faster and faster all the time."

    Used to being accompanied throughout the first part of races by a pacemaker on the grand prix circuit, Kiptanui ran a brave race from the front from the start.

    He was ahead at the bell as the three Kenyans set a furious pace down the back straight. The steeplechasers came over the water jump almost together before Kipketer produced his brilliant finish.

    "When I broke through I knew the race was mine because I have been training specifically for the last 300 meters," Kipketer said. "It's great that Kenya got one-two-three. It is what the Kenyan people have been waiting for.

    "I think that the three of us could co-operate to break the record ... We have got what we wanted -- all three medals."

    Kiptanui, 26, has been working more as a coach recently and has been training a group of more than 30 athletes.

    The world record holder said he still felt he could continue his career on the track.

    But he added: "Who knows what can happen? Maybe in one year's time I will not be in the same position as I am now."

    Gebrselassie wins third 10,000 meters world title Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie won his third consecutive world 10,000 meters title with consummate ease yesterday.

    Gebrselassie took off with 600 meters remaining to win in 27 minutes 24.58 seconds ahead of Kenyan Paul Tergat, the 1995 bronze medallist, with former world record holder Salah Hissou of Morocco third in 27:28.67.

    The top three finished in exactly the same order in the Olympic final in Atlanta last year.

    World record holder Gebrselassie ran a perfect race, staying just behind the leader for most of the race before making his decisive move.

    Gebrselassie, 24, had threatened not to come to Athens because he feared the track might be too hard. He then asked unsuccessfully for it to be watered in order to make it softer.

    Gebrselassie withdrew from the 5,000 meters in Atlanta after sustaining severe blisters from the hard track while winning the 10,000 meters.

    Dvorak wins decathlon with historic performance Czech Thomas Dvorak, a bronze medallist at last year's Atlanta Olympics, sealed his first world title with the third best decathlon performance of all time at the world championships yesterday.

    After going into the final event with a 96-point lead over Finland's Eduard Hamalainen, Dvorak came in third in the 1,500 meters to finish with a total of 8,837.

    The Czech was clearly unaware that he could make history, walking across the finish line.

    Hamalainen took silver with 8,730 with Germany's Frank Busemann, who produced a major surprise by coming from nowhere to take silver at Atlanta, winning the bronze with 8,652.

    Dvorak's performance has been bettered by only American world record holder Dan O'Brien who compiled 8,891 in 1992 and Briton Daley Thompson who scored 8,847 at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

    Greece's entry, Prodromos Korkizoglou, came 16th out of 34, with 7,867 points.

    [06] Medals table

    Medals table after the fifth day of competition at the World Athletics Championships yesterday:

    United States: 3 gold, 3 silver, 4 bronze Kenya: 2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze Germany: 2 gold, 2 bronze Cuba: 2 gold Czech Republic: 2 gold Ukraine: 1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze Portugal: 1 gold, 1 silver, South Africa: 1 gold, 1 silver Australia: 1 gold, 1 bronze Morocco: 1 gold, 1 bronze Ethiopia: 1 gold France: 1 gold Mexico: 1 gold Britain: 2 silver Russia: 1 silver, 2 bronze Spain: 1 silver, 1 bronze Canada: 1 silver Finland: 1 silver Jamaica: 1 silver Poland: 1 silver Romania: 1 silver Uganda: 1 silver Bahamas: 1 bronze Belarus: 1 bronze Greece: 1 bronze Japan: 1 bronze Lithuania: 1 bronze Switzerland: 1 bronze

    [07] Possible penal proceedings against junta leader

    Athens, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    Justice Minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos yesterday did not rule out the initiation of penal proceedings against junta 'president' in 1974, retired general Phaedon Gizikis, who admitted, in a newspaper interview on Sunday, August 3, to ordering the overthrow of Cypriot president Archbishop Makarios on July 15 of that year.

    Mr. Yiannopoulos made the statement after meeting a delegation of the Cypriot Socialist EDEK party, headed by deputy leader Yiannakis Omirou.

    The minister revealed that the Cypriot government intended to prosecute Mr. Gizikis on charges of high treason, and that he himself would consult with Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, with a view to examining the issue both on penal and political grounds.

    He said this would involve examination of whether the legal impediment of the elapsing of the 20-year writing-off period since the commission of the crime could be overcome.

    [08] Kranidiotis stresses need for adherence to EU-Cyprus talks

    Athens, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    Foreign Under-secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis had talks yesterday with Britain's visiting European affairs minister, Doug Henderson, focusing on the Cyprus problem.

    "I stressed that the decision taken for the commencement of negotiations (for EU accession) with the legitimate government of Cyprus six months after the IGC must be adhered to," Mr. Kranidiotis told reporters after the two-hour meeting. He added however that this did not mean efforts should not be made in the meantime for a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem in view of the fresh round of talks between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in Geneva on August 11.

    While restating the British government's support for Cyprus' accession to the EU, Mr. Henderson stressed that "the accession path" would be "much smoother" if the issue of the internal division of Cyprus had been resolved through a negotiated settlement .

    The British Minister meanwhile praised the Greek government's contribution to improving the situation in neighboring Albania and expressed the hope that with the help of the international community "and the Greek government in particular" Albania "will establish a firm constitutional position" which would enable the country to contribute to stability in the Balkans.

    Replying to reporters' questions on statements reportedly made by Turkish Premier Mesut Yilmaz to the effect that the Aegean Sea supposedly constitutes a "special case" to which international law is not applicable, Mr. Kranidiotis reiterated that Athens h ad requested clarifications from Turkey.

    Mr. Kranidiotis said however that the statements, reportedly made by Mr. Yilmaz to the "Washington Post", did not contribute to the climate "which we have been trying to create following the Madrid joint communiqui".

    The framework which must govern Greek-Turkish relations, he added, is that of international law, international treaties and international conventions.

    On his part, Mr. Henderson said the two countries should try to resolve the matter themselves "and if they cannot, they will have to find a third party acceptable to both sides as an arbitrator".

    In the absence of any other (arbitrator), Mr. Henderson said, "the Court of Justice at the Hague is a possible way of resolving that outstanding problem".

    The two ministers also discussed matters related to EU enlargement and bilateral issues. Mr. Henderson expressed London's support for the Commission's proposal concerning the commencement of procedures for the accession of the five nations of Central Europe, while noting that "we should also leave the door open for other nations hoping for a seat in the EU at a later stage".

    The EU, Mr. Henderson said, is a great opportunity for those countries in Central Europe and elsewhere which rejected communism "and are looking for a home in democracy".

    "We have a historic obligation to offer that opportunity," the British minister added.

    [09] Praise for Athens '97 Athletics

    Athens, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    Meanwhile, Mr. Henderson also praised the organization of the ongoing 6th World Athletics Championships in Athens. Himself a marathon runner, the British Minister said the championships were "very well organized" with events beginning "precisely on time".

    "Everyone has the opportunity to watch the events in a friendly, harmonious and very pleasant atmosphere," added Mr. Henderson, who was among the spectators at the Athens Olympic Stadium on Tuesday and yesterday evening.

    "I'm sorry about the javelin, but that's athletics," Mr. Henderson said, referring to his compatriot, Steve Backley, who on his last throw deprived Greek champion Costas Gatsioudis of the silver medal in Tuesday's event.


    Wednesday, 6 August 1997

    Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-08-06

    Athens '97 world athletics championships

    Athens, 6/8/1997 (ANA)

    Greece wins bronze in javelin, first medal in games

    Yesterday's results in a stadium packed with an enthusiastic crowd, proved to be more colorful than in other days, with the surprise elimination of world and Olympic champion Jan Zelezny from the javelin throw, an impressive run in the women's 10,000 met res that brought Kenya's Sally Barsosio to a smooth and cool top position, and the first medal for host Greece, with a bronze for javelin thrower Costas Gatzioudis. America's Michael Johnson, expected to secure a top placement, clinched the gold in the men's 400 meters.

    Johnson wins men's 400 meters title

    American Michael Johnson won the world men's 400 meters gold medal in 44.12 seconds yesterday.

    Davis Kamoga of Uganda took the silver (44.37) and American Tyree Washington the bronze (44.39).

    Corbett wins javelin gold after Zelezny goes out

    South African Marius Corbett won javelin gold at the world championships yesterday after favorite Jan Zelezny was eliminated from the final.

    Corbett threw a best of 88.40 meters to emerge as the surprise winner.

    Britain's Steve Backley took silver with 86.80 meters at his last attempt while Costas Gatzioudis handed Greece their first medal in the competition with a throw of 86.64 meters for bronze.

    World and Olympic champion Jan Zelezny of the Czech Republic missed the cut for the final eight who take the last three throws.

    The world record holder failed to record a mark at his first two tries and recorded 82.06 meters with his third attempt, finishing in ninth place.

    Barsosio wins women's 10,000 meters title

    Kenyan Sally Barsosio won the world women's 10,000 meters gold medal yesterday, timed with 31:32.93.

    Fernanda Ribeiro of Portugal took the silver (31:39.15) and Japanese Masako Chiba the bronze (31:41.93).

    Pedroso wins men's long jump title

    Cuban Ivan Pedroso won the world men's long jump gold medal yesterday, with 8.42 meters.

    Erick Walder of the United States took the silver (8.38) and Russian Kiril Sosunov the bronze (8.18).

    Sacramento wins women's 1,500 meters title

    Portuguese Carla Sacramento won the world women's 1,500 meters title yesterday with 4:04.24.

    American Regina Jacobs took the silver (4:04.63) and Anita Weyermann of Switzerland the bronze (4:04.70).

    Medals table

    Medals table after the fourth day of competition at the World Athletics Championships yesterday:
    Countrygoldsilverbronze
    United States334
    Germany21
    Ukraine1 2 1
    Portugal1 1
    South Africa1 1
    Australia1
    Cuba1
    Czech Republic1
    France1
    Kenya1
    Mexico1
    Britain2
    Russia1 2
    Canada1
    Jamaica1
    Romania1
    Uganda1
    Bahamas1
    Belarus1
    Greece1
    Japan1
    Lithuania1
    Switzerland1

    Justice Minister comments on World Championships

    Athens, 6/8/1997 (ANA)

    Justice Minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos said yesterday that Athens' suitability as host city for the 2004 Olympiad was being "tested" at the 6th World Athletics Championship currently under way, and that if the International Olympic Committee members awarded the 28th Olympiad to Athens, they would be doing "their duty".

    "However, if they think commercially, then they will not give the Olympic Games to Greece," the Minister added, in an indirect response to criticism by International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) president Primo Nebiolo that Athens had not properly marketed the current 6th World Athletics Championships, resulting in low attendance last Saturday, the first day of events at Athens' Olympic Stadium.

    Athens '97 director Vangelis Savramis also rebuffed the criticism on Monday, saying that he preferred "a stadium full of sports fans rather than soldiers", intimating at the practice adopted for boosting attendance at the 2nd World Championships in Rome in 1987.

    Mr. Nebiolo is honorary chairman of the Rome 2004 Olympic bid organizing committee. Rome and Athens were shortlisted in March for the 2004 Games, together with Cape Town, Buenos Aires and Stockholm from among 11 candidate cities.

    Mr. Savramis said he had proposed to Mr. Nebiolo a change in the August 1-10 dates, as most people in the greater Athens area are away on holiday at that time of the year, but Nebiolo had instead argued "for a promotion campaign using loudspeakers".

    President of the Greek Olympic Committee Lambis Nicolaou has also said that nine days was "too lengthy" for an athletic competition, and that six days would have been better for the World Championships.

    The Justice Minister, who attended the track and field events yesterday, said the organization of the Championships was "impeccable in all respects".

    He also praised the performance of the Greek athletes, noting that "it is no small accomplishment to be fourth or fifth in the world".


    Tuesday, 5 August 1997

    Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-08-05
  • [06] Athens '97 world athletics championships
  • [07] More countries earn their first golds
  • [08] Freeman wins women's 400 meters title
  • [09] Kasparkova wins women's triple jump title
  • [10] Diagana wins men's 400 meters hurdle title
  • [11] Braun recaptures heptathlon title
  • [12] US defending champion secures place in 400m final
  • [13] Greece's Papakostas qualifies for high jump final
  • [14] Olympic champion eliminated from high jump competition
  • [15] Medals table
  • [16] Athens '97 director rebuffs criticism by IAAF president
  • [17] President Stephanopoulos visits Olympic stadium
  • [18] IAAF's highest distinction awarded to President Stephanopoulos
  • [19] Prince Albert, five more IOC members in Greece
  • [06] Athens '97 world athletics championships

    Athens, 5/8/1997 (ANA)

    [07] More countries earn their first golds

    Australia, the Czech Republic and France got their first gold medals in yesterday's third day of the Athens '97 World Athletics Championships, while Germany added another one. Silver medals went to Jamaica, Romania, South Africa and Britain, while the United States managed two bronze medals, adding to its leading position in the overall ratings. The Ukraine and Lithuania won the remaining two bronzes.

    [08] Freeman wins women's 400 meters title

    Australian Cathy Freeman won the women's 400 meters gold medal on the third day of the world championships yesterday, with a time of 49.77 seconds.

    Sandie Richards of Jamaica took the silver (49.79) and American Jearl Miles-Clark the bronze (49.90).

    [09] Kasparkova wins women's triple jump title

    Czech Sarka Kasparkova won the world women's triple jump gold medal (15.20 meters).

    Rodica Mateescu of Romania took the silver (15.16) and Ukrainian Yelena Govorova the bronze (14.67).

    Greece's Olga Vasdeki came fourth, breaking the Panhellenic record with her 14.62.

    [10] Diagana wins men's 400 meters hurdle title

    Frenchman Stephane Diagana won the world men's 400 meters hurdles gold medal (47.70).

    Llewellyn Herbert of South Africa took the silver (47.86) and American Bryan Bronson the bronze (47.88).

    [11] Braun recaptures heptathlon title

    Germany's Sabine Braun recaptured the world heptathlon title after leading the competition from start to finish, totaling 6,739 points.

    Denise Lewis of Britain took the silver (6,654) and Lithuanian Remigia Nazaroviene the bronze (6,566).

    [12] US defending champion secures place in 400m final

    Double Olympic champion Michael Johnson, who was given a wild card to compete in Athens '97, secured a place in the final of the 400 meters yesterday after almost crashing out in an earlier qualifying round because of a badly-judged finish.

    The American defending champion, set a fast pace in the first 300 meters before relaxing in the home straight to win his semifinal in 44.37 seconds and move comfortably into today's final.

    Compatriot Jerome Young finished second, Uganda's Olympic bronze medallist Davis Kamoga third and Britain's Iwan Thomas fourth, taking the other places in the final from the second heat.

    Johnson was almost eliminated in the second round on Sunday after he misjudged the final meters of a heat and failed to qualify directly for the next round as one of the top three finishers. He eventually scraped through as one of the four fastest losers.

    [13] Greece's Papakostas qualifies for high jump final

    Greek champion Lambros Papakostas secured a place in the high jump finals yesterday. He cleared the 2.28 meters qualifying mark in his second attempt.

    [14] Olympic champion eliminated from high jump competition

    American Charles Austin, an Olympic champion, was eliminated from the world championships high jump competition yesterday after failing to clear 2.28 meters. Austin, who won the Olympic title last year with 2.39 meters, needed treatment to an injury during the qualifying round and could manage no better that 2.26 meters.

    [15] Medals table

    Medals table after the third day of competition at the World Athletics Championships yesterday:

    United States: 2 gold, 1 silver, 3 bronze; Germany: 2 gold, 1 bronze; Ukraine: 1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze; Australia: 1 gold; Czech Republic: 1 gold; France: 1 gold; Mexico: 1 gold; Russia: 1 silver, 1 bronze; Canada: 1 silver; Britain: 1 silver; Jamaica: 1 silver; Romania: 1 silver; South Africa: 1 silver; Bahamas: 1 bronze; Belarus: 1 bronze; Lithuania: 1 bronze.

    [16] Athens '97 director rebuffs criticism by IAAF president

    Athens, 5/8/1997 (ANA)

    The Director of the Athens '97 World Athletics Championships, Vangelis Savramis, yesterday rebuffed criticism by International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) President Primo Nebiolo that low attendance on Saturday, opening day of the sports events pro per, was possibly due to inadequate prior promotion.

    "I prefer a stadium full of sports fans rather than soldiers," Mr. Savramis said, hinting at the practice adopted for boosting attendance at the 2nd World Championship in Rome in 1987.

    "The soldiers are for the country's defense," he added.

    Mr. Savramis further said he had proposed to the IAAF president a change in the dates for the Games, arguing that most people in the Athens conurbation are away on holiday during the first 10 days of August, but that he had argued instead for a promotion campaign using loudspeakers. Nebiolo, who is honorary president of the Rome 2004 Olympic Bid Organizing Committee -an event for which Athens is also competing- was quoted by Reuters yesterday as saying, "there had maybe not been a great campaign of promotion," and "maybe because it was Saturday, people in Athens go to the sea. I hope for the next few days that they will not go to the sea. They have the sea all year. They can forget the sea for one week".

    Mr. Savramis referred to expediencies on the part of the foreign press and Mr. Nebiolo himself, claiming they were trying to create problems for the organizers on the issue of the attendance.

    Attendance at the Athens Olympic Stadium was markedly up on Sunday night and last night, estimated at more than 35,000.

    President of the Greek Olympic Committee Lambis Nicolaou was also quoted by Reuters as saying that "six days would have been better for the World Championship. Nine days is too long".

    [17] President Stephanopoulos visits Olympic stadium

    Athens, 5/8/1997 (ANA)

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos visited the Olympic stadium, site of the Athens '97 World Championships, yesterday evening.

    He was met by Sports Under-secretary Andreas Fouras, president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee Lambis Nicolaou and Primo Nebiolo, president of the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) under which the championships are being held.

    [18] IAAF's highest distinction awarded to President Stephanopoulos

    Athens, 5/8/1997 (ANA)

    The President of the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) Dr. Primo Nebiolo last night awarded President Costis Stephanopoulos with the highest IAAF distinction of the Gold Medal of Honor.

    President Stephanopoulos then presented Dr. Nebiolo with the medal of the Commander of the Order of Honor at a special ceremony held at the presidential mansion.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos hosted a reception in honor of the organizers of the World Athletics Championships and the members of the IAAF and IOC currently in Athens.

    [19] Prince Albert, five more IOC members in Greece

    Athens, 5/8/1997 (ANA)

    Prince Albert of Monaco is visiting Athens as guest of the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF), currently hosting the World Athletics Championships in Athens, to be briefed on the Athens bid for the 2004 Olympic Games and tour the sports facilities.

    In relation to the Athens bid, the 2004 committee briefed four visiting members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the Greek portfolio.

    The five, Richard Gosper (Australia), Austin Seely (Barbados), Peter Talberg (Finland), Patrick Hickey (Ireland) and Anthony Vrdoliac (Croatia) visited sports facilities and planted olive trees with their name in the special IOC grove.


    Monday, 4 August 1997

    Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-08-04

    US dominates in track and field at World Championships in Athens

    The United States dominated in yesterday's track and field events, collecting two gold medals during the second day of the Athens '97 World Athletics Championships. American Maurice Greene last night upset favourites Ato Bolton and defending champion Donovan Bailey to win the menYs 100 metres gold medal in 9.86 seconds.

    Donovan Bailey of Canada took the silver in 9.91 seconds and American Tim Montgomery the bronze with 9.94.

    American Marion Jones won the womenYs 100 metres gold medal in 10.83 seconds. Zhanna Pintussevich of the Ukraine took the silver in 10.85 and Bahamian Sevatheda Fynes took the bronze medal in 11.03 seconds.

    German Heinz Weis won the hammer gold medal with 81.78 metres yesterday. Before his final attempt, Weis was second to Ukainian Andrei Skvaruk.

    Skvaruk had been seemingly out of medal contention but in his final thow took the lead with 81.46 metres, winning the silver medal.

    Russian Vasiliy Sidorenko took the bronze with 80.76 metres.

    In the shot put finals, on Saturday, Ukrainian veteran Aleksandr Bagach won his first world title with 21.47 metres, after a close battle with defending champion Jonh Godina.

    American Godina took the silver with 21.44 metres and Oliver-Sven Buder of Germany won bronze with 21.24 metres.

    Mexican Daniel Garcia won the menYs 20 kms walk gold medal on Saturday, while Russian Mikhail Shchennikov took the silver and Mikhail Khmelnitsky of Belarus the bronze. Medals table after yesterday's second day of competition: United States: 2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze; Ukraine: 1 gold, 2 silver; Germany: 1 gold, 1 bronze; Mexico: 1 gold; Russia: 1 silver, 1 bronze; Canada: 1 silver; Belarus: 1 bronze; Bahamas: 1 bronze.

    Russia's double Olympic champion Svetlana Masterkova left the world championships area on a stretcher yesterday after pulling up with a leg injury in the womenYs 1,500 metres semifinals.

    Masterkova, who dominated the 800 and 1,500 metres at last yearYs Atlanta Olympics, pulled up in the last 100 metres of the heat and hobbled over the line in last place.

    The Russian, who looked far from her best in the first round on Saturday, was carried away on a stretcher.

    Greece's sprinters Angelos Pavlakakis and Katerina Thanou made a brave effort but failed to reach the finals of the 100 m. race.

    Pavlakakis came sixth in the semi-finals, clocking 10.29 seconds. Thanou, who also failed to be among the fist four places which would have given her the ticket for the finals, timed 11.34 seconds.

    Greece's athletes did not perform well in the morning events, except for javelin thrower Kostas Gatzioudis, who in his first attempt threw the javelin 83 metres and 32 centimetres and qualified for today's final.

    In the long jump, Kostas Koukodimos and Dimitris Hatzopoulos did not meet the required standard set for entry into the finals.

    Costas Mamoulides failed to go beyond the preliminary stage of the 400 metres.


    Saturday, 2 August 1997

    Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-08-02
    Athens `97 Athletics Championships open in spectacular ceremony

    In an impressive ceremony at the Panathenian Stadium, President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos last night opened the 6th World Athletics Championships, organised this year in Athens from August 1 to 10.

    In the same stadium that held the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and in the presence of over 50,000 spectators, athletes and officials from Greece and abroad, including Prime Minister Costas Simitis, International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) president Primo Nebiolo said Athens was welcoming more athletes and countries than ever before in the history of the games.

    A record number of 200 countries are participating in the Athens 97 championships.

    "We feel grateful to all of Greece and its people for what you have offered us through the organisation of this amazing event, and for what you have contributed all these years to the history of athletics", Mr. Nebiolo said in his address.

    Sports Undersecretary Andreas Fouras said "Greece embraces all the peoples of the earth, regardless of race, nation, sex and form of government. From this historic corner of the universe, from this ancient stadium, gathered together here today, we are expressing the inveterate claim of peoples on earth for peace and brotherhood".

    In a message read during the event, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said that the games were an opportunity to realise that today's and tomorrow's Greece is a country of great abilities in hosting world athletics events.

    The ceremony continued until late, with composer Vangelis Papathanasiou performing a work commissioned for the event, with the participation of international opera singer Montserrat Caballe and her daughter, Greek traditional and ancient dances, and spectacular fireworks.

    The opening ceremony was viewed by over three billion people throughout the world.

    Mr. Nebiolo said "Greece is the birthplace of athletics and will always possess a distinguished position in the hearts and thoughts of all sports fans all over the world. Tonight, Greece of the past is uniting with Greece of the future and both of them will show that they can coexist in a spectacular way.

    "Through this thrilling gathering of international athletes and officials, the World Athletics Federation sends a very strong message of hope and understanding from here, a message that all young people, regardless of race, colour, generation or country of origin can compete with a friendly disposition and overcome obstacles separating us".

    Mr. Fouras said: "The history of athletics in Greece is not measured by centuries but by millennia."

    "The Greeks held athletics events from ancient times, before the dawn of history, as our mythology shows," he went on to say.

    Mr. Fouras said classic athletics have brightened the history of mankind, adding that "in this place we have remained faithful to the ancient spirit throughout the entire duration of our historic life."

    "Our people are justifiably proud of this. At the same time, however, we are proud of our modern civilisation and our achievements. We are proud of our men and women athletes and for the fact that the ancient spirit is present today in the marble stadium," he said.

    "Organising major sports events constitutes a challenge for all countries, small and big. However, it takes on the nature of a very serious responsibility in this world. Particularly when it concerns classic athletics games, responsibility does not only concern good organisation. A greater responsibility is created for us by the duty to remain faithful to the spirit and lofty ideals of classic athletics," he added.

    Mr. Simitis, who was present but did not personally deliver his message, said: "All these days, during the athletics games, are special and sacred for all Greeks. This is because the ideals of brotherhood, friendship and noble contest are prevailing over the athletic perfomance and distinction.

    "The World Athletics Championships is an historical moment for modern sports. All the stars of track and field and the best of classical athletes have gathered here.

    "Our expectations for high performances are justified and a great honour to all those who are watching the games. This makes us especially happy and grateful.

    "At the same time, these championships are a unique opportunity for citizens from around the world to meet in the country of myth and history, in the bright place of optimism and peace.

    "The games are also a great opportunity to realise that today's and tomorrow's Greece is a country of great abilities in hosting world athletics events. It is in this sense of responsibility that we are bidding for the hosting of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens."


    Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 97-08-02
    THE GREEK TRACK AND FIELD ATHLETES WERE IMPRESSIVE IN THE FIRST DAY OF THE IAAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
    Web Posted: 15:44 GMT+2

    Athens 2 August (MPA)

    The performance of the Greek track and field champions was impressive in the morning events of the first day of the 6th World Championships in Athletics "Athens '97" that take place in the Olympic Stadium in Athens.

    Olga Vasdeki qualified for the triple jump finals with a new Greek record when she jumped 14 meters and 49 centimeters. Katerina Thanou got the first place in 1st round with 11''.32 and qualified for the 2nd round of the 100m. W.

    Angelos Pavlakakis qualified for the 2nd round of the 100m. M breaking a new Greek record with 10''.11, while Charis Papadias also qualified for the 2nd round of the 100m. M with 10''.32.


    Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-02
    Athens `97 Athletics Championships open in spectacular ceremony

    In an impressive ceremony at the Panathenian Stadium, President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos last night opened the 6th World Athletics Championships, organised this year in Athens from August 1 to 10.

    In the same stadium that held the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and in the presence of over 50,000 spectators, athletes and officials from Greece and abroad, including Prime Minister Costas Simitis, International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) president Primo Nebiolo said Athens was welcoming more athletes and countries than ever before in the history of the games.

    A record number of 200 countries are participating in the Athens 97 championships.

    "We feel grateful to all of Greece and its people for what you have offered us through the organisation of this amazing event, and for what you have contributed all these years to the history of athletics", Mr. Nebiolo said in his address.

    Sports Undersecretary Andreas Fouras said "Greece embraces all the peoples of the earth, regardless of race, nation, sex and form of government. From this historic corner of the universe, from this ancient stadium, gathered together here today, we are expressing the inveterate claim of peoples on earth for peace and brotherhood".

    In a message read during the event, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said that the games were an opportunity to realise that today's and tomorrow's Greece is a country of great abilities in hosting world athletics events.

    The ceremony continued until late, with composer Vangelis Papathanasiou performing a work commissioned for the event, with the participation of international opera singer Montserrat Caballe and her daughter, Greek traditional and ancient dances, and spectacular fireworks.

    The opening ceremony was viewed by over three billion people throughout the world.

    Mr. Nebiolo said "Greece is the birthplace of athletics and will always possess a distinguished position in the hearts and thoughts of all sports fans all over the world. Tonight, Greece of the past is uniting with Greece of the future and both of them will show that they can coexist in a spectacular way.

    "Through this thrilling gathering of international athletes and officials, the World Athletics Federation sends a very strong message of hope and understanding from here, a message that all young people, regardless of race, colour, generation or country of origin can compete with a friendly disposition and overcome obstacles separating us".

    Mr. Fouras said: "The history of athletics in Greece is not measured by centuries but by millennia."

    "The Greeks held athletics events from ancient times, before the dawn of history, as our mythology shows," he went on to say.

    Mr. Fouras said classic athletics have brightened the history of mankind, adding that "in this place we have remained faithful to the ancient spirit throughout the entire duration of our historic life."

    "Our people are justifiably proud of this. At the same time, however, we are proud of our modern civilisation and our achievements. We are proud of our men and women athletes and for the fact that the ancient spirit is present today in the marble stadium," he said.

    "Organising major sports events constitutes a challenge for all countries, small and big. However, it takes on the nature of a very serious responsibility in this world. Particularly when it concerns classic athletics games, responsibility does not only concern good organisation. A greater responsibility is created for us by the duty to remain faithful to the spirit and lofty ideals of classic athletics," he added.

    Mr. Simitis, who was present but did not personally deliver his message, said: "All these days, during the athletics games, are special and sacred for all Greeks. This is because the ideals of brotherhood, friendship and noble contest are prevailing over the athletic perfomance and distinction.

    "The World Athletics Championships is an historical moment for modern sports. All the stars of track and field and the best of classical athletes have gathered here.

    "Our expectations for high performances are justified and a great honour to all those who are watching the games. This makes us especially happy and grateful.

    "At the same time, these championships are a unique opportunity for citizens from around the world to meet in the country of myth and history, in the bright place of optimism and peace.

    "The games are also a great opportunity to realise that today's and tomorrow's Greece is a country of great abilities in hosting world athletics events. It is in this sense of responsibility that we are bidding for the hosting of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens."


    Friday, 1 August 1997

    Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-08-01
    Athens `97 Athletics Championships open today, record participation

    The 6th World Athletics Championships open in Athens at 20h30 today with a spectacular ceremony at the Panathenian Stadium.

    A record 200 countries are participating in the event which will end on August 10.

    International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) president Primo Nebiolo yesterday expressed confidence that the Athens '97 championships would be a success:

    "To me, Greece is the spiritual home of athletics. I believe the staging of the championships will be a success," he told a press conference.

    He underlined the fact that a record 200 countries will be taking part in the championships which, he noted, would be watched by 3.3 billion television viewers in 212 countries.

    He added that demand for tickets was higher than expected, observing that tickets had already been sold out for August 3, when the finals of the men's and women's 100 metres sprint will be held.

    Mr.Nebiolo said that tonight's opening ceremony "with the participation of the great artists Vangelis and Montserrat Caballe" would be "a truly spectacular show".

    He also noted that Vangelis had composed a new Anthem for the IAAF which will be heard for the first time today at the Panathenian Stadium.

    IAAF halves anabolics penalty

    The International AMateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) yesterday halved its penalty for first-time anabolics offenders to two-year maximum suspension from athletics events from the present four-year maximum.

    Delegates at the annual two-day IAAF congress in Athens, which opened on Wednesday, voted 112-56 with three abstentions in favour of a proposal by several European countries, spearheaded by Germany, to reduce the ban.

    The four-year maximum suspension for athletes caught using steroid anabolics for a first time, introduced by the IAAF in 1991, has caused problems with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which was pressing for reduction of the ban, and also with civil courts in many countries, to which athletes took recourse.

    A second offense carries a lifetime ban. The IAAF spent 1.7 million dollars on combatting doping last year.

    The IAAF president endorsed a reduction of the ban in statements to the Congress on Wednesday.

    The congress voted against a similar proposal two years ago in Goteborg, fearing a reduction would be construed as a softening of the Federation's stance against doping.

    In his press conference, Mr. Nebiolo clarified that athletes caught using stimulants, instead of the present three-month suspension from athletics events, would now by given a "public warning".

    In the event of a second and third offence however, they will be liable to a two-year and lifetime ban respectively, he said.

    The IAAF chief stressed that if a national athletics federation wished to impose harsher penalties on athletes caught using prohibited substances, "we at the IAAF will accept them".


    Antenna: News in English, 97-08-01

    ATHENS'97/CEREMON.

    Athens is buzzing with excitement in anticipation of the opening ceremonies for the 6th World Athletic Championship set to begin Friday evening at the Panathinaikos Stadium in downtown Athens.

    The long awaited ceremony will be attended by Greek president, Kostis Stephanopoulos, prime minister Kostas Simitis, international sports officials, athletes and thousands of people.

    In preparation for the upcoming games, the Greek capital has gone all out making sure that things run smoothly during the ten day championship event.

    As of July 25th, strict security measures have been implemented by police ensuring the protection athletes, officials and journalists.

    Fifteen thousand uniformed and plainclothed police officers as well as specially trained dogs, have been mobilized in and around the olympic stadium. All central hotels, the international airport as well as all thoroughfares are being monitored.

    Hundreds of policemen are presently stationed outside the stadium admitting access only to accredited personnel and journalists. Numerous hidden cameras, and the extensive use of helicopters are being implemented to ensure that everything runs smoothly during the championships.

    A car ban covering the central streets of Athens around the Panathinaikos Stadium and Syntagma Square will be put into effect Friday afternoon at five.

    The long awaited impressive opening ceremony of the 6th World Athletic Championships to be staged at the Panathinaikos will sport an astonishing special effects show.

    World renowned Greek composer Vangelis PapathanassEEou, who won an oscar for Best Original Score 1981 for the film 'Chariots of Fire', happily accepted the invitation from the organizing committee to stage, direct and orchestrate the show. Vangelis' extroadinary career as composer and performer began in the 70's when he moved from Greece to Paris to expand the fusion of sounds, which have become his distinctive trademark.

    Vangelis will be joined by his 30 member crew. Two giant projection screens will be used showing thousands of pictures in conjunction with the championships. Famous Spanish soprano MonserA Cabayet will also participate in the event.

    The long awaited field and track championships will be broadcast live to over 3 billion viewers all over the world.

    ATHLETES

    With the arrival of most of world track-and-field champions coming to participate in the 6th World Athletic Championships starting Saturday. Antenna TV, had the opportunity to speak with some of them about their hopes, aspirations and dreams during the next ten days.

    Havier Sotomayior, Cuban world record winner in the high jump, is optimistic he'll win the gold, saying, "I'm perfectly ready for the Games, in my country, athletism is highly esteemed by our society". Adding with a smile, "I'm here to hear my country's national anthem".

    Haile Gkebresselassie, Ethiopian world record winner in the 10 thousand meter race decided to compete in the world championships in Athens because it was a national duty saying, "I'll carry the national banner, represent my country and lead the Ethiopian team. So despite the difficult track situation I am likely to face I have decided to participate. He also was a little more realistic than Sotomayior saying, "I've been training very hard, but I'd prefer not to make any predictions".

    Another important track-and-field star who has arrived in Greece for the Championships is British top champion Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon, Danley Thomson.

    At home in Athens in celebration of the upcoming games, Sports minister Andreas FOUras held a reception in honour of the Greek national track-and- field team Wednesday night. New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis was on hand wishing Greek athletes success in the games.

    "You don't owe us anything.", Fouras told the 72 Greek athletes, in an effort to alleviate the stress associated with pre-performance jitters.

    "You athletes shouldn't be burdened with stress now. you have already given so much to sports lovers". Adding that, athletes have only one obligation to themselves, to be as one with their personal performances. And if a medal comes...it'll be welcome".

    The Greek champions say they're ready and will do their best for Greece, urging all sport lovers to come to the stadium and support them.

    Harris Papadias, the men's 60 meter race champion commented saying, "My training was good. I experienced an injury two weeks ago that kept me behind, but overcame the problem and will do my best".

    Katerina Thanou, 60 meter race champion said, "I'm in good shape. I expect an excellent performance and a good position in the finals".

    Lambros Papakostas, high jump champion exclaimed, "As we all know, these Games are the most important athletic event to be held in Greece over the last years. And that is how all of Greece's track-and- field athletes are looking at the upcoming event. I believe we are all ready, and that we'll do our best".

    Kostas Koukodeemos, Long jump medalist said, "Any Greek sports lover who will come to the stadium to watch the Championships, will be fascinated by the performance of Greek athletes. Adding that "the world champions are something to see". Koukodeemos didn't do so well in the 1996 Olympics, but is is back in form this year saying. "I believe that the mistakes of the past will be a very good lesson for me".

    Angelos Pavlakakis, 100 meter race runner said, "This year was a big success for me. I see the upcoming games as the ''icing on the cake''. The cake has been the whole year."

    Kostas Gkatsioudis, champion javelin thrower confirmed his participation in the Games, after suffering a recent injury. "I have two slight injuries in my back and ankle". Insisting that they won't inhibit his performance in the games. Adding that, "The Olympic stadium medical team is doing its best to help me. I believe when it is time for me to perform, everything will be alright".

    NEBIOLO

    Here at Antenna, we wish the best of luck to all athletes competing over the next ten days.

    Primo Nebiolo, the President of Track-and-Field's governing body says that 'Athen's 1997' will be the best World Championship ever organized.

    The president of the International Amateur Athletic Federation in a press conference held Thursday also encouraged Greeks to attend the opening ceremony at the Panathinaikos Stadium on Friday night. He also commented on the record attendance of countries and athletes participating to the Games. There will be 200 countries participating, in which 2,677 athletes will compete. Adding that, 206 countries will broadcast the event, which means that over three billion viewers will watch the games from all over the world.

    He added that this year, athletes participating in the Championships will have an additional motive, money. A gold medal, for example figures out to about 60 thousand dollars to the athelete who wins it.


    Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 97-08-01
    6TH IAAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS GRANDLY INAUGURATED TONIGHT IN ATHENS

    With a spectacular ceremony, the Sixth IAAF World Championships in Athletics, opened in Athens this evening, at the Panathinaikon Stadium.

    The event was inaugurated by the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, while also present were the Premier Kostas Simitis, IOC chairman Jua Antonio Samaranch, the President of IAFF, Dr. Primo Nebiolo, the under-secretary of Sports and President of the Organising Committee Andreas Fouras and a score of other dignitaries.

    Mr. Fouras stated that "Greece embraces all of the world's peoples, without any discrimination of race, nationality, sex and belief. In our country, the history of Athletics can be measured not through centuries but through millenniums. The ancient spirit tonight has proven its immortality."

    Mr. Nebiolo has expressed is confidence that the Athens '97 championships will be a success. He also stated that this year's event has already broken two records: first, over two hundred countries are to participate and, second, almost to thousand athletes will compete.

    The championships are expected to be watched by 3.3 billion television viewers in 212 countries.

    Greece's famous music composer Vangelis Papathanasiou provided the stirring music for the opening event and he also composed a new Anthem for the IAAF which was heard for the first time tonight. Spain's famous opera singer Montserrat Caballe also gave a magnificent performance. A.F.


    Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-01
    Athens `97 Athletics Championships open today, record participation

    The 6th World Athletics Championships open in Athens at 20h30 today with a spectacular ceremony at the Panathenian Stadium.

    A record 200 countries are participating in the event which will end on August 10.

    International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) president Primo Nebiolo yesterday expressed confidence that the Athens '97 championships would be a success:

    "To me, Greece is the spiritual home of athletics. I believe the staging of the championships will be a success," he told a press conference.

    He underlined the fact that a record 200 countries will be taking part in the championships which, he noted, would be watched by 3.3 billion television viewers in 212 countries.

    He added that demand for tickets was higher than expected, observing that tickets had already been sold out for August 3, when the finals of the men's and women's 100 metres sprint will be held.

    Mr.Nebiolo said that tonight's opening ceremony "with the participation of the great artists Vangelis and Montserrat Caballe" would be "a truly spectacular show".

    He also noted that Vangelis had composed a new Anthem for the IAAF which will be heard for the first time today at the Panathenian Stadium.

    IAAF halves anabolics penalty

    The International AMateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) yesterday halved its penalty for first-time anabolics offenders to two-year maximum suspension from athletics events from the present four-year maximum.

    Delegates at the annual two-day IAAF congress in Athens, which opened on Wednesday, voted 112-56 with three abstentions in favour of a proposal by several European countries, spearheaded by Germany, to reduce the ban.

    The four-year maximum suspension for athletes caught using steroid anabolics for a first time, introduced by the IAAF in 1991, has caused problems with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which was pressing for reduction of the ban, and also with civil courts in many countries, to which athletes took recourse.

    A second offense carries a lifetime ban. The IAAF spent 1.7 million dollars on combatting doping last year.

    The IAAF president endorsed a reduction of the ban in statements to the Congress on Wednesday.

    The congress voted against a similar proposal two years ago in Goteborg, fearing a reduction would be construed as a softening of the Federation's stance against doping.

    In his press conference, Mr. Nebiolo clarified that athletes caught using stimulants, instead of the present three-month suspension from athletics events, would now by given a "public warning".

    In the event of a second and third offence however, they will be liable to a two-year and lifetime ban respectively, he said.

    The IAAF chief stressed that if a national athletics federation wished to impose harsher penalties on athletes caught using prohibited substances, "we at the IAAF will accept them".


    Thursday, 31 July 1997

    Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-07-31

    Record 200 countries to take part in World Athletics Championships

    Participating countries in the 6th IAAF World Athletics Championships, to open in Athens tomorrow, have risen to 200, setting a new record. The last country to confirm it is taking part in the track and field meeting, yesterday, was Iraq.

    The record number of countries, as well as the excellent work done by the "Athens 97" organising committee in preparing the event, prompted the International Classic Sports Federation to announce that the Athens 6th World Athletics Championships is expected to be the best so far in its history.

    IAAF halves anabolics penalty

    The International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) today halved its penalty for first-time anabolics offenders to two-year maximum suspension from athletics events from the present four-year maximum.

    Delegates at the annual two-day IAAF congress in Athens, which opened Wednesday, today voted 112-56 with three abstentions in favour of a proposal by several European countries, spearheaded by Germany, to reduce the ban.

    The four-year maximum suspension for athletes caught using steroid anabolics for a first time, introduced by the IAAF in 1991, has caused problems with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which was pressing for reduction of the ban, and also with civil courts in many countries, to which athletes took recourse.

    A second offense carries a lifetime ban. The IAAF spent 1.7 million dollars on combatting doping last year.

    IAAF president Primo Nebiolo endorsed a reduction of the ban in statements to the Congress on Thursday.

    Nebiolo told delegates the IAAF had spent 1.7 million dollars last year to combat doping.

    The congress voted against a similar proposal two years ago in Gotteburg, fearing a reduction would be construed as a softening of the Federation's stance against doping.


    Antenna: News in English, 97-07-31

    ATHENS'97/MEAS.-ATHLETES

    Athens has gotten a quite a face lift in preparation for the 6th World Track and Field Championships which will be kicked off this Friday.

    Athen's slogan, "Welcoming the World" suggests that's exactly what they are doing. From improvements in and around the Olympic Stadium to the mobilization of police officers for security reasons to the refreshing lack of traffic. The new image makes the capitol quite unusual for most Athenians.

    Most of Athenians, especially those who live downtown, feel as if they are waking up in a different city! The lack of traffic jams, partially due to the first wave of holiday makers who have already left on vacation and the presence of Policemen, plain clothed or in uniform wherever one looks, are all playing their part in preparation for the upcoming World Athletic Championships.

    There are so many policemen on hand covering the 10 day event, you may even find them where you least expect it! But...the police officers are not alone. Several four-legged specially trained companions are lending shall we say...a paw in helping to protect the city from any unforseen unfortunate event.

    While outside the stadium all central hotels, the international airport as well as all thoroughfares are being monitored. Inside the Olympic Stadium something much more exciting is happening.

    Officials from the organizing committee of "Athens 97", are not taking any chances and have propelled full speed ahead with preparations and improvements around the Olympic Stadium in time for the upcoming 10 day event.

    Hundreds of policemen are stationed outside the stadium admitting access only to accredited personnel and journalists. Only trucks carrying food products or supplies are admitted beyond the main gate.

    Vasiliki Papantonopoulou, international relations manager for 'Athens 97' says that the organizing committee has been very busy with changes around the stadium, from new electrical wiring to state of the art telecommunications.

    One of the changes to the stadium includes replacing many of the 80,000 seats. Papantonopoulou says that only 52,800 seats will be made available to spectators, with the remainder being allotted to the more than 2800 accredited journalists, TV stations and photographers from around the world covering the event.

    Other changes include new turf being installed for the running track, the construction of a high-tech press centre as well as the conversion of the basketball center as a warm up area for the athletes.

    The Olympic Stadium will also sport a small shopping village inside. "The Market Street" will include shops, a Greek Taverna, fast food restaurant, ouzeries and beer bars, cafes and newspapers stands along with various souvenir shops.

    Concerts, theatrical plays and traditional Greek celebrations will also be staged for young people.

    Within the confines of the stadium, a Central Health Unit will be available to all athletes, their delegates, journalists and spectators. The clinic will be fully equipped with the latest technology and will have on hand 450 fully trained staff.

    ATHLETES ARRIVAL

    With Athens having done its homework in preparation for the International Athletics Championship 10 day event, one record has already been broken BEFORE the beginning of the games. 199 countries are PARTICIPATING in the Championships, WHICH is a world record attendance. 197 participated in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

    That means foreign athletes are continuing to arrive at the Athens International Airport, while. Greek athletes at home are busily preparing themselves.

    Here's a look at how MANY are spending their time with the big event just around the corner.

    One can easily see world track-and-field stars walking and relaxing in parks located around the city, only a few days before the great competition.

    Other athletes preferred to stay in their hotels, engaging in press conferences and or interviews, to the numerous TV channels here covering the event.

    In celebration of the upcoming games, Sports minister Andreas FOUras held a reception in honour of the Greek national track-and-field team Wednesday night. New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis was on hand wishing Greek athletes success in the games.

    And, coming as a pleasant surprise, World champion's sprinter HAris Papa- diAs and javelin thrower Kostas Gat-siOU-dis WILL participate in the championships both hoping for a gold.

    ATHENS'97/KARAGEORGIOU

    It seems all stops have been PULLED on the upcoming Track and field championships. Giorgos Karageorgiou, one of Greece's BEST known directors, will be behind the driver's seat, taking complete coverage of the upcoming events which will be watched by over three billion viewers.

    Internationally known, Karageorgiou's expertise is in covering athletic events.

    When asked what is the biggest difficulty a director faces covering a world championship, Karageorgiou explains, "To choose which sport you're going to show everytime. That's the most difficult thing to do. You don't know if you must interrupt showing the 3 thousand meter race, to show the javelin or the long jump".

    Adding that,"The best reward for me would be to receive congratulations from my peers in foreign television stations.


    Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 97-07-31
    RECORD NUMBER OF ATHLETES TO TAKE PART IN 6TH IAAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

    A record number of athletes are to participate in the sixth IAAF World Championships in Athletics, which are to begin in Athens tomorrow.

    The event will be inaugurated by the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos at the Panathinaikon Stadium tomorrow evening, while also present will be the Premier Kostas Simitis and a score of other dignitaries.

    The President of IAFF, Dr. Primo Neviolo stated that this year's event has already broken two records: first, over two hundred countries are to participate and, second, almost to thousand athletes will compete.

    Greece's famous music composer Vangelis Papathanasiou will provide the music for the event. A.F.


    Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-07-31

    Record 200 countries to take part in World Athletics Championships

    Participating countries in the 6th IAAF World Athletics Championships, to open in Athens tomorrow, have risen to 200, setting a new record. The last country to confirm it is taking part in the track and field meeting, yesterday, was Iraq.

    The record number of countries, as well as the excellent work done by the "Athens 97" organising committee in preparing the event, prompted the International Classic Sports Federation to announce that the Athens 6th World Athletics Championships is expected to be the best so far in its history.

    IAAF halves anabolics penalty

    The International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) today halved its penalty for first-time anabolics offenders to two-year maximum suspension from athletics events from the present four-year maximum.

    Delegates at the annual two-day IAAF congress in Athens, which opened Wednesday, today voted 112-56 with three abstentions in favour of a proposal by several European countries, spearheaded by Germany, to reduce the ban.

    The four-year maximum suspension for athletes caught using steroid anabolics for a first time, introduced by the IAAF in 1991, has caused problems with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which was pressing for reduction of the ban, and also with civil courts in many countries, to which athletes took recourse.

    A second offense carries a lifetime ban. The IAAF spent 1.7 million dollars on combatting doping last year.

    IAAF president Primo Nebiolo endorsed a reduction of the ban in statements to the Congress on Thursday.

    Nebiolo told delegates the IAAF had spent 1.7 million dollars last year to combat doping.

    The congress voted against a similar proposal two years ago in Gotteburg, fearing a reduction would be construed as a softening of the Federation's stance against doping.


    Wednesday, 30 July 1997

    Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-07-30

    Record 199 countries to take part in World Athletics Championships

    A participation record has been broken in the 6th World Athletics (IAAF) Championships, starting in Athens' Olympic Stadium this Friday, as the participating countries have risen to 199.

    In the Atlanta Olympics the countries which took part in the track and field races had numbered 197, while in the previous World Athletics Championships (5th), in Gotteburg, there were 191 participating countries.

    The International Amateur Athletics Association (IAAF) celebrated its 85th anniversary with a grand opening of its congress at the Herod Atticus theatre last night.

    IAAF president Primo Nebiolo, in Athens to attend the games opening on Friday, presented prizes to veteran Olympic winners attending the event like Alberto Juantorena from Cuba, Yolanda Balanc from Romania and Valery Borzov, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee. the courts would provide the solution to their grievance.


    Antenna: News in English, 97-07-30

    ATHENS'97

    All eyes will be on Athens during the 10 days of the 6th Annual World track and field Championships, which begin on Friday, August 1st with the opening ceremonies.

    The 58 events will be broadcast to 200 countries around the world, but what viewers will not see are the security measures being taken behind the scenes.

    With athletes arriving from all over the world, 15 thousand police officers uniformed and plainclothed will be mobilized. They will cover the Olympic Statium in Maroussi, hotels where participants will be staying, and along streets and at the main arrivals terminal at the international airport to ensure the safety of athletes, trainers and judges.

    Special security forces major-general Ioannis Georgakopoulos from the Athens police headquarters reported on the security measures being taken saying that,"We have ensured that all the appropriate security measures will be taken at the arrivals terminal of the international airport, and for the safe transportation of athletes to and from the sports complex."

    Georgakopoulos said that security measures would also be taken to protect athletes while in residence and of course extensive coverage at the Olympic statium. Saying that, "All athletes, trainers and judges will receive the best protection possible, recognizing of course that some athletes require extra security."

    Police contigents will be stationed along major traffic routes. At their disposal will be motorcycles, cars, speed radars and communication equipment. In addition a hi-tech survelliance system of hidden cameras will operate at key points around the city.

    Harris Kastanidis transport minister, accompanied by several officials from the Greek Civil Aviation Service, was at the Greek airport in Athens Tuesday inspecting the strict security measures which are being implemented for the upcoming track and field events.

    KastanEEdis expressed satisfaction over the strict measures being taken saying that, "I'd like to express my satisfaction over the cooperation between Greek police and Civil Aviation Service. I'm referring to the necessity of such severe security measures which will protect Greece's prestige and will be instrumental in holding the Championships games in the best way possible".

    The airport areas set to host the athletes and their groups will be sectioned off within the regular airport to ensure the safe and quick transport of arriving participants from the airport to the downtown Athens area.

    Police are set to patrol all entrances on a 24 hour basis, refusing admittance to anyone who does not have within his possession a special authorization card.

    Yiannis Papadogianakis, justice ministry's general secretary says that the measures fall under three categories; policing, safety and traffic control. Adding that, "Of course, there is always the possibility of something going wrong. However, the government believes that everything will go well, so that Athens can go to Lausanne, the International Olympic Committee's headquarters

    with the advantage of a successful, safe and well organized event under its belt."

    ATHLETES ARRIVALS

    Some athletes have already begun arriving in Athens, preparing themselves for the track and field events set to begin on Saturday, August 2nd.

    During their arrival at the international airport on Monday, reporters asked them to comment on the upcoming 10 day event.

    1994 winner of the US national games, Octavius Terry commented on the upcoming games saying that, "I'm very happy to be participating in the world championships after I secured 4th position in my country's national games. I consider it very important to be a part of the US national team. My first goal is to reach the finals and then, anything could happen, maybe even a medal. Adding that, "Greece is a place I've always wanted to visit. I've heard so much about it". 25 year old Terry is scheduled to compete in the 400 meter hurdle race.

    Julliette Campbell of Jamaica's national team who reached the semi-finals at the Olympics in Atlanta commented on the championships saying,"I expect to do my best since I'm in excellent condition". When asked about her impression of Greece, she gleefully added, "I've recently been to the island of Crete. It reminded me very much of my country with its beautiful beaches. This is my second time in Greece and I can't wait to see the stadium". Campbell will run in the 400 relay.

    Micell Malone, one of the best athletes who was US champion in 1990 and 1996 in the 400 meter race, arrived in Greece Monday, saying, " I expect to perform my best and that means to reach the finals, and if I do this, to be among the three first runners".


    Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 97-07-30
    THE ARRIVALS OF ATHLETES FOR THE 6TH IAAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN ATHENS CONTINUE

    The arrivals of athletes for the 6th Track and Field World Championships in Athens continue. The formal opening of the games will take place on Friday with a special ceremony.

    In the 6th IAAF World Championships participate 199 countries with 2.500 athletes, while 43 television channels and 37 radio stations from all over the world will broadcast the games live. Already, 3.500 foreign journalists of the written and electronic press have arrived in Athens, while 8.500 police officers are in a state of alert within the framework of the tight security measures that are in effect for the safety of the athletes and the foreign press correspondents.


    Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-07-30

    Record 199 countries to take part in World Athletics Championships

    A participation record has been broken in the 6th World Athletics (IAAF) Championships, starting in Athens' Olympic Stadium this Friday, as the participating countries have risen to 199.

    In the Atlanta Olympics the countries which took part in the track and field races had numbered 197, while in the previous World Athletics Championships (5th), in Gotteburg, there were 191 participating countries.

    The International Amateur Athletics Association (IAAF) celebrated its 85th anniversary with a grand opening of its congress at the Herod Atticus theatre last night.

    IAAF president Primo Nebiolo, in Athens to attend the games opening on Friday, presented prizes to veteran Olympic winners attending the event like Alberto Juantorena from Cuba, Yolanda Balanc from Romania and Valery Borzov, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee.

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