Yiannis Sgouropoulos in the men’s singles and Ioanna Gerasimatos in the women’s singles were crowned champions of Greece in table tennis for 2023. In the top institution, which was hosted for the first time in Amyntaio, Florina and achieved competitive and organizational success, the Olympiacos athlete retained the championship , which he had since 2022. In the final, he defeated Tassos Riniotis (Olympiakos) with 4-2 sets.
The athlete of AEK turned into a great protagonist of the games. She won the first gold medal in her career in the singles of a Panhellenic championship, while a little earlier she had already celebrated the first place in the women’s doubles with teammate Konstantina Paridis of Panathinaikos.
In the singles final, Gerasimatos defeated Aliki Kioufi of Olympiakos with a 4-1 set. In the men’s doubles, the brothers Giorgos and Konstantinos Konstantinopoulos of Panathinaikos held the sceptres, while we remind you that yesterday 25/03 the mixed doubles was completed, where Giorgos Stamatouros and Malamatenia Papadimitriou of Olympiakos celebrated their first. The competitions were organized by E.F.O.E.P.A. in cooperation with the Region of Western Macedonia and the municipality of Amyntaio and with the support of A.S.E.A. Sarises Florina.
60 athletes from 23 clubs took part in the championship. In good conditions inside and in spring weather outside the spacious gym. The program ended in the early afternoon with the usual delay due to the lopsided matches, which were of long duration (the singles semi-finals and finals were played on the best of 7 sets system). The second day of the Panhellenic men’s-women’s championship was covered with two live broadcasts through the EFOEPA channel on YouTube. Statements were also made by the champions, as well as by a representative of the local government.
THE PICTURE OF THE FINALS AND THE SURPRISES
In the men’s singles, Yannis Sgouropoulos and Tasos Riniotis met again in the final after 6 years. In 2017, the year Sgouropoulos’ European titles began, Riniotis had prevailed. Today, the four-time European youth champion emerged victorious with 4-2 sets and retained the trophy, which he won for the first time in the institution last year at the Stadium of Peace and Friendship. In the very spectacular and fluctuating match, Sgouropoulos passed his game after the 4th set. The experienced Riniotis (No. 5), with 4 finals in the last few years, had taken the lead in the score, then equalized at 2-2, but then the risks he took did not work out for him (9-11, 11-6, 11-3, 9-11, 11-4, 11-9).
Giorgos Stamatouros was unlucky, and indeed for the second year, and he did not have the opportunity to claim the best. Last year he had missed the second day of the same championship due to illness and today he was injured in the doubles semi-final (he slipped and fell and according to the first medical assessment he suffered an adductor contusion). He received medical attention, took painkillers, decided to make an effort to continue, but stopped along the way. The audience was impatiently waiting for the meeting with Sgouropoulos, i.e. the meeting of two of our top athletes, who this year are competing only in foreign championships, but Stamatouros could not compete normally after the leg problem and stopped at 8-6 in the 4th set (score 3-0 at that point). In the other semi-final, Riniotis defeated Gerasimos Chatzilygeroudis, who was outstanding in another event, with a 4-2 set, who reached his first medal in the singles event and had earlier eliminated G. Konstantinopoulos.
In the round of 16, Anastasios Yovas-Alkhazidis had created a surprise. The athlete of OEA Thessaloniki eliminated the 8th favorite, the international Dimitris Kordoutis (OEA Rethymno) with 3-2 sets, even from 0-2 behind and was placed for the first time in positions 5-8.
The women’s singles final had two new finalists in the history of the institution. On the one hand, Ioanna Gerasimatou, who was number 4 in the competition, and on the other, Aliki Kioufi, who was number 3 among the favorites. The left-handed Gerasimatos relied on the two combina-rubbers (the so-called teeth) and with stability in her game she took a 3-0 set lead. Kioufi then “found” her opponent’s hits better and reacted successfully, reducing to 3-2. In the 6th set, Gerasimatou made a very good start and used it to arrive excitedly at her unprecedented distinction. It is even noted that the day did not start well for her because she developed symptoms of gastroenteritis and had discomfort. But she took the personal responsibility to fight and finally managed to reach the biggest moment of her career (11-6, 11-5, 11-9, 8-11, 9-11, 11-4).
Kioufi, who until now had bronze medals in the event, caused a surprise in the semi-finals when she eliminated the 1st favorite and 2022 Greek champion Konstantina Paridis with 4-2 sets. In the equally sensational second semi-final, Gerasimatou overcame the 2nd favourite, Malamatenia Papadimitriou with 4-3 sets.
In the men’s doubles, the dominance of the Konstantinopoulos brothers is impressive. From position 2 on the scoreboard, George and Konstantinos Konstantinopoulos celebrated their 6th Panhellenic title in the competition by defeating in the final, which was… Panathinaikos’ case, Konstantinos Angelakis and Nikos Antoniadis. In the 8th consecutive year they have appeared in the final, the two left-handers faced the 1st favorite and the different style of play of Angelakis (defense). However, they found the solutions in the crucial first two sets, gained the advantage and finally reached the victory with 3-1 sets (15-13, 11-9, 10-12, 11-3). In the 4th round, the champions eliminated Tassos Riniotis/Gyorgos Stamatouros (interruption in the 1-0 set in their favor due to the injury of Stamatouros) and the finalists Zisi Doukeri/Gerasimo Hatzilygeroudis with a 3-1 set.
And in the women’s doubles final, the first two favorites met. In both pairs also, we had a combination of right-handers and left-handers, as well as athletes with proven great potential in the event. Konstantina Paridis and Ioanna Gerasimatou, who had advanced from the base of the scoreboard, defeated the 1st favorite and last year’s Greek champions Malamatenia Papadimitriou/Aliki Kioufi with a 3-0 set. The match was decided in three sets, but very difficult with Paridis and Gerasimatos having the last word in all the critical moments (11-8, 11-9, 11-9). In the semi-finals, the winners eliminated Stella Tzaridou/Evangelia Meramvelliotakis with 3-0 sets and Kioufi/Papadimitriou eliminated Katerina Alexoudis/Lemonia Gaydatzi with the same score.
LOCAL LORDS HONORED THE EVENT WITH THEIR PRESENCE
Local dignitaries visited the indoor gymnasium of Amyntaio to watch the Panhellenic championship. In the photo, the Deputy Governor of Florina Sotirios Vosdou, the mayor of Amyntaios Anthimos Bitakis, the deputy mayor of Sports in the municipality of Amyntaios Eleni Gyriki, the regional councilors of the Region of Western Macedonia Ioannis Kioses and Vassilis Ambas next to the president of EFOEPA Costas Papageorgiou and the second vice president of the federation Lygura.
Four high-ranking administrative staff of the EFOEPA administration were found in Amyntaio. The chairman of the board of directors of the federation Kostas Papageorgiou, the chairman of the Local Committee of Northern Greece and chairman of the Technical Committee of EFOEPA Sokratis Papasavoglou, the second vice-chairman of the federation Giorgos Lygouras and the general secretary Giannis Kordoutis.
KOSTAS PAPAGEORGIOU’S BIRTHDAY AND THE COMPLETION OF TWO YEARS AT THE LEADERSHIP OF THE SPORT
The day (26/03) was special for Kostas Papageorgiou, firstly because he celebrated his 44th birthday and secondly because he completed exactly two years at the helm of the administration. He was treated to sweets for his birthday, received warm wishes from everyone for both and towards the end of the event he had a pleasant surprise from the organizers, who had bought him a cake.
The national federation coach Kostas Vatsaklis, the technical advisor of the federation Thanasis Stathis, the public relations manager and member of the EFOEPA Board of Directors Xenia Stathis and the marketing manager Nikos Grammenos were also at the matches. On Saturday, the former international and Greek champion Fofo Galanou, who has written her own history in the sport with her top honors in the institution, was in the gym for many hours.
Prizes were awarded by Sokratis Papasavoglou, Eleni Gyriki, Vassilis Ambas and Yiannis Kordoutis. The competition champions also received bouquets, while two women in local traditional costumes helped with the awards.
Finally, on a large table next to the secretariat, there were water and snacks from the sponsors at the disposal of the athletes and coaches throughout the games. On the website https://app.ttscore.io/customer/24/event/582 interested parties can find all the results of the championship.
All competition winners:
IN THE MEN’S SINGLE
1. Yannis Sgouropoulos (Olympiacos SFP)
2. Tasos Riniotis (Olympian)
3. Gerasimos Hatzilygeroudis (AO Tataula)
-. Giorgos Stamatouros (Olympian)
IN THE WOMEN’S SINGLE
1. Ioanna Gerasimatou (AEK)
2. Aliki Kioufi (Olympian)
3. Malamatenia Papadimitriou (Olympic)
-. Konstantina Paridis (Panathinaikos)
IN THE MEN’S DOUBLE
1. George Konstantinopoulos/Konstantinos Konstantinopoulos (Panathinaikos)
2. Konstantinos Angelakis/Nikos Antoniadis (Panathinaikos)
3. Zisis Doukeris/Gerasimos Hatzilygeroudis (OA Chania/AO Tataula)
-. Tasos Riniotis/Giorgos Stamatouros (Olympian)
IN THE WOMEN’S DOUBLE
1. Konstantina Paridis/Ioanna Gerasimatos (Panathinaikos/AEK)
2. Malamatenia Papadimitriou/Aliki Kioufi (Olympic Sports Club)
3. Katerina Alexoudi/Lemonia Gaidatzi (Alexandroupoli National Team/AEK)
-. Stella Tzaridou/Evangelia Meramvelliotaki (HAN Thessaloniki/Olympiakos)
IN THE DOUBLE MIX
1. Giorgos Stamatouros/Malamatenia Papadimitriou (Olympian)
2. Giorgos Konstantinopoulos/Konstantina Paridis (Panathinaikos)
3. Konstantinos Konstantinopoulos/Christina Athanasopoulou (Panathinaikos/Phoenicia Piraeus)
-. Sokratis Giannoutsos/Evangelia Meramvelliotakis (Olympian)
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