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Latest update: 08/06/2009 18:18 +0300

Kallias: "It's A Unique Feeling Playing For Cyprus"

NICOSIA, 18 May 2009 - The fact that Cyprus is hosting the XIII Games of the Small States of Europe (1-6 June) has been the biggest motivation for tennis player Photos Kallias to take part. It is the first time that the Cypriot athlete will be taking part in the Games. He explains, "The feeling you get when you play in front of your own crowd, your compatriots, is a truly unique feeling which is hard to beat. From what I've heard, a lot of people will turn up at the Games and not only from Cyprus, but from abroad as well. I hope we can please them with our performances."

Much of the hope for success will rest on the shoulders of Kallias with Cyprus' number one player, Marcos Baghdatis, almost certain to miss the Games. "Our aim is to secure a medal and, why not, gold one at that. From what I know, a lot of good players from other nations will be turning up and that makes our job more difficult. But I honestly believe that on a good day, if the conditions are right and we don't have any injuries, then we can achieve our target", said Kallias who added, "The fact that I will be the Cyprus number one for these Games doesn't mean anything. If Marcos takes part, then he will be number one. Regardless of my position, the effort will remain the same."

Kallias went on to say that the games in Cyprus will help the sport on the island move more forward: "We need to host Games like these, at least for the sake of tennis. This way, we won't feel cut off from the rest of the world. We won't feel that international Games only take place abroad and we are out of sight."

The Cypriot champion is currently training in Barcelona and is set to take part in a tournament there. He will then travel to the Canary Islands for another tournament before returning to Cyprus. Despite carrying a slight injury to his hand (swelling), he is expected to recover in time for the Games.

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