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Latest update: 08/06/2009 18:17 +0300

Frustrated Ioannou Takes The Gold

NICOSIA, 2 June 2009 - High jumper Kyriacos Ioannou’s first place finish and the gold was overshadowed on Tuesday by a disagreement between the Cypriot Champion and the judges.

Ioannou, who had finished third at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, didn’t hide his frustration when the judges overruled his second attempt to jump 2.30m.

Despite the disappointment of making the jump only to find out that it didn’t count, the 25-year-old still climbed the podium to take the gold medal – and Cyprus’ fourth in the day’s track and field event – with a leap of 2.25m. It was his first medal at the Games of the Small States of Europe.

Ioannou – who overcame the 2.25m hurdle with his second attempt – showed to be in good form and went within a whisker of out-jumping the 2.30m with his third try.

Despite being let down by the judges’ ruling, Ioannou was still applauded by the thousand or so Cypriot supporters at the National Athletics Centre of the GSP Sports Complex.

“I am positive that the 2.30m jump was valid”, claimed Ioannou’s coach Dimitris Efthymiou. “But even his jump of 2.25m was a great start to the season. The ruling was not only a blow for my athlete but also to the supporters who showed up at here to watch Kyriacos.”

Elsewhere, Cyprus continued to lead the charge in athletics with sprinters Panagiotis Ioannou (10.38) and Filipos Spastris (10.61) take the top two places in the 100m event whilst in the women’s 100m event, Eleni Artymata continued her impressive performances by not only taking the gold but also bettering her personal record, breaking the current Games record and securing a B standard qualifying time ahead of the World Championships in Berlin.

During Tuesday’s track and field athletics event, the Cyprus National Anthem was heard a total of fives times along with the anthem of Iceland whilst two golds went to the athletes of Luxembourg.

Iceland’s Jon Asgrimsson took the gold medal in the javelin throw event with his score of 72.28m whilst Cyprus’ Nikandros Stylianou was the winner in the pole vault event with his jump of 4.80m. Johanna Ingadottir of Iceland won the gold in the women’s triple jump event with her leap of 13.26m and could have gone on to secure a Games record had it not been for the wind that was against her.

In the 5,000m race, Iceland’s Karin Steinn Karlsson easily took the win with his time of 14:45.71 whilst in the 10,000m women’s event, the gold went to Pascale Schmoetten of Luxembourg.

The first gold medal in the track and field event of the XIII GSSE was taken earlier in the day by Iceland’s Ingi Bergur Petursson in the Hammer Throw event with his score of 70.60m – a new GSSE record.

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