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

Iceland Leading The Charge

LIMASSOL, 3 June 2009 - The battle in the pool of the XIII Games of the Small States of Europe is set to continue on Thursday, with the races at the Limassol Swimming Pool expected to be a crucial stage in the Swimming event.

Iceland has already set its sights on four gold medals in swimming whilst hosts Cyprus are favourites to take the gold in the womenʼs 200m freestyle event through Anna Stylianou. Iceland, on the other hand, are aiming to take the top two places in the 50m freestyle event through its athletes Ragnheidur Ragnarsdottir and Ingibjorg Jonsdottir whilst Erla Dogg Haraldsdottir and Hrafnhildur Luthersdottir will also be targeting similar success in the womenʼs 200m breaststroke although Cyprusʼ Anastasia Christoforou will be out to spoil any planned celebrations by her Icelandic rivals.

The menʼs 50m freestyle is also expected to see some action with Icelandʼs Arni Mar Arnason getting the nod to take first place after his previous time of 22.81 whilst Luxembourgʼs Raphael Stacchiotti is lurking as a potential threat. In the menʼs 200m breaststroke event, Andorraʼs Hocine Constantin Haciane is tipped to take the gold whilst Monacoʼs Xavier-Francois Paquot and Icelandʼs Birkir Μar Jonsson look set to wage battle for second place and the silver medal.

Another favourite on the day is Cyprusʼ Anna Stylianou in the womenʼs 200m freestyle event after clocking 2.00.55 in her previous race ahead of Bra Sigrun Sverrisdottir of Iceland who came in second at 2.03.35. Another dark-horse, in the menʼs 200m freestyle event, is 17-year-old Stacchiotti who impressed with his time of 1.49.80 ahead of second place favourite Paquot.

In the womenʼs 4x100 medley, Iceland are looking strong and are tipped to take the gold ahead of second favourites Cyprus.

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