Greek stars in pole position

Stefanidi will raise the noise level
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Greece's Ekaterini Stefanidi will raise the noise level in Athens at the special pole vault meeting.

It has become one of the most compelling rivalries in European athletics – and now Greece’s Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou and Ekaterini Stefanidi will go head to head in front of their own fans.

The pair will compete at the Athens Street Pole Vault on May 10 as a women’s competition has been added to this European Athletics Outdoor Special Premium Meeting.

It could be something special because in the past nine months, Kyriakopoulou and Stefanidi have taken the event to new standards in their country.

Kyriakopoulou had a brilliant 2015, first taking the Greek outdoor record to 4.83m ahead of winning bronze at the world championships in Beijing and lifting the Diamond League crown.

By February 17 this year, it looked like that dominance would continue when she broke the national indoor record with 4.81m in Stockholm.

But just three days later in New York, Stefanidi took that all-time height to 4.90m before winning bronze a month later at the world indoor championships in Portland, where Kyriakopoulou was sixth.

Their indoor heights leave them first and second respectively in the European rankings and they be will be among the favourites at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam and Olympics in Rio, where their rivalry alone could see the record go even higher.