The Greeks had an excellent campaign as a collective at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships last August when they won six medals and some of their medal-winners in the Berlin capital were in action in front of their home fans at the Venizeleia-Chania meeting, a European Athletics Classic Permit Meeting, on Sunday (9).
Reigning European indoor and outdoor long jump champion Miltiadis Tentoglou was the only athlete in the field to surpass the eight metre-line - a feat he achieved three times over the course of the series.
Tentoglou improved his season’s best from 8.10m to 8.14m in the third round before reaching out to 8.18m in the fourth round to come within four centimetres of Thobias Montler’s European lead. He also recorded 8.06m in the fifth round before concluding his competition with a no-jump.
Teammate and training partner Paraskevi Papahristou, the reigning European outdoor triple jump champion, finished a creditable third in the long jump with 6.39m behind Quanesha Burka from the United States (6.59m) and Chantel Malone from the US Virgin Islands (6.39m).
Belibasaki returns to action with victory in the 400m
The Greeks won three gold medals in Berlin and there was nearly a fourth from Maria Belibasaki who was pipped to the line in the 400m final by Poland’s Justyna Swiety-Ersetic.
The breakthrough athlete of the Greek team last summer has been sidelined since then due to an Achilles injury but she returned to action in Chania with victory in her specialist event in 52.04 ahead of Italy’s Giancarla Trevisan in 52.69.
"I was expecting a performance at 51.50, but it's a start for me," said Belibasaki, who broke the Greek record with 50.46 in the European final in Berlin. "The fact that I have missed a key part of my preparation has cost me but I expect the next few races to be better."
On the in-field, Great Britain’s Nick Miller produced the third best mark of his career to win the hammer. The former European U23 champion produced a second round throw of 77.72m which he backed up with two further efforts in excess of the 76m-line - 76.39m and 76.55m - to defeat Greece’s Mihail Anastasakis (75.60m) with neutral athletes Yevgeniy Korotovskiy and Denis Lukyanov third (73.64m) and fourth (72.50m) respectively.
Their Russian teammate Maksim Afonin won the shot put with 20.41m - the only thrower to surpass the 20m-line - and Ukraine’s European indoor and outdoor bronze medallist Olha Lyakhova took an unopposed win in the 800m in 2:02.46.