Saturday, August 17, 2013
Tsiavou Golden, Gkountoulas Brothers Take Silver in Sweden at World Rowing Coastal Championships
While we're gearing up for the World Rowing Championships in Chungju, the World Rowing Coastal Championships are in full swing in Helsingborg, Sweden, and there are a number of familiar faces in action representing the Greek Rowing Federation. In the first of the medal rounds, the dynamic duo of 2008 and 2012 Olympians Apostolos and Nikolaos Gkountoulas (shown training in Helsingborg in the above video) have taken a silver medal racing in the men's double, while teammate (winner of the prestigious RoRy for 2011 Female Athlete of the Year, and 2012 bronze medalist in the LW2x) Alexandra Tsiavou qualified directly for the final of the CW1x after placing fourth in her heat yesterday. (The video below shows her in the final strokes of her heat before the sprint up the beach to the finish.)
But Tsiavou didn't stop there—she backed up her solid result in the heat with a gold medal in today's final, ahead of France's Stephanie Chantry, and Oisin Forde of Spain. The medal for Tsiavou further adds to her already incredible international career. In addition to her bronze medal in London, Tsiavou won the 2012 world title in the LW1x, took silver at the European Championships in Varese with double partner Christina Giazitzidou, and collected gold and bronze in two World Cups on the way to the Olympics—and that's just in 2012. In fact, to find the last time that Tsiavou entered an international race and did not wind up on the podium, you have to go back to the Olympic Final in Beijing, when she and then partner Chrysi Bizkitzi placed sixth overall. Evidently, despite austerity measures taken by the Greek government for summer athletics late last year, the Greek Rowing Federation is still making the most of their potential.