Team Preview: Cyprus

Note: Last minute changes are always possible

Cyprus is an island nation located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. The nation made its Summer Olympic debut in 1980 and has competed ever since. In 2012 Cyprus won its first ever Olympic medal, a silver medal in sailing. Going into Rio the nation is not favoured to win a medal, but it is expected to put up good results and could potentially challenge for a medal in a few events.

The largest portion of the team will be in athletics where seven athletes will compete. Leading the group is 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medalist Kyriakos Ioannou whom will compete in his fourth Olympics in the men’s high jump. Joining him in the event is Dimitrios Chondrokoukis whom reached the final at the 2015 World Championship. Another athlete to watch is 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medalist Apostolos Parellis whom will compete in his second Olympics in the men’s discus. On the women’s side we have Eleni Artymata whom will compete in the women’s 200m. She will be joined by Ramona Papaioannou whom will perform the 100/200m double. Other athletes competing include 2010 Youth Olympian Leonita Kallenou (women’s high jump) and Milan Trajkovic (men’s 110m hurdles).

Cyprus’ first Olympic medal winner will return in sailing. 2012 Olympic silver medalist Pavlos Kontides will compete in his third Olympics in the men’s laser. Kontides is still among the top sailors in the category and has won multiple medals at World Cup events and silver at the 2013 World Championship. Joining him will be Andreas Cariolou whom will compete in his fourth Olympics in the men’s RS:X.

In shooting Cyprus will compete with a couple of skeet shooters.  Returning to the Olympics is 2008 Olympian Andri Eleftheriou whom will compete in women’s skeet. Eleftheriou is the bronze medalist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2015 European Championship. Joining her will be Andreas Chasikos whom will compete in men’s skeet.

In tennis Marco Baghdatis will compete in his third Olympics (2004, 2012) in the men’s singles. Baghdatis has had an illustrious career where he has won 4 ATP titles, broke into the top 10 and reached the final at the 2006 Australian Open. While he no longer ranks that high he is still a top player and has broken into the top 40 during the 2016 season.

Other sports Cyprus will compete in include artistic gymnastics (Marios Georgiou, men’s events), cycling (Antri Christoforou, women’s road race), weightlifting (Antonis Martasidis, men’s -85kg) and swimming. Iacovos Hadjiconstantinou will compete in the men’s 400m freestyle while Sotiria Neofytou will compete in the women’s 100m butterfly.

Overall Cyprus will compete with 17 athletes in 8 sports. This will be the largest delegation of athletes sent since 2004.

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