Thanou wins comeback

Greek Sprinter Thanou Wins in Return
By Associated Press

February 3, 2007, 10:49 AM CST

ATHENS, Greece – Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou won at the Greek indoor championships on Saturday in her first race since a two-year ban was lifted in December.

The 32-year-old Thanou won the 60 meters in 7.28 seconds.

“I’m very pleased to compete once again. I’m not happy or unhappy about my time, all I wanted was to be on starting line again,” Thanou said. "I never stopped training, all I could think about was returning. I just want to keep on training and competing "

Thanou was suspended with fellow Greek sprinter Kostas Kenteris (edit) on the eve of the 2004 Athens Olympics. They claimed they were in a motorcycle accident the same evening.

The IAAF reinstated the runners in December following the suspension.

Thanou’s lawyer Nikos Kollias said last month she would use the Greek event to prepare for the European Indoor Championships held March 2-4 in Birmingham, England.

Thanou won the silver medal in the 100 at the 2000 Sydney Olympics

Is she still coached by Tzekos,or any of his disciples? If so…I would expect results back soon.

EDIT: That wasn’t the Nationals by the way and she’s lucky this meeting took place…

Thanou returns with easy victory
Katerina Thanou ran her first 60m race since the year 2000 today, and also her first competitive one in more than two and one half years. She stopped the clock in 7.28 seconds, and after just one race, earned a spot on the Greek team for the European Indoor Championships next month in Birmingham.

Afterwards, Thanou made the following comments:

"I am very happy to be running again after so long, not only the 7 years since my last indoor race but also the 2.5 years since competing. I am very thankful just to have been able to run. I am not preoccupied with times, nor am I concerned with the 7.28 result. All I wanted was to once again hear the sound of the starting gun and run the fastest race possible.

“I never stopped training. All I thought about was running again and leaving on my terms. I have no goals at the moment; all I want to do is run and compete.”

Thanou, who turned 32 two days ago, last competed indoors in 2000, when she won a gold medal at the European Championships in Ghent. Her personal best and Greek record of 6.96 seconds was achieved at the 1999 World Indoor Championships in Maebashi, Japan.

Since her ban expired, Thanou, who also won silver at the 2000 Olympics, has been under close watch by the drug control agency Wada, who have tested her four times in the last month.

National record from Tsatoumas
Louis Tsatoumas was the star in the men’s events. The Greek long jumper started well with a first attempt of 8,17m. This mark is a new national record indoors (8,15 was the previous record by Tsatoumas in 2006) and a WL.

“I was feeling good and I believed that a record was possible. I will compete in some meetings and of course in Birmingham. I don’t want to talk about medals, but if I’m healthy good results will come,” said Tsatoumas.

Yayyy for the Greeks. :slight_smile: