Greece to Send 12 Swimmers to Tokyo

Greece will send 10 men (including one open water swimmer) and 2 women to this year’s Olympic Games. 8 of the athletes will compete individually, and 4 will be relay-only swimmers. 

This year’s roster for Greece features a total of 83 athletes. See the 12 athlete swimming roster with events listed below. Kristian Gkolomeev, Andreas Vazaios, and Theodora Drakou will each be competing in their third Olympics. Gkolomeev has a good chance to be a contender to medal in the men’s 50 freestyle as he has posted the #5 fastest time in the world this year and also was a silver medalist at the 2019 World Championships. 

Most of the men’s roster are current long course national record holders. Gkolomeev holds the national record in the 50 freestyle. Christou has records in the 100 freestyle as well as 100 and 200 backstrokes. Englezakis has the records in both the 400 and 800 freestyles but will only be competing in the 800 in Tokyo. Vazaios holds the 200 IM, and Papastamos holds the 400 IM national record. 

Ntountounaki is the national record holder in the women’s 100 butterfly. She recently re-broke her record while at the European Championships back in May. Although she is a relay-only swimmer, Drakou is the national record holder in the women’s 100 backstroke, and is also part of the national record in the 4×100 mixed medley relay where she swam the freestyle leg. 

Greece has a long-standing history with the Olympics. The country is well-known to have been the founder of the Olympics, as it was home to the ancient Olympic Games. 

Ever since the modern Olympic Games began in 1896, the country is only 1 of 4 countries to have competed at every Summer Games. The country’s capital city, Athens, has hosted the Summer Games twice, in 1896 and more recently in 2004. 

Overall the country has won 117 medals, all of which have been won at the Summer Games. 33 of them have been gold, 44 silver, and 40 bronze. In the pool, Greece has won 7 medals all of which were won at the inaugural 1896 Games. None of those medals have been in swimming.

The country sent 95 athletes to the 2016 Rio Games and earned 3 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze medals. Although outside of the pool, Spyridon Gianniotis earned a silver medal in the men’s 10 km open water while in Rio. 

In the pool in 2016, the men’s team featured two swimmers that made it to the semifinals. Kristian Gkolomeev placed 10th in the heats with a time of 21.93 in the men’s 50 freestyle and swam a time of 21.98 to finish 13th in semifinals. He also swam a national record at the time in the men’s 100 freestyle. Andreas Vazaios placed 9th in heats of the men’s 200 IM with a time of 1:59.33 and finished 11th in the semifinals with a time of 1:59.54. 

On the women’s side in 2016, Anna Ntountounaki swam the 100 butterfly in a time of 58.27 which earned her a national record at the time. 

The Tokyo Games are set to begin with Opening Ceremonies on July 23. The swimming events begin July 24. 

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