Greece’s Kostas Englezakis Qualifies For 2020 Olympics In 800 Free


In addition to Turkish teenager Beril Boecekler clocking a new national record in the women’s 400m free, the men’s 800m free also saw a national record bite the dust during the first stop of the 2020 FFN Golden Tour.

Competing on the final day in Nice, 18-year-old Konstantinos (Kostas) Englezakis logged a new Greek national record in the 8free, registering a time of 7:51.27. That garnered Englezakis the silver medal behind winner Ayoub Hafnaoui of Tunisia, who got the wall first in 7:50.31.

The previous Greek national record in this event stood at 7:55.67, set by Spyros Gianniotis in 2008. As such, Englezakis destroyed that previous mark by over 4 seconds.

Additionally, the man’s 7:51.27 time from the weekend qualifies him for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo by dipping under the 7:54.31 by a mile.

Greek coach Miltos Kanellopoulos said, “We are very happy about the qualifying time of Englezakis, which came earlier than we expected. We continue our efforts to race well.”

Englezakis did not represent Greece at the 2016 Olympic Games. There in Rio, the nation came away medal-less in swimming, with the highest finish coming in the form of Andreas Vazaios’ 11th place finish in the men’s 200m IM.

Since then, however, Greece has seen several impressive performances, primarily on its men’s side. Former Alabama student-athlete Kristian Gkolomeev tied Bruno Fratus of Brazil for silver at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, Korea.

Prior to that, Gkolomeev also nailed silver at the 2018 European Championships while Apostolos Christou collected 100m back bronze at that same meet.

Last year at the European Short Course Championships, Vazaios topped the men’s 200m fly and 200m IM podiums, while also reaping bronze in the 100m IM. The women’s squad had a medalist as well, with Anna Ntountounaki grabbing 100m fly bronze. She represented the first woman ever from her nation to earn a medal at a European Short Course Championships.

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About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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