Today: Last Update:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Medalist Collapses After Kenteris Call


    08/23/04

     
    (ATR) Athanasia Tsoumeleka, who today won an Olympic gold medal in racewalking, collapsed following an emotional phone conversation with controversial sprint star Costas Kenteris.

    Tsoumeleka, a rank outsider for the women?s 20km walk event, chalked up the host nation?s fifth gold medal with her surprise win.

    But then it was Tsoumeleka?s turn to be surprised. While fielding questions from journalists in the Olympic Stadium ?mixed zone?, she was passed a mobile phone with Kenteris on the line, who congratulated her.

    ?I don?t believe it,? she told Kenteris, collapsing to her knees and unsuccessfully attempting to hold back tears.

    Tsoumeleka had earlier dedicated her win to Kenteris and fellow sprinter Katerina Thanou, who withdrew from the Games in bizarre circumstances after missing a dope test, and paid tribute to the pair.

    "I firmly believe they did nothing wrong," Tsoumeleka said.

    "They gave me great strength. Katerina comes from my home town in northwestern Greece."

    (Photo by Anthony Stavrinos)