(Greece) – Voula Papachristou, an athlete from Greece, won the bronze medal at the 2016 European Championships in Amsterdam in the Netherlands this past Sunday during the final round. This was Greece’s second and final medal at these games. The other medal belonged to Katerina Stefanidi, who earned the bronze in the pole vault.Michalis Anastasakis came close to medaling by placing fourth in the hammer throw.
Papachristou was the leader of the triple jump for quite some time, but it ended up being a close contest between her, Patricia Mamona from Portugal, and Hanna Minenko from Israel. Papachistou earned third place from her last effort with a 14.47 meter jump. Minenko finished with a 14.51 meter jump, which earned her the silver and Mamona finished with a 14.58 meter jump, which earned her the gold medal.
This year, Russian athletes were excluded from the championship games because the All-Russia Athletic Federation was suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federation due to doping charges. Last year, Russian triple jumpers medaled with a silver and bronze. Their absence paved the way for Papachristou, Minenko, and Mamona to medal this year.
Papachristou is looking towards the Olympic Games in Rio now that the European Championships are complete. She missed out on competing in the London Olympics in 2012 because of a racist comment she made online. She won a bronze medal in the 2008 Junior World Championships, bronze medal in the 2009 Mediterranean Games, and a gold medal at the 2009 European U23 Championships. She took a break from competing after the Olympic suspension and returned in 2015 after the birth of her daughter. Recently, she also won the bronze at the 2016 World Indoor Championships. Her personal best in the triple jump is 14.73 meters, which she set on June 8, 2016. She also competes in the long jump with her personal best being 6.60 meters.