June 19, 2021

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Anna Ntountounaki becomes first Greek woman to win European Championships gold

Swimming in the final of the women’s 100 butterfly, Anna Ntountounaki became Greece’s first-ever woman to win a gold medal in swimming at a European Championships. Ntountounaki’s win came in the form of a tie with France’s Marie Wattel as they both hit a 57.37. Louise Hansson from Sweden rounded out the podium with a 57.56.

In the history of the European Championships, only one other woman has ever pulled off a podium finish in the form of Nery Mantey who took bronze in the 100 free both in 2004 and 2006, as well as bronze in the 50 free in 2012.

The Greek men have more European Championships medals to their name with a total of 17 including 4 golds, 5 silvers, and 8 bronzes. Greece’s most recent Euros medals came in 2018 when Kristian Golomeev took silver in the 50 free and Apostolos Christou took bronze in the 100 back.

As the first woman to win gold for Greece, Ntountounaki made history for Greece by improving upon her 5th place finish back in 2018 when she swam a 57.77 national record in the event. Her 2021 victory of 57.37 allowed her to further lower the record.

Ntountounaki represented Greece at the 2016 Olympics, swimming to 17th place in the 100 butterfly with a 58.27 which, at the time, was also a national record. She has also swum at the past 3 World Swimming Championships for Greece in 2015, 2017, and 2019 with her highest-ranking finish coming at the 2019 Championships when she placed 15th in the 100 fly with a 57.99. At that meet, Ntountounaki also contested the 50 and 200 butterflies and placed 15th and 25th, respectively.

Thus far, Ntountounaki is the sole Greek woman to have qualified for Tokyo for swimming and is slated to race the 100 butterfly this summer.

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