PAPAGEORGIOU targets his 8th title in a row in GreecePhoto: Courtesy HTTF
The 2016/17 Greek National Championship will be held this weekend in Athens
The upcoming National Championships of Greece faces familiar questions, concerning favorites for the titles. First of all, will Kostas PAPAGEORGIOU continue his supremacy or new champion will be established after seven years? Quite different situation exists in the Women’s event where six different players took gold in the last six championships. Altogether guaranties exciting competitions this weekend (March 4-5th) in Athens (STIGA area at the Peace and Friendship Stadium).
PAPAGEORGIOU won all titles since 2010, but there are players able to beat him. Possible threat could be his teammates in Olympiacos Tasos RINIOTIS (runner-up last year) and John SGOUROPOULOS (only 17-years-old, but a member of the national team from the last year), as well as PAPAGEORGIOU`s predecessor in the champion’s role Ioannis VLOTINOS. Big ambitions also have Kostas LAGOGIANNIS and Dimitris PAPADIMITRIOU and young players like George KONSTANTINOPOULOS, Konstantinos KONSTANTINOPOULOS and George STAMATOUROS.
In the women's singles event six different players won championships in the last six years: Katerina NTOULAKI (2011), Filareti EXARCHOU (2012), Christina FILI (2013), Maria CHRISTOFORAKI (2014), Katerina TOLIOU (2015) and Georgia ZAVITSANOU (2016). Four of them are members of the current national team (ZAVITSANOU, TOLIOU, CHRISTOFORAKI and EXARCHOU).
Seven times national champion Christina FILI, last year’s runner-up, surely has a capacity to upset favorites, as well as Olga GEORGOPOULOU and Aliki KIOUFI. Some younger athletes, like Konstantina PARIDI, Ellie FISHER and Ioanna GERASIMATOU, could be dangerous.