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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 27 July 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 27 JULY 2019 27 SPORT winners WINNERS PANATHINAIKOS FOOTBALL TEAM Something good has been brewing in Peania and the first signs had been shown last season, when the team made things difficult for clubs who were in a much better financial position. And now, it seems the fruits of their labour have started to bear fruit, as was made apparent in the club’s recent performances against Dutch club Feyenoord and European giants Ajax. It wasn’t just the wins, but the dominant display that Giorgos Donis’ men put on during the games that allows their fans to remain hopeful for the future. One could argue that these were mere friendly matches, yet the names of their opponents gives much hope for the future of this team that has already been through so much. KATERINA STEFANIDI Another day, another medal. That’s probably a good way to describe high-jumper Katerina Stefanidi’s performance at the Diamond League, where she jumped at 4.75 metres, landing in second place and taking home the silver medal. The jump was also an improvement on her own record for this year, showing that she is in peak physical condition for the upcoming World Championships that are to be held in London at the end of September. Panathinaikos youngsters stun European greats sinners & by alex anyfantis Alex Anyfantis takes a look at this week’s Winners and Sinners in Greek and Australian sport SINNERS GREEK MEN’S WATER POLO TEAM They climbed so high, yet it just wasn’t high enough. Even though they performed admirably, reaching the final rounds of the Water Polo World Championships that are being held in Guangzhou, they just couldn’t make it count when it mattered most and suffered a narrow 6-7 loss at the hands of Italy. Greece allowed their opponents to score three goals in the third part of the game, which turned out to be the deciding factor, as they couldn’t come back from it. Now they will need to face Australia for a place in the final five of the competition. Panathinaikos performed admirably against both Ajax and Feyenoord, showing a lot of promise for the days to come. PHOTO: APE/MPE OLYMPIACOS FOOTBALL TEAM An away draw is by no means a terrible way to start your season. Yet the promise of attacking, possessive football that was made by Pedro Martins and his players was surely not paid off in their game against Victoria Plzen. Giving away the ball without thinking, chasing the ball and not the player, failing to close down on the empty space were just some of the ‘symptoms’ that were noticed during the game, minor issues that were easily exploited by other teams last season and cost the team both the championship and their presence in Europe. The home game against the team from the Czech Republic but also the next game against Basaksehir (should Olympiacos advance) will provide many answers to some lingering questions created in this game. Melbourne’s ‘Golden Greek’ is proving tough to beat in the ring Adam Kaoullas remains undefeated in over 10 fights and is on his way to winning the Australasian Welterweight Championship ALEX ANYFANTIS 25-year-old boxer Adam Kaoullas has been on the path of success for a while now. A fighter in the welterweight division (for the uninitiated, that's in between the lightweight and middleweight), he has already been named Victorian champion multiple times already in his career. Now, he is aiming even high- er. This year, Adam finally got the chance he was looking for when given an invitation to fight against third-ranked Ben Kite for the Australasian championship and should he win, he will rightfully be considered among the greatest boxers the nation has to offer. Speaking to Neos Kosmos, Kaoullas told us about his success and his hopes for the future, but also about the difficulties he faced earlier on in his career, which taught him many valuable lessons and allowed him to reach the level he is at today. In regards to how he first got into the sport, the aspiring champion says that it wasn't that much of a hobby, but rather a moral obligation that compelled him. But the more he trained, the more he found himself getting immersed in the sport. "I just wanted a way to be able to protect my family. So I did to just to be the 'man of the house', as they say. I wanted to be that person for them. But after I saw all of its mental and physical benefits, it really grew into a passion for me. It also helped me stay on the right path when I was younger, as I could've very easily gone down a wrong road," he reveals. "My closest friends at the time were doing drugs on a daily basis and even though I still hung around them, I avoided all those types of things. Because to be a boxer, you can't be doing that. You need to be fit and healthy and I had already the identity of an athlete. Which is why it was so easy for me to say no to all those things that are not right as I was growing up." But it wasn't all sugar and rainbows for the young athlete. A long-term injury he sustained, forced Kaoullas to stay out of the ring for a long time and almost ended up putting all he had worked so hard to accomplish at risk. Despite the challenge, he never gave up, instead putting this time to good use, to become as best prepared as possible for the time when he would be able to step back into the fray. A proud Adam Kaoullas shows off his championship belts. PHOTO: SAA IMAGING "I couldn't even do a pushup for three years, the injury was that bad. The socket on my shoulder was misshaped, it's hard to explain it. I would have severe pains constantly. And it was due to the repetitive use because I didn't exercise properly when I was younger, I just went hard all the time. In hindsight, my training regime doomed me for failure. But in those three years, I had the chance to focus on my studies and I learned a lot about the human anatomy. And it helped me better understand how I should train," he said. "I did an exchange program in San Diego where I did a major in Applied Kinesiology. At the same time, while I was there I was volunteering at a clinic for individuals with disabilities and that was a very rewarding experience as it taught me so much about myself. Later on, my partner and I followed a yoga course Kaoullas with the Spartan warrior helmet that he parades before all his games. PHOTO: SAA IMAGING and now we're both qualified yoga instructors. You don't get many boxers who are qualified yoga instructors!" Kaoullas has been dubbed in the ring as 'the Golden Greek', drawing on his strong Greek heritage - his mother was born in Greece and his father in Famagusta, Cyprus - a connection that he says he draws on during his fights. "It's something I carry with me. I actually walk into the ring wearing a Spartan helmet which is a part of the show, but it also represents my heritage and what our ancestors wore in battle. It kind of gives me a little bit of that warrior's spirit that they were known for," he says. It's obvious that Kaoullas' experiences up to this point have shaped him, both as a person and a highly competitive athlete, equipped to handle any challenge that might come his way. His feats will be keeping us busy in the days to come.
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