Six athletes from bwin’s Team Future are getting ready for Tokyo, proving that dreams sometimes can come true!
Team Future consists of 18 talented individuals, who are the elite of the new generation of athletes in Greece. They hold the dreams and hopes of every Greek, who aspire to distinct in the Olympics. With the support of bwin, these athletes tend to upgrade the level of sports in Greece and can now train and compete under better conditions than the previous adverse that they experienced before. Some of the athletes holding the Greek flag up may have retired from sport long ago without this support.
Now, six members of Team Future have qualified for the Olympics and are getting ready to fight for success in the biggest sporting event in the world!
Byron Kokkalanis | Windsurfing
Byron’s biggest fear was in the deep waters, but he learned how to overcome it. A 5th place in the Olympics in Rio and a 6th place in London are just a dream for most athletes, but Byron doesn’t intend to stop there.
He took the first step in qualifying for the Olympics in Tokyo at the RSX World Championships in September 2019, where he finished in the 4th place. Later, he won the Greek Championships and celebrated his qualification for the Olympics in the best possible way. If he manages to win a medal in Tokyo, he will become the first athlete to do it in that age, making history. By his side always stands his coach, Nikos Kaklamanakis, his daughter and, of course, bwin to help him… set sails.
Theodora Gkountoura | Fencing
A few months ago, everyone in Greece was talking about her, as she managed to qualify for the Olympics through the World Championships in Budapest. Gkountoura was amongst the best athletes in the competition. She keeps improving constantly and doesn’t hide the fact that her goal is to win a medal at the Olympics. She managed, after all, to get through some really difficult times during her career. Even quitting passed through her mind, as she lacked the necessary support.
Bwin added her to its sponsorship program, giving Gkountoura the opportunity to travel abroad to compete in important tournaments, helping her to rise in the rankings. At the same time, the conditions in training were getting much better. Just a year after bwin started supporting her, she managed to get to the top 14 in the world form the 40th place she was in at the beginning. Then, came the top 12 and the Olympics. Now, it’s time for a medal!
Αnna Ntountounaki | Swimming
She is considered to be the wonderkid of Greek swimming and there are a number of reasons for a whole country to rest its hopes on her. Αnna Ntountounaki had qualified for the Tokyo Olympics already from 2019 with her performance at the World Championships Guangzhou, South Korea. Something that was expected, based on her previous performances.
She broke the national record in 100 meters butterfly at the Rio Olympics and in 2019 she won the bronze medal at the European Championships in Glasgow. That was the first time a female Greek athlete won a medal in a 25-meter pool at any European Championships. This year, Anna became the first Greek swimmer to win the gold medal in European Championships, proving she in great condition. Ntountounaki also stands out with her performances away from sports, as with the support of bwin she manages to be equally successful in her academic life.
Αpostolos Papastamos | Swimming
Papastamos grew up swimming and, although at the beginning of his career he was competing in breakstroke, his coach, Kostas Tzilivakis, urged him to try mixed individual, something that he proved really good at. It turned out that his coach was right. He kept improving and, even though the training conditions were not good enough, he managed to reach the top of the world!
At the age of 19 he won the gold medal in 400 meters mixed individual at the 2019 World Championships, setting a new world record with a time of 4:11.93! At the same time, he excelled in 200 meters, wining the bronze medal. Papastamos set a time of 4:14.18 at the European Championships in Kazan in 2019, reaching the limit of qualification for the Olympics. With bwin supporting him, he keeps working hard and making history.
Evangelia Platanioti – Evelina Papazoglou | Synchronized Swimming
They are considered to be the “golden duet” of synchronized swimming in Greece and are the last athletes of Team Future to qualify for the Olympics. Evangelia and Evelina may have very different personalities and followed different paths early on in their careers, but they decided to join forces to be even more successful. They know each other very well from an early age, as they both represented the same club, Metamorfosi. Their careers had similar paths and in 2014 they officially became a duet, marking an era both for them and Greek synchronized swimming in general. They took part as a duet at the Olympics in Rio and later on they competed in World and European championships, achieving great things.
Platanioti and Papazoglou received the support of bwin during the first lockdown due to the pandemic. That was a time of great uncertainty for most athletes, but bwin never considered stopping to support its athletes. On the contrary, the support was greater than ever. The duet of synchronized swimming found an ally to assist them in good and bad times. How important this support has been more than evident with their qualification for the Olympics!
Getting to Tokyo is already a huge success for all these athletes. The rest of them fight every day to reach that level and face the upcoming challenges with optimism, as they know that bwin will always be in their side to support them achieve their goals. bwin isn’t helping just them, but also Greek Sports in general.