With less than eight months to go until the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Team Cyprus has eleven athletes already qualified, seven men and four women, in five sports.
Taking into account the small size of the island, the current number, with more than half a year to go, is impressive.
Especially considering that nations with populations of tens of millions or with much greater Olympic success have less qualified athletes at this stage.
The latest Cypriot to qualify was Andri Christoforou in the women’s cycling road race event, who qualified via the UCI world ranking.
Earlier in October, three other qualifications occurred for Cyprus.
Artistic gymnast and 2019 European All-Around bronze medalist Marios Georgiou qualified via the FIG World Championship in Stuttgart.
And during the World Athletics Championships in Doha, 110m hurdler and 2019 indoor European champion Milan Trajkovic and discus thrower Apostolos Parellis also qualified by achieving qualification standards.
The 11 athletes are: Pavlos Kontides (sailing / laser), Andri Eleftheriou (shooting / skeet), Andreas Makris (shooting / trap), Marilena Makri (sailing / laser), Eleni Artymata (athletics / 400m), Dimitris Constantinou (shooting / skeet), Andreas Cariolou (sailing / RS:X), Apostolos Parellis (athletics / discus), Milan Trajkovic (athletics / 110m hurdles), Marios Georgiou (artistic gymnastics / all-around), Andri Christoforou (cycling / road race).
In the coming months, Team Cyprus is expected to grow. Two swimmers will join the squad, while various athletes in sports such as athletics, shooting, sailing, gymnastics, taekwondo and others are continuing their effort to qualify for the Games.
“2019 was the most productive year of this executive committee”, National Olympic Committee (NOC) president Dinos Michaelides said during the annual General Assembly earlier this month.
This year, Cyprus competed in five multi-sport competitions, winning a silver medal at the European Games in Minsk, a silver and bronze at the Mediterranean Beach Games, a total of 63 medals at the Games of the Small States of Europe, and one gold and two bronze at the European Summer Youth Olympic Festival. Cyprus also took part at the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival.
During the year, among others, the Cyprus NOC organised various seminars, award ceremonies, the Olympic Day celebration, the inauguration of the Cyprus Olympic Library, hosted the European Olympic Academies Congress and created the sponsorship program ‘Adopt an Athlete on the Road to Tokyo’.