School athlete honoured for fair play

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Teenage track athlete Eleftheria Panayiotou was awarded an honorary plaque for helping a fellow runner who stumbled during an international race.

President Nicos Anastasiades on Monday welcomed the high school pupil and her parents at the Presidential Palace to congratulate her performance at the games and her sporting gesture.

In May, she received a Fair Play Award at the World School Sport Games, also known as the ISF Gymnasiade, for assisting a fellow athlete who had an accident during the 200 metres race.

Anastasiades said he felt the need to invite sprinter Eleftheria, 18, to Place and present her with an honorary plaque to express the state’s gratitude.

“Rather than focusing on finishing in one of the top spots, she chose to help a fellow athlete who had an accident during the race.

“It sets an example to all our young people,” said Anastasiades.

He was “particularly proud” because 21 of the 22 athletes from Cyprus – ranked 14 in the medal table – who participated in the Gymnasiade finished in the top eight.

“We received a total of 12 medals which proves the important work carried out through the sports schools but also efforts of the physical education teachers and coaches.”

Around 3,500 school athletes aged 16-18 from 67 countries participated in the Gymnasiade in Normandy, France.