Cyprus history at the European Cup Bruno Zauli

by KOEAS

The need for Cyprus sports to gain ‘independence’ from Greece, as well as strengthen the Republic of Cyprus on the international sports scene, due to the declaration of an illegal entity in the occupied territories of Cyprus in 1983, led the top officials of Cyprus Athletics to establish the National Federation of Amateur Athletics that same year.

KOEAS (CAAA: Cyprus Amateur Athletics Association) became an official member of the International Association of Athletics Federations in 1984 and since then it takes part in all international sports events, either under the European or International umbrella or the International Olympic Committee as a member of the Cyprus Olympic Committee.

So from 1984 onwards, Cyprus Athletics has the opportunity of being represented at a national level by its athletes at all major international games. One of the most attractive events, that was and remains a performance assessment criterion, was the European Cup Bruno Zauli and its successor, the European Athletics Team Championships. The first time that the CAAA took part in this high quality event was 1985, with our men’s and women’s team travelling together to Schwechat, Austria for the Second League competition.

It is reminded that from 1985 through to 2008, the National Men’s and Women’s Teams were evaluated at separate events, with different scores and on many occasions, with different opponents. Back then, the European Athletics Federation would separate the national athletics teams based on performance, to Super League, and First League and Second League in two groups. From 1995 onwards when new European countries emerged following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the breakup of Yugoslavia, the velvet division of Czechoslovakia and the reunification of Germany, First League was held in two groups.

Two historic moments…

Until 1993, the European Cup was held every two years and following that through to 2008 it switched to an annual format, with our national men’s and women’s teams taking part in the event 20 times each. During these two decades, Cyprus athletics experienced two historic moments, two amazing promotions to First League, once for men in 1998 and once for women in 2006, by coincidence, both in Serbia.

In the Belgrade games of 1998, an amazing men’s national team, with four wins, three of which secured by Anninos Marcoullides (100m, 200m, 4X100m relay) and one by Evros Demosthenous (400m) climbed to 2nd position taking 110 points, behind hosts Serbia (129 points) and ahead of Turkey (107 points). Next year, in Athens during the First League event, the men’s national team was not able to replicate its performance and was outclassed by top performing teams, being relegated to Second League. Our brief promotion proved however that despite having a small population, we can produce high quality athletes.

In the Novi Sad games of 2006, it was our women’s turn to take the great leap and display their talent at European level. With two wins by Andri Sialou (400m hurdles) and Anny Christofidou (800m) and nine (9) 2nd places, the girls triumphed, taking top spot with 186,5 points out of 11 countries. So in 2007, they lived through a fantastic experience in Milan, Italy during the First League event and made us proud with the first participation of the women’s athletics team in this category.

From 1985 to 2008, our national men’s and women’s team took part in the European Cup’s Second League 19 times, taking, in the men’s competition, one 2nd place, three (3) third positions, four (4) fifth places and one 6th and in women, one first place, one third, three 4th places, 10 fifth places and four sixth places. In First League, during their one and only participation, both men and women ranked 8th and last. It has to be noted that the Cyprus Amateur Athletics Association hosted an event in 2001 at the newly built Athletics stadium in GSP.

Individually, Anninos Marcoullides secured most wins for Cyprus in the men’s category – no less than 13 (!) of which 5 in the 100 meters, 3 in the 200 meters and a further 5 as part of the 4X100 meters relay team. He is followed by Prodromos (Makis) Katsantonis, with nine (9) wins, one in the 100 meters, three (3) in the 200 meters and five (5) as a member of the 4X100 meters relay team. Marios Hadjiandreou won the triple jump five times.

In the women’s team, Dora Kyriakou had five wins, one (1) in the 200 meters and four (4) in the 400 meters, with four wins by Anna Foitidou in the pole vault and three by Andri Sialou in the 400 meter hurdles.

CYPRUS’ POSITIONS IN HISTORY OF EUROPEAN CUPS

MEN

YEAR    CITY, COUNTRY                             P.                P/P

1985       Scwechat, Austria                                48               4/5

1987       Athens, Greece                                     46,5            4/5

1989       Copenhagen, Denmark                        36,5            5/5

1991       Athens, Greece                                     47               4/5

1993       Villach, Austria                                   57,5            6/7

1994       Istanbul, Turkey                                  72               4/7

1995       Velenje, Slovenia                                 91               4/7

1996       Oordegem, Belgium                             91               3/6

1997       Odense, Denmark                                107             4/8

1998       Belgrade, Yugoslavia                         110             2/8

1999       Athens, Greece (First League)            63               8/8

2000       Banska Bystrica, Slovakia                   127             4/9

2001       Nicosia, Cyprus                                   92               5/8

2002       Tallinn, Estonia                                   87,5            5/8

2003       Istanbul, Turkey                                  164             4/12

2004       Reykjavik, Iceland                               94               4/8

2005       Istanbul, Turkey                                  167             5/13

2006       Novi Sand, Serbia/Montenegro            176             4/12

2007       Zenica, Bosnia/Herzegovina                 209             3/14

2008       Banska Bystrica, Slovakia                   208,5          3/14

WOMEN

YEAR    CITY, COUNTRY                             P.                P/P

1985       Schwechat, Austria                              36               5/6

1987       Athens, Greece                                     31               6/6

1989       Brussels, Belgium                                30               6/6

1991       Athens, Greece                                     26               5/5

1993       Villach, Austria                                   37               5/6

1994       Istanbul, Turkey                                  48               6/7

1995       Velenje, Slovenia                                 64               4/7

1996       Oordegem, Belgium                             62               4/7

1997       Odense, Denmark                                53               5/6

1998       Belgrade, Yugoslavia                           89               5/8

1999       Tel Aviv, Israel                                    79               5/8

2000       Banska Bystrica, Slovakia                   83               6/9

2001       Nicosia, Cyprus                                   86               5/8

2002       Tallinn, Estonia                                   95               5/8

2003       Istanbul, Turkey                                  151             5/12

2004       Reykjavik, Iceland                               92,5            5/8

2005       Istanbul, Turkey                                  197             3/12

2006       Novi Sad, Serbia/Montenegro            186,5          1/11

2007       Milan, Italy (First League)                 58,5            8/8

2008       Banska Bystrica, Slovakia                   216             4/14

* P.: Points, P/P: Position/Participated countries