Konstantinos Kenteris

Last updated
Konstantinos Kenteris
Personal information
Full nameKonstantinos Kenteris
NationalityFlag of Greece.svg  Greece
Born (1973-07-11) July 11, 1973 (age 45)
Mytilene, Greece
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight73 kg (161 lb)
Sport 100 metres, 200 metres, 400 metres, 4 x 100 metres relay, 4 x 400 metres relay
College teamArion Mytilene
Club Olympiakos CFP
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)100 m: 10.15
200 m: 19.85 CR, EL, NR, SB
400 m: 45.60

Konstantinos "Kostas" Kenteris, also spelled as Konstadinos "Costas" Kederis (Greek : Κωνσταντίνος "Κώστας" Κεντέρηςpronounced  [konsta'dinos ce'deris]; born July 11, 1973) is a former Greek athlete. He won gold medals in the 200 metres at the 2000 Summer Olympics, the 2001 World Championships in Athletics and the 2002 European Championships in Athletics, making him the only European sprinter (along with Linford Christie) to win the gold medal in all three major competitions and the only European World Champion in the 200 metres races. Additionally, he has won two gold, three silver and two bronze medals in the European Cup, as well as three gold medals in the 200 metres at the Athens Grand Prix Tsiklitiria. He is also a 14-time golden medalist at the Greek Athletics Championships and a five-time golden medalist at the Greek Indoor Athletics Championships. He withdrew from the 2004 Summer Olympics, held in his home country, after a doping violation (failed to attend drug test).

Greek language language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Greece republic in Southeast Europe

Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and historically known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2016. Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.

200 metres sprint running event

The 200 metres is a sprint running event. On an outdoor race 400 m track, the race begins on the curve and ends on the home straight, so a combination of techniques are needed to successfully run the race. A slightly shorter race, called the stadion and run on a straight track, was the first recorded event at the ancient Olympic Games. The 200 m places more emphasis on speed endurance than shorter sprint distances as athletes predominantly rely on anaerobic energy system during the 200 m sprint.



Born in Mytilene, Kenteris, a student of physical education, started practising athletics at age 10, and started running seriously about ten years later, when he moved to Thessaloniki.

Mytilene Place in Greece

Mytilene is a city founded in the 11th century BC. Mytilene is the capital city and port of the island of Lesbos and also the capital of the North Aegean Region. The seat of the governor of the North Aegean Region is Mytilene. Mytilene is also one of 13 municipalities (counties) on the island of Lesbos. Mytilene is built on the southeast edge of the island. It is also the seat of a metropolitan bishop of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Thessaloniki City in Macedonia, Greece

Thessaloniki, also familiarly known as Thessalonica, Salonica or Salonika, is the second-largest city in Greece, with over 1 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area, and the capital of Greek Macedonia, the administrative region of Central Macedonia and the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace. Its nickname is η Συμπρωτεύουσα (Symprotévousa), literally "the co-capital", a reference to its historical status as the Συμβασιλεύουσα (Symvasilévousa) or "co-reigning" city of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, alongside Constantinople.

Kenteris specialised in the 200 m and 400 m races. His first national titles were the three consecutive 400 m gold medals at the Greek Athletics Championships (1991 (46.90), 1992 (46.85), 1993 (46.27)) in Athens and the 200 m (21.57) and 400 m (47.76) gold medals at the 1993 Greek Indoor Athletics Championships in Piraeus, representing the team of his home town, Arion Mytilene. He also competed at the 1992 World Junior Championships in Seoul, where he finished 6th in 200 m (21.10). His first major international title was the 400 m gold medal at the 1993 Mediterranean Games in Narbonne, with a time of 45.70. In 1994 he won again the 200 m (20.93) and 400 m (46.73) gold medals at the 1994 Greek Indoor Athletics Championships in Piraeus. He repeated his success in the 400 m races by winning the gold medal at the 1996 Greek Indoor Athletics Championships, with a time of 47.11. In 1997 he moved to Athens and to Olympiacos CFP, with whom he won the 4 × 100 m relay gold (40.86) at the 1997 Greek Athletics Championships in Athens. He repeated his success the following year, when he won the 400 m (45.87) and 4 × 400 m relay (3:11.95) gold medals at the 1998 Greek Athletics Championships in Athens.

Athens Capital and largest city of Greece

Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC.

Piraeus Place in Greece

Piraeus is a port city in the region of Attica, Greece. Piraeus is located within the Athens urban area, 12 kilometres southwest from its city centre, and lies along the east coast of the Saronic Gulf.

1992 World Junior Championships in Athletics

The 1992 World Junior Championships in Athletics was the fourth edition of the international athletics competition for athletes aged 19 years or under. It was held in Seoul, South Korea from September 16 to September 20, 1992.

It was not until 1998 that Kenteris took part in his first major international tournaments, when he took the 9th place (semi finals) in both 400 m (45.74) and 4 × 400 m relay (3:06.48) at the 1998 European Championships in Budapest. He also took the 7th place at the 1998 IAAF World Cup in Johannesburg, representing the European team in the 4 × 400 m relay races (3:03.95). In 1999 he continued by winning the 200 m (20.60) and 400 m (45.82) golden medals at the 1999 Greek Athletics Championships in Athens. His first European success was when he won the 400 m bronze medal at the 1999 European Cup in Paris, with a time of 45.66. While he was eliminated in the 400 m heats of the indoor world championships, he returned that summer as a 200 m runner at the Outdoor World Championships in Seville. Kenteris won his heat # 5, defeating then 100 m world record holder Maurice Greene, but did not start the quarter-finals due to injury. The following year he won the 4 × 100 m relay gold (40.46) at the 2000 Greek Athletics Championships in Athens and returned to win the 4 × 100 m relay silver (38.67) and the 200 m bronze (20.48) at the 2000 European Cup in Gateshead.

1998 European Athletics Championships 1998 edition of the European Athletics Championships

The 17th European Athletics Championships were held from 18 August to 23 August 1998 in Budapest, the capital city of Hungary.

Budapest Capital city in Hungary

Budapest is the capital and the most populous city of Hungary, and the tenth-largest city in the European Union by population within city limits. The city had an estimated population of 1,752,704 in 2016 distributed over a land area of about 525 square kilometres. Budapest is both a city and county, and forms the centre of the Budapest metropolitan area, which has an area of 7,626 square kilometres and a population of 3,303,786, comprising 33 percent of the population of Hungary.

The 8th IAAF World Cup in Athletics were held September 11–13, 1998 at the Johannesburg Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Although he had established himself as a medal winning national and European sprinter, few people had heard of Kenteris when he surprised by qualifying for the 200 m final at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. Although defending Olympic champion Michael Johnson and reigning World champion Maurice Greene did not compete, nobody had included Kenteris in his list of medal favourites, despite his being the fastest European at 200 m that summer with a 20.25 seconds from June. But Kenteris raced to the gold medal with a time of 20.09, denying Britain's Darren Campbell and Ato Boldon of Trinidad and Tobago. In doing so, Kenteris became the first white male to win a 200 metres sprinting medal at the Olympics since Pietro Mennea achieved the feat by winning the gold at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. He also competed in the 4 × 100 m relay qualifying, but failed to reach the finals and took the 9th place (38.80).

2000 Summer Olympics Games of the XXVII Olympiad, held in Sydney in 2000

The 2000 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXVII Olympiad and commonly known as Sydney 2000 or the Millennium Olympic Games/Games of the New Millennium, were an international multi-sport event which was held between 15 September and 1 October 2000 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It was the second time that the Summer Olympics were held in Australia, and also the Southern Hemisphere, the first being in Melbourne, Victoria, in 1956.

Sydney City in New South Wales, Australia

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.

Maurice Greene (athlete) America athlete, Olympic medalist

Maurice Greene is an American former track and field sprinter who specialized in the 100 meters and 200 meters. He is a former 100 m world record holder with a time of 9.79 seconds. During the height of his career (1997–2004) he won four Olympic medals and was a five-time World Champion. This included three golds at the 1999 World Championships, a feat which had previously only been achieved by Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson and has since been equaled by three others.

In 2001 Kenteris won his first gold medal in 100 m (10.21) at the 2001 Greek Athletics Championships in Athens. Success continued, as Kenteris won his first 200 m gold medal (20.31) and a silver medal in 100 m (10.15 PB) at the 2001 European Cup in Bremen and the 200 m gold at the 2001 Athens Grand Prix Tsiklitiria, with a performance of 20.10. He also won the 200 m title (20.04) at the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton, after a season where he mostly stayed out of international competition. The following year he won the 200 m (20.18) and 4 × 400 m relay (3:14.48) golden medals at the 2002 Greek Athletics Championships in Trikala. Kenteris completed his trilogy by also winning the European title at the 2002 European Athletics Championships in Munich, with a time of 19.85, his personal best. This performance still stands as the European Championships record in 200 metres, as well as the national record. The next year, Kenteris took place at the 2003 European Cup in Florence, where he won the 200 m gold (20.37) and the 4 × 400 m relay silver (3:02.69). Upon returning in Athens, he won the 200 m gold (20.30) at the 2003 Athens Grand Prix Tsiklitiria.

2001 European Cup (athletics)

The 2001 European Cup took place on 23 and 24 June 2001 in Bremen, Germany. The B finals were held in Vaasa, Finland and Budapest, Hungary.

Bremen Place in Germany

The City Municipality of Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany, which belongs to the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, a federal state of Germany.

The Athens Grand Prix Tsiklitiria is an annual athletics event at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece as part of the IAAF World Challenge Meetings. It was first organized in 1963, held at the Panathinaiko Stadium. Its name honours Kostas Tsiklitiras, who won four olympic medals at the 1908 and 1912 Olympic Games in long jump and high jump, both from standing position.

For the 2004 Summer Olympics, Kenteris was one of the hopes of the home crowd for winning a gold medal in athletics and favourite to light the Olympic flame, as he had won the 100 m (10.18) and 4 × 100 m relay (41.16) gold medals at the 2004 Greek Championship in Athens and the 200 m gold (20.27) at the 2004 Athens Grand Prix Tsiklitiria, just one month before the Summer Olympics. However, on the day prior to the Games, Kenteris and his training partner Ekaterini Thanou failed to attend a drug test. While they claimed to have been injured in a motorcycle accident – in a frantic attempt to return to the Olympic village for the test upon hearing the news in the media – an official Greek investigation would later find that the alleged accident had been staged. In the ensuing doping scandal, Kenteris and Thanou announced their withdrawal from the Games on August 18, after a hearing before the Disciplinary Commission of the IOC, for what they described to be "in the interests of the country".

Kenteris retired from athletics and disappeared from the public eye following his withdrawal. After his retirement, Kenteris was offered an honorary officer position in the Hellenic Air Force by the Greek state, but he quit in 2011. In May 2011 he was (along with Thanou) given a suspended jail sentence of 31 months, after being charged with staging the crash, but an appeals court overturned this ruling. [1] NEL Lines highspeed ships Aeolos Kenteris, Aeolos Kenteris I and Aeolos Kenteris II bear his name, while in his hometown Mytilene he has a street and a stadium named after him. In Greece he is known as "The Son of the Wind" ("Ο Γιος του Ανέμου"), due to his extreme speed.

Personal bests

23 June 2001100 metres Bremen, Germany 10.15
9 August 2002200 metres Munich, Germany 19.85 CR, EL, NR
27 July 1998400 metres Thessaloniki, Greece 45.60
9 February 2000200 metres (indoor) Peiraias, Greece 20.80
13 February 1999400 metres (indoor) Peiraias, Greece 46.36 NR

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  1. Macur, Juliet (6 September 2011). "Peculiar Doping Case Takes Another Twist". New York Times. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Flag of the United States.svg Joshua J. Johnson
Men's 200 m Best Year Performance
alongside Flag of the United States.svg Shawn Crawford

Succeeded by
Flag of the United States.svg Bernard Williams