ATHENS – An 18-year-old Greek swimmer who twice set a world record in the 100-meter backstroke at the European Juniors Championship meet held in The Netherlands said he hopes it will be a springboard for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Apostolos Christou surprised the swimming world by breaking the world junior record twice within 24 hours to win gold over the former record-holder, Italy’s Simone Sabbioni.
The Olympiakos swimmer clocked 54.41 seconds in the semifinal to knock three-tenths off Sabbioni’s record, then left the Italian in his wake, winning the final with a clocking of 54.04 seconds, some 37 seconds off the Greek teen’s personal best.
Christou is one of the swimmers to represent Greece at the Young Olympic Games in China next month, choosing this event over the European Swimming Championships.
He said his ambition is to swim at the Olympics. “It’s everyone’s dream. I want to be in Brazil in two years’ time and be able to stand out,” he told Kathimerini.