Friday , 22 September 2023

With Greek successes the World Championships of Paralympic Riding!

The 2022 World Equestrian Championships were held in Herning, Denmark, from 4-14 August 2022 and for first time in history we had the participation of our country in the sport of Paradise, which is the sport of horse riding for people with disabilities.

Since the beginning of 2022, athletes from all over the world have been fighting for qualification for the World by participating in international competitions. Qualifying for the Paradesaz athletes is as difficult as for the able-bodied athletes and the Greek athletes have succeeded.

The Dimitra – Eleni Pantehaki who comes from Peza, Heraklion, is 23 years old and started riding as a means of treatment and strengthening due to the spastic quadriplegia which she has from birth. In 2019, after she had competed in national competitions, they decided with her coach Mrs. Marianna Grammatikaki to go to competitions abroad. With the support of the Association "Kallipateires" of Heraklion and the Region of Crete became the first races that ensured its participation in the Pan-European Games in Rotterdam in 2019 and the qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Due to the pandemic, Dimitra - Eleni was left out of the races for 2 years and this year with the financial support of sponsors and organizations managed to participate in the World Having a promising presence.

Greece's second participation was Michalis Kalarakis who on the first matchday managed to conquer the 11η position leaving behind olympic-level athletes. Michalis, who also started riding for therapeutic reasons, competed until the age of 18 where he stopped for 7 years due to studies and the pandemic. He then started riding just 8 months ago as something he loved until he joined normal life after the covid-19 period which had somewhat hibernated him. Michalis' equestrian ability in combination with Mrs. Grammatikaki's vision brought him to compete after 7 years in national and international competitions claiming the qualification for the World Championship which he achieved only in June.

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