It was with great joy that I accepted the invitation to become an ambassador of the 1st International Marathon Race of Larnaka, a new event which I am sure will grow and meet with great success in the coming years!
The reason why I accepted the invitation is the deeply emotional ties with which I am connected to Cyprus as, due to its wonderful climate, I have trained here in preparation for events and have been left with the best impressions, both of the island and its residents.
Furthermore, since ending my sports careeer, I have put all my efforts into encouraging fellow citizens to participate in sports and make exercise a part of their daily lives, as this can only provide benefits for both their physical and mental health
I therefore invite you all to take part in this great sporting event and, on the 19th of November, fill the streets of Larnaka with a beautiful, colourful river of people exercising, having fun and, above all, sending out a message for a better life.
I’ll be waiting for you in Larnaka!
Periklís Iakovákis (Greek: Περικλής Ιακωβάκης, [periˈklis iakoˈvacis], born 24 March 1979 in Patras) is a Greek athlete mainly competing in 400 metres hurdles. He is the Greek record holder and nine times national champion in the event.
In 1998 Iakovakis won the gold medal at the World Junior Championships in Annecy, France with 49.82 seconds, and five years later he won the bronze medal at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics in Paris-Saint-Denis, France. In the final at the Stade de France, he finished in 48.24 seconds after Félix Sánchez (Dominican Republic) and Joey Woody (USA).
Iakovakis achieved his personal best of 47.82 seconds on 6 May 2006 in Osaka during the IAAF World Athletics Tour and won his first major competition 3 months later. He became European Champion in Gothenborg, Sweden finishing at 48.46 seconds in the final.
After his win at the European Championships, Iakovakis won the full-lap hurdles event in 47.92 seconds at the Zurich Weltklasse Golden League meet at the last evening that this top meeting would be held at the Letzigrund. The reigning European Champion was then first at the Herculis IAAF World Athletics Tour meeting in Monaco.
He won the bronze medal at the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Final, which was the last edition of the competition and was held in Thessaloniki.
In 2010 he set a season target of defending his European title. He suffered a minor injury to his soleus muscle in March, but recovered and began his preparations with training in South Africa and Cyprus. He identified David Greene as his main European rival in the event.
Maria Sotirakopoulou has been his coach for many years.