Olympic long jump champion Miltiádis Tentóglou was honoured by the HOC ©HOC

Tokyo 2020 long jump gold medallist Miltiádis Tentóglou and single sculls champion Stefanos Ntouskos were amongst an illustrious group honoured as best athletes of 2022 by the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC).

"Our aim is to help top athletes in every possible way," HOC President Spyros Capralos told the gathering attended by Greek Deputy Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikramenos.

Greek National Federations received €574,000 (£504,000/$625,000) from the HOC's Olympic preparation fund in 2022 and this will be increased to €1.6 million (£1.4 million/$1.74 million) in 2023.

Funding has also helped Greek federations hire nine foreign coaches.

"They not only prepare our top athletes, but also transfer their knowledge and experience to the Greek coaches," Capralos said.

"This year, for the first time in history, we are giving a financial reward to those who won medals at the 2022 European and World Championships and the Mediterranean Games."

In 2022, Tentoglu won gold at the World Indoor Athletics Championships and silver at the outdoor World Championships in Oregon before claiming European gold with a season's best of 8.52 metres in Munich.

Ntouskos won silver at the European Championships in Munich last August.

Gymnast Eleftherios Petrounias, Olympic rings gold medallist at Rio 2016, was honoured for his victory in the same discipline at the European Championships in Munich.

Gymnast Eleftherios Petrounias was awarded for his gold at the European Championships in Munich ©HOC
Gymnast Eleftherios Petrounias was awarded for his gold at the European Championships in Munich ©HOC

Rio 2016 pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi also received a financial bonus for her European Championship silver.

Olympic 25 metres air pistol champion Anna Korakaki also received a cheque in recognition of her Mediterranean Games gold in Oran.

Other medallists who received awards included the men's water polo team which won world championship bronze and the women's squad which took European silver.

Some 83 Greek athletes have been supported by a new "Adopt an Athlete on the Road to Paris" scheme which helps find sponsorship for aspiring Olympians.

"It provides free medical examinations and treatment in the best hospitals in the country, free ergometric analysis, free training in gyms and also post-sport programmes," Capralos said.

The four Greek medallists at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Banská Bystrica were also given awards.

Participants in the Olympic Solidarity Scholarship scheme were presented with cheques to fund their preparation.

There was a special award for Mariana Latsis, representative of the Ioannis Latsis Foundation, which has been a "significant contributor" to Olympic preparation scholarships.

Honorary International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Lambis Nikolaou received the Dimitrios Vikelas Trophy, named in honour of the first IOC President.

Nikolaou had been HOC President at the time of the Athens 2004 Olympics.