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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 August, 2004, 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK
Tragic judo star dies
Eleni Ioannu
Ioannou: Won three national championships
Greek judo star Eleni Ioannou has died in Athens' Red Cross Hospital after a two-week battle against multiple fractures to her head and body.

Ioannou, who was 20, jumped from a third-floor balcony after an argument with boyfriend Giorgios Chrisostomidis.

After being questioned by police, Chrisostomidis made a copy-cat jump two days later and remains in hospital, although he is out of intensive care.

"This is a case of passion," said a Greek police official.

Police have ruled out any suspicious motive for the death, saying they are treating the two incidents as suicide attempts.

Chrisostomidis, a former drug addict, was reportedly overcome with jealousy at the thought of Ioannou moving into the Olympic Village for the duration of the Games.

"The fact that she had helped him escape drugs had made him love her pathologically," said Greek newspaper Eleftheros Typos.

"As he told police in his statement, the prospect of a short time apart upset him and his insecurity led him to fear he would lose her.

"They had a verbal fight, and he slapped her. She slapped him back in panic and then ran off to the balcony and jumped."

Police questioned Chrisostomidis and released him without charge but, racked with guilt, the 24-year-old felt compelled to jump as well.

"On Monday, he was eating with his grandmother in the flat, when suddenly he told her 'I want to go to Eleni', left the table and leapt from the same spot on the balcony," Eleftheros Typos added.

"He had put himself on trial and condemned himself."

Ioannou had won three national championships and a bronze medal in the Balkan Championships.





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