Iakovakis was born on March 24, 1979 in Patra. On May 6, 2006, in Osaka Japan, he became the first Greek athlete to break the 48sec barrier in the 400m hurdles with 47.82 - a personal best and a new Greek record. The record he broke was his own - 48.17 - established in Paris on August 27, 2003 in the World Championships.
On September 10, 2006, Periklis Iakovakis won (47.92) the Men's 400m hurdles at the IAAF World Athletics Final in Stuttgart, southern Germany. He took the lead from World champion Bershawn Jackson between hurdles four and five, but as the pair came off the final bend, it was the American who reached the straight first. Trailing slightly as the duo approached the final barrier, the Greek took brief command, and powered home off the final hurdle to seal the win.