Giannis Korakis

Mexican athletes were the protagonists on the first day of the international "Hellas Beetles", the 9th leg of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series, at the Syros Swimming Pool, a beautiful island in Greece, in the centre of the Aegean Sea. The competition is taking place from June 15-17, 2018.

Mexicans girls won the gold medals in all three events of the day, namely in the Technical routines of the Duet, Solo and Team finals, although the Greek team was considered to be the favourite one for the win. However, Hellenic’s best athlete, Evangelia Platanioti, could not attend as she underwent an operation to solve an appendicitis.

In the first event of the programme, the Technical Duet, Karem Achach Ramirez and Nuria Diosdado Garcia from Mexico performed a beautiful routine and came first, scoring 83.6027 points.

The silver medal went to France with twins Charlotte Tremble and Laura Tremble getting 81.9575 points from the judges.

The bronze was earned by the young Greek athletes Anna Maria Taxopoulou and Georgia Vasilopoulou, who are members of the National Junior Team of Greece and will represent their country in the World Championships of the category. They scored 78.4383.

Bronze medallist Duet from Greece - Photo Solaris

Another French duet - Maureen Jenkins and Eve Planeix - scored better than the Greek duet (81.6529) and was third in the rankings, but according to the regulations, only one Duet per country can count into the official standings.

25-year-old Mexican Joana Jimenez Garcia won her first gold medal in the FINA World Series on the second event of the day, the Technical Solo with 82.9070 points. She was obviously thrilled with the result: “I’m very happy for this gold. Our preparation is focused on the Central American Games, to be held in Colombia. Our training is very hard - we are swimming a lot of hours, about 9-10 hours a day”.

French Maureen Jenkins got the silver medal with 80.2932: “We did the Duet, we came third, but we have the right to have only one duet in the ranking, but I’m glad for the Solo silver. Our next big goal is the European championship in Glasgow and I hope we are going to do the Duet. I will be there in the Solo too. So it’s going to be a very big competition for us, which is also very important for the Olympic Games that are coming. I love Syros and Greece”.

Anna Maria Taxoxoulou, from the host country, was very happy as she climbed on the third step of the podium with 79.0282.  She won three medals during the day (besides the bronze in Duet and Solo she was in the group winning silver in the Technical Team): “We did it very well and I hope we will be ready for the Junior World Championships. Our programmes are improving and I hope our efforts will be rewarded”.

The Mexicans also grabbed the gold medal in the Technical Team with 83.9287 points. For the joy of its supporters, Greece won silver with a score of 81.9300 and France got the bronze with 81.4165.

Team's event podium - Photo Solaris

The Opening Ceremony of the event was quite impressive with the lighting of the altar by the high priestess with a torch. It was performed in accordance with the Olympic ideal, as the Municipal swimming pool of Syros is named after "Dimitrios Vikelas", the man who revived the Olympic Games and was the first IOC President.