Four golds in finswimming moved Greece up to second in the medals table behind Spain at the Mediterranean Games in Heraklion ©Heraklion 2023

Greece won four of the eight golds available today at the Mediterranean Beach Games in the Greek city of Heraklion on the island of Crete, to move into second place in the medal table, just one gold adrift of Spain.

After boosting their total of golds to 10 with a clean sweep in all eight women’s beach handball finals yesterday, Spain finished the day without any athlete on the top step of the podium in the eight finswimming finals.

Greece won four of those finals, and - with two days remaining at the Games - they have ten more medals in all than Spain, 23 to 13.

France, with five golds, are third, and Italy, who won two of the finswimming finals, have moved up to fourth place with four golds.

On a day when the temperature rose to 25 degrees Celsius, Greece began as they meant to go on in the finswimming - an underwater sport which involves competitors swimming with a fin or fins - as Vasileia Tsigkoia won the women’s 50 metres AP (Apnoea/holding breath) event in 16.89sec, from Croatia’s Dora Bassi in 17.04 and France’s Anais Verger in 17.41.

Italy’s Viola Magoga won the women’s 50m BF (bi-fins) final in a Games record of 22.30, finishing just one hundredth of a second ahead of Greece’s Georgia Peraki, whose compatriot Lydia Panteloglou earned bronze in 22.58.

Greece took gold and silver in the men’s 100m SF (surface finswimming) final through Georgios Panagiotidis and Georgios Kaltsoukalas, who clocked 35.48 and 35.98 respectively, with bronze going to Egypt’s Seifeldin Abdelrahman in 36.58.

The men’s 100m BF gold went to Tunisia’s Youssef Neffati in 42.52, a Mediterranean and Games record, with silver going to Italy’s Riccardo Romano in 42.65 and bronze to his team-mate Patrick Martin in 43.14.

Victory in the women’s 200m SF final went to Italy’s Silvia Sevignani in 1min 32.34sec from compatriot Giorgia Destefani in 1:33.60, with bronze going to Greece’s Ifigeneia Teliousi in 1:34.19.

Egypt won the women’s 200m BF title thanks to Login Aboulrous in a Games record of 1:49.67, with Italy’s Silvia Belli taking silver in 1:49.81 and Greece’s Giolanda Kaperda earning bronze in 1:50.19.

Ilias Kalfidis of Greece won the men’s 400m SF final in 3:05.11 from Turkey’s Derin Toparlak, who clocked 3:05.98, and Lorenzo Caronno of Italy, who recorded 3:07.49.

Greece rounded off the day’s programme with its fourth gold - this time in the 4x100m SF mixed event, where they recorded a Mediterranean and Games record of 2:33.19.

Silver went to France in 2:35.39, with Italy claiming bronze in 2:36.14.

In other events, the beach tennis mixed doubles gold medal is now destined for Italy after the pairing of Giulia Gasparri and Doriano Beccaccioli defeated France’s Lola Barrau and Theo Irigary 6-2, 6-3 in the first semi-final, and compatriots Nicole Nobile and Diego Bolettinari earned a 6-3, 0-6, 11-9 win over Spain’s Eva Fernandez Palos and Antonio Miguel Ramos Viera.

Greece also had success on the second day of the beach volleyball programme, with Jason Kanellos and Georgios Terzoglou reaching the last eight of the men’s competition with a 21-16, 21-12 win over Kosovo’s Erion Bajrami and Ermal Maliqi.

They were joined there by compatriots Stavros Ntallas and Dimitrios Chatzinikolaou, who beat Algeria’s Ayyoub Dekkiche and Mohamed-Islem Kallouche 21-19, 21-19.