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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-06-24

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] First Greek woman athlete to swim across Gibraltar Strait
  • [02] ASE opening: Decline

  • [01] First Greek woman athlete to swim across Gibraltar Strait

    A year has passed since Danai Menexiadi became the first Greek woman athlete to swim across the Strait of Gibraltar.

    The 34-year-old long distance swimmer from Thessaloniki completed the one-way cross on June 9, 2009, in 4 hours and 48 minutes, setting off from Tarifa Island in Spain and finishing at Leona Point in Morocco.

    During the crossing, Menexiadi not only braved adverse weather conditions and strong currents, sharks and large fish, but she did so without wearing a neoprene suit for protection against the low water temperatures, at the spot where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea and connects Europe with Africa.

    An office employee, Menexiadi trains early every morning, all-year-round, at 6:00 a.m. before going to work, and several times a week she also trains at night.

    The sea, for her, is an outlet from the every-day humdrum. "I can't imagine even a day going by without training or without the sea. I don't stop even in the winter, except for a few occasions when the weather is extremely bad," she tells ANA-MPA.

    On last year's feat, she remembers: "The currents at that point are very strong, and if the swimmer is not careful and does not have a good escort, things can get very bad and he/she may not finish. But the most important thing to remember is that the water temperature is very low, and the spot is a major crossing for large merchant ships."

    "From the very first moment, the only thing on my mind was reaching the finish. I believed deep down inside that I would make it to the finish. It is a big feat to start in Europe and finish in Africa. To do this, it took me a year of preparation," she adds.

    "Throughout the effort, thousands of thoughts cross your mind. It is the moment when you need to have a strong personality and determination to achieve your goal. I set out on this adventure armed with determination. The crossing is some 16-18 kilometers, but due to the strong currents and winds, it easily becomes 21-22 kilometers. The finish is not at any specifically designated point, the goal is to touch the African continent," she explains.

    "What I will never forget is the cold I felt when I reached the Moroccan coast, as the water temperature was barely 16C. My heart felt ready to stop and I was numb all over. The good thing is that I had prepared well and was in good spirits, thanks to my trainer Nikolas Repanis who encouraged me and gave me useful advice throughout the crossing. Nor will I forget that every half hour I would stop to eat something very light and drink water with lemon and honey to replenish the energy lost during the effort. And all this without touching the accompanying boat, because that would have invalidated my effort," Menexiadi continues.

    She also remembers the curiosity-seekers, the crews of merchant ships who would bring their vessels to where the action was taking place to see what was going on. "It is terrifying to see these huge bulks passing so close by you and raising waves, which you then have to pass through."

    One year after this difficult feat, the memories vivid as she ponders and plans her next venture.

    [02] ASE opening: Decline

    Equity prices were declining at the opening of trade on Thursday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index down 1.37 percent, standing at 1,504.66 points at 11:15 am, and turnover at 11.325 million euro.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly downward, with the biggest gains were in Technology, up 3.41 percent; Media, up 0.43 percent and Public Utilities, up 0,11 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Health, down 3.42 percent; and Construction, down 2.60 percent and Raw Materials, down 2.26 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 1.53 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 1.01 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was down 0.81 percent.

    Of the stocks traded, 16 were up, 56 were down, and 16 were unchanged.

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