Amateur and professional swimmers from Japan, Russia, Great Britain, Germany, Bulgaria and Greece took to the waters of Pefki, Evia for the inaugural Authentic Marathon Swim between 4-6 September.

For the first time, after 2,500 years, the historic authentic 10 km route revived with the participation of world-class names that swam over the shipwrecks of the historic naval battle of Artemision in 480 BC.

The story of Skyllias and Hydna begins with their several admirable diving achievements. The two were arrested in 480 BC by Persians, who wanted to use the pair of proficient divers for an extensive exploration of underwater treasures left behind by ancient Greek shipwrecks.

Aerial shot of the sports facility built with all the necessary safety measures Photo: Dimitris Andritsos

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According to some ancient historians, Skyllias and his daughter Hydna were the first ‘marathon swimmers’ to be acknowledged globally after helping the Greek forces in the historic naval battle of Artemision against the Persian fleet.

Bulgarian Olympic champion Petar Stoychev finished first in men’s category of the authentic 10 km marathon swimming route, while the world champion of open water masters Vicky Kouveli took first place in the women’s category.

Symbolic event in the ancient settlement of the village of Artemision, where the Mavroelia of Artemision is located Photo: Angelos Zymara

In the 3 km route, champion Ilektra Lebl took first place in the women’s race whilst champion Dimitris Negris won the first place among the men. Respectively, in the 1.5 km route, Andreas Georgakopoulos finished first in men’s category and Despina Dogia was first in the women’s category.

The event also hosted an 800m children’s race offering joy and smiles to dozens of youngsters.

Impressive shot from the swimmers start Photo: Mike Tsolis