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Indian Open swim team attempts world record

A six-member Indian Open Water swim team arrives in Mumbai after attempting a world record for for the longest open water swim. The team clocked a total distance of 433.11 kms from Goa to Mumbai in 156 hours.  Photo:  Vivek Bendre   | Photo Credit: VIVEK BENDRE

Social awareness and a world record are what a group of men aimed for in the open sea and that is exactly what they got. The six-man relay team, led by Wing Commander Paramvir Singh, swam from Goa to Mumbai in a bid to set the World Record for the longest open water swim in the world. 

The previous record was held by a team from Israel for swimming a total distance of 380 kms in 123.2 hrs. To beat this record, the six-member Indian Open Water swim team - The Sea Hawks - set off from Dona Paula in Goa last Friday and were all set to swim a distance of 490 kms along the Konkan coastline and reach Gateway of India in Mumbai on Thursday in 156 hours. But owing to strong winds and warnings of high tides, the team culminated just short of Gateway of India clocking a total distance of 433.11 kms instead. 

The Swimming Federation of India had deputed an independent observer to observe and ratify the record.

Headed by Paramvir Singh, the team comprised Indian Air Force personnel Sergeant Gullupilli Narhari, Sergeant Ankan Kumar Patel and Leading Aircraftman Vicky Tokas, and Assistant Sub-inspector Ganesh Palande of the Mumbai Police, and the youngest member Manav Mehta, a Std IX student of Podar International School, Nerul. They arrived at the Gateway to a cheering crowd of friends, family and curious onlookers. 

“In October 2014, we swam around the waters of Mumbai (in an anti-clockwise direction) and set the longest open water swim in Asia. After which our next step was to take on the world record,” says Paramvir Singh. There were quite a few challenges that were anticipated before taking up the attempt, out of which many held true: “There were rocky patches in between, lots of fishing nets, the winds did not favour us all the time, and then there were the jelly fish and other marine life,” he lists.

The attempt was in support of the National Mission ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’, as a part of which the money raised will be donated to Project Nanhi Kali, a project started by Anand Mahindra, that supports the cause of education of the underprivileged girl child in India. “If you can combine your passion with giving – which is what I have done – that is the best feeling in the world,” sums up Singh of his experience. 

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2021 1:30:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/indian-open-swim-team-attempts-world-record/article6913205.ece

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