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Friday, October 31, 2014

More Indian History In The Open Water

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Rohans More's 3 Oceans Seven crossings this summer reminds us of some of the great Indian marathon swimmers of the past.

Ahead of More on the Oceans Seven list is Bula Chowdhury Chakraborty (English Channel, Catalina Channel, Cook Strait and Strait of Gibraltar), Aditya Santosh Raut (English Channel, Catalina Channel, Cook Strait, Strait of Gibraltar), and Taranath Narayan Shenoy (English Channel, Cook Strait, Strait of Gibraltar and Catalina Channel).

With his youthful energy and enthusiasm, it may be that More eventually approaches the career accomplishments of even Mihir Sen [shown above] and Shenoy, two inductees in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (Sen was inducted in 1966 and Shenoy in 1987).

In 1958, Sen became the first India to swim across the English Channel. He distinguished himself crossing six major straits in 1966: the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka in 25 hours 44 minutes, the Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco, 51.5 km (32 miles) across the Dardanelles from Gallipoli to Sendulbahir, Turkey, the length of the Panama Canal from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean in 35 hours 30 minutes, and 32 km (20 miles) across the Bosphorus (Istanbul Strait) from Turkey to Asia.

Shenoy, who is a deaf-mute and legally blind, swam across the Strait of Gibraltar in 1988 and made three successful crossings of the English Channel, from France to England in 10 hours 54 minutes in 1983 and from England to France in 10 hours 55 minutes in 1984 and in 10 hours 42 minutes in 1985. He also crossed the Catalina Channel in 10 hours 15 minutes in 1987 and did two Manhattan Island Marathon Swims.

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