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MP Para-Swimmer Overcomes Adversity, Crosses 34km English Channel in 12 Hours

Satendra Singh's coach said he had become the first Asian para-swimmer to achieve the target and also created a national record.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:June 25, 2018, 10:53 PM IST
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MP Para-Swimmer Overcomes Adversity, Crosses 34km English Channel in 12 Hours
Satendra Singh with his team. (Satendra Singh/Facebook)
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Gwalior: Madhya Pradesh para-swimmer Satendra Singh scripted history on Sunday by crossing the 34km English Channel in the company of three fellow swimmers from India.

Singh, who works as a clerk in the commercial tax department in Indore and is part of a relay team, took 12 hours and 26 minutes to complete the feat.

The specially abled swimmer had made a similar attempt last year but could not complete it due to inclement weather.

“Satendra could have easily met the target in 10 hours but the current was flowing against him in the last leg, which added to his difficulty,” his coach VK Dabas said.

Dabas also claimed that Singh had become the first Asian para-swimmer to achieve the target and also created a national record. “He will undergo training once again and attempt a solo swim on August 3,” the coach said.

Talking to News18 from UK, Singh said it was the first-ever relay attempt by four para-swimmers of Asia and he was the first from Madhya Pradesh to have attempted the feat.

"In a relay attempt, every swimmer takes to the water — which has a temperature of about 12-13 degrees — for one hour each and this makes it extremely excruciating to swim,” he said.

Chetan Raut from Maharashtra, Remo Shah from West Bengal and Rajasthan’s Jagdish Chandra accompanied Singh in the swim.

The water temperature in the tract between England and France varies between 10 and 14 degrees. Several swimmers have fallen ill and even lost their lives while attempting the feat.

Besides 19 medals in domestic swimming events, Singh won a gold in the Men’s Open 50m backstroke at the NSW 2017 state open championship in Sydney. He also bagged two silver medals and one bronze at the Can Em International Para-Swimming Championship in Ottawa, Canada, in July last year.

In May, he covered a 33km distance from Prongs Reef Light House to Colaba in Mumbai in five hours and 43 minutes. Last year, he swam for 36km in the Arabian Sea in less than six hours.

Son of a security guard, Singh lost both his legs at an early age due to medical negligence. However, he did not let his disability come in the way of achieving his dreams.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan took to Twitter to praise the para-swimmer's efforts.

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