Bhakti Sharma swam a distance of 1.4 miles in 52 minutes in one degree temperature, making her the youngest in the world to do so
Udaipur : Open water international swimming champion, lovingly known as the ‘ Jalpari’, Bhakti Sharma has set a world record of swimming the freezing waves of the Antarctic Ocean. The twenty five year old swimmer covered a distance of 1.4 miles in 52 minutes in one degree temperature making her the youngest in the world and first Asian girl to conquer over the ocean. With this record, Bhakti becomes the youngest woman to have won over the waves of all the five oceans of the world. She has broken the record of British open water swimming champion Lewis Pugh. Bhakti set off with her parents on the Antarctica mission from Udaipur on January 4 and would reach back on 22, family sources said. Bhakti had recently signed an MoU with the Vedanta group undertaking a responsibility to promote swimming and specially to train girls in the open water sport.
Bhakti learned to tide the waves from her mother and coach Leena Sharma at the tender age of 2.5 years. Her first open water swim was from Uran port to Gateway of India in 2003 for a distance of 16 km. In 2006, at the age of 16, Bhakti swam the English channel with her mother, thus becoming the first daughter-mother duo to have met this challenge. It took 13 hours to swim around 45 kms to cross the English Channel. She had swam across 4 oceans, 8 channels and seas, which itself is a world record. All these records were made by her during the year 2004-2010. In the year 2012 President of India awarded her with Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award. Previously, she had remarked that August 9, 2010 had been the most memorable day of her life when she swam the Arctic Ocean, full of killer whales, seals, jelly fishes and star fishes.
Bhakti and her mother were awarded Great Women of the Year in 2012.