PUNE: Pune-based 17-year-old swimmer Sampanna Ramesh Shelar became the first person in the world to double cross Bangla Channel on Friday. Shelar created the world record by becoming the first person to swim to and fro from Saint Martin’s Island Jetty to Teknaf in Bangladesh also known as the Bangla Channel on Friday.
After achieving the feat, Shelar is now planning to participate in the upcoming swimming competition. “I now eye the upcoming competition to be held in Bhagirathi River for 81 km,” Shelar said.
He started swimming at about 5 am on Friday and completed the journey of 32.2 kilometers in 9 hours and 10 minutes. “It is my first international solo ocean event. I shall give the entire credit to my coach Jitendra Khasnin,” he said.
Recalling the difficulties that he faced during the over 9-hour-long journey, he said: “the two main problems that I faced were the fishes and high tides. When I was close to ending my swim high tides started coming and they blocked my way for a long time.”
Shelar’s coach Jitendra Khasnin, who has been training him since he was 13 years old, was ecstatic at the achievement of his student. “He started with 40 km/hour speed at Gujarat where he had set a national record. He was supposed to participate in the Bangla competition but as he was abler than others thus we decided to make this record. It is easy to go into the sea but difficult to come back due to high tides,” Jitendra said.
Shelar has been practising at Shark Aquatic Club situated at Pune and this is his maiden international record.