Mr En­durance

SU­FYAN SHAIKH, 21, Long dis­tance swim­mer

India Today - - SIMPLY GUJARATI -

His mother en­rolled him in swim­ming classes to dis­tract him from watch­ing TV and to build strength. What she didn’t know was that by the age of 20, her son would have swum im­pres­sive stretches of ten seas of the world. While Su­fyan Shaikh from Ahmed­abad is the first In­dian to have swum the cold wa­ters of Al­ca­traz near San Fran­cisco and the hu­mid wa­ters of Key West in Florida, in 2006 he be­came the first Gu­jarati to swim the English Chan­nel at the age of 16 and the youngest swim­mer in the world to do so. THE JOUR­NEY This in­ter­na­tional open water swim­mer has swum the Ara­bian Sea (38 km stretch), Per­sian Gulf (10 km stretch), Pa­cific Ocean (6 km stretch), At­lantic ocean to Gulf of Mex­ico (20.1 km) and In­dian Ocean (10 km stretch) in var­i­ous en­durance swim­ming com­pe­ti­tions. He also cre­ated a record when he swum the 33.7 km North Sea stretch of the English Chan­nel in 12 hours. Last year, he won the Ten­z­ing Nor­gay National Ad­ven­ture award from the In­dian pres­i­dent. He is the youngest re­cip­i­ent of the award. The Nanub­hai Surti award and the Parshu­rath award from Gu­jarat govern­ment are some of his lesser known hon­ours. FIGHT­ING ODDS He cov­ered 81kms in the Ganga in 2004, the long­est recorded dis­tance swum in the river. But he says his “most dif­fi­cult swim” was in the In­dian Ocean, where the water tem­per­a­ture was an as­tound­ing 49 de­grees centi­grade.”

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“Even in the cold tem­per­a­ture of seven de­grees centi­grade in the Pa­cific Ocean, I re­fused to wear a wet suit like the

other par­tic­i­pants”

sec­ond opinion “He has shown true strength of mind and body by swim­ming

across ten seas till date” KAM­LESH NANA­VATI, GEN­ERAL SEC­RE­TARY,

SWIM­MING FED­ER­A­TION OF IN­DIA

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