Hyderabad-based endurance swimmer Shyamala Goli has develop into the second girl on this planet to cross the Palk Strait. It was at 4:15 AM on Friday when the 48-year-old plunged into the water off the Talaimannar coast in Sri Lanka. She swam throughout the Palk Strait, reaching Arichalmunai close to Dhanushkodi by 5:30 PM, masking a distance of 30 kms in 13 hours and 43 minutes.
“It’s a special moment,” she mentioned, talking on the cellphone from Rameshwaram. “I wore a shark shield as a protection against marine predators, and applied grease on my body,” Shyamala defined.
“The last five hours were extremely tough. It was high tide and the strong currents kept pushing me back. I had to pump in extra energy, and it took three hours longer for me to complete the challenge,” she revealed.
The feat is all of the extra spectacular as a result of Shyamala, who runs a play college, took up swimming solely on the age of 44. She shared that balancing her job and swimming posed a problem. Describing her enterprise as a “solo adventure”, Shyamala, who had conquered the Ganga Open Water to a distance of 13-km in Patna in 2019, mentioned she practices swimming for eight hours every day.
“I have been religiously practicing for over two years, but last year, due to COVID-19 there was a break. But ever since the pools were open for use, I resumed my practice,” she mentioned.
Shyamala was impressed to attempt to conquer the Palk Strait after studying studies about swimmers crossing English Channel. “I have been dreaming of swimming across the Palk Strait for the past two years. Last year my attempt was cancelled due to COVID-19, and I was so disappointed, but I am thrilled that I have achieved it now,” she mentioned.
“I was looking for an open water channel in India and I found the Palk Strait. I was fascinated with its history and the people who achieved the feat,” she added.
“Only 14 people in the world have done this (swum across the Palk Strait), and most of them are international swimmers and police officers, including Rajeev Trivedi (Telangana Prisons Addl Director General (ADG)). I feel it a privilege to join their august company,” Shyamala shared.
Contemplating that open water swimming will not be frequent in India because of the high-risk issue and the dearth of publicity to journey sports activities, Shyamala’s feat will go down as a narrative of grit and dedication.
Whereas Rajeev Trivedi helped her with the paperwork from India, it was Telangana Chief Minister KCR’s daughter and MLC Kavitha who helped her get the required permissions from the Sri Lanka Excessive Fee.
“I need to motivate myself every time I set my eyes on a target,” she mentioned, including, “All athletes are born out of struggle and pain.” Her subsequent purpose is to cross the English Channel.