ECONOMYNEXT – A 47-year old Indian, Syamala Goli, became the second woman and 13th person to swim across the Palk Strait when she reached Dhanushkodi in South India after leaving Talaimannar yesterday March 19.
An athlete and entrepreneur, Goli has called the swim an “Indo-Lanka friendship event,” and this is the second time she has completed a 30 km open water swim.
Goli was quoted by Indian media as saying that she strongly believes that her crossing the Palk Strait “will be an achievement for the whole of womanhood and hopes that this would inspire women to aim higher and believe that nothing is impossible.”
Goli represented Telangana in the 2020 FINA World Masters Championship in Gwanju, South Korea. In Nov 2020, she swam a 30 km stretch in the Great Ganges River in Patna and secured 6th position with a timing of 110 minutes.
She is also an animation film producer, director and writer and started swimming only four years ago. She has been preparing for the Palk Strait Swimming Expedition under the guidance of her coach Ayush Yadav at SATS swimming pool in Gachibowli (Hyderabad), a statement from the Indian High Commission said.
India’s Mihir Sen in 1966 was the first in the world to successfully swim across the Palk Strait. Sri Lankan multiple Guinness record holder Kumar Anandan swam the Palk Strait both ways in 51 hours in 1971. Anandan died of hypothermia attempting to swim across the English Channel in 1984. India’s National Swimmer Bula Chaudhary in 2004 was the first woman to swim across successfully. (Colombo, March 20, 2021)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana