A 16-year-old local boy Sufiyan Sheikh became the first swimmer from Gujarat to cross the English Channel when he successfully managed to swim in the choppy waters separating England and France.
“Sufiyan has successfully managed to cross the English Channel by swimming 33.7 km,” said Anjelia Oram, assistant secretary of Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation of UK, which officiated the event. “He completed the feat on July 21,” she said over telephone from London.
“Sufiyan began from Dover in England and swam across the channel to France,” Anjelia added. “He completed the distance in about 12 hours,” she said. The exact timing Sufiyan took to cross the English Channel will be known after the official observer of the Federation submits a report.
After completing the feat, Sufiyan, who was accompanied by his mother said, “I am very excited after successfully crossing the Channel. I had started from Shakespeare beach in Dover at 0720 hours local time and completed the distance in about twelve hours.”
Sufiyan’s success has earned him a place among the very rare breed of Indian swimmers.