Odisha para-athlete covers 213 km in 24 hours on manual wheelchair
BHUBANESWAR: A 28-year-old para-athlete from Odisha on Sunday claimed to have broken the existing world record in covering the maximum distance in a manual wheelchair after rolling 213 km on a cycle track in a span of 24 hours.
Kamalakanta Nayak of Puri district who started pushing his wheelchair at 4.30 pm on Saturday, completed 575 laps between two busy traffic squares in Bhubaneswar by 4.30 pm on Sunday covering 213 km as video cameras, GPS trackers and mobile phones recorded his feat.
Except taking a break of 2 hours for hydrating, physiotherapy sessions, attending nature’s call and taking food and water, Nayak did not stop for a single moment between Rajmahal square and Master Canteen square – approximately 570 metre — for the entire duration.
“The previous record was held by Portugal’s Mario Trinidad who covered 182.4 km in a manual wheelchair in a span of 24 hours. Nayak broke Trinidad’s record in 20 hours. We have sent all the evidence including video records of last 24 hours, GPS data and report of independent witnesses to the Guinness Book of World Records for final validation. We had independent witnesses coming for 4 hours each from ICAI, Kalinga Runners Group. They basically timed every lap that Kamal achieved. Once Guinness Book approves the evidence, Nayak would become the world record holder,” said Siddharth Daga, his mobility partner.
After achieving the record, Nayak said: “Nothing is impossible in life. I am thankful to my sister and mentors who motivated me to overcome the physical barriers. I have been practicing for the last six years to achieve this and was confident of covering the distance in a record time.”
Nayak, who suffered a spinal cord injury that rendered him paralysed waist down, is the only Indian who has completed a wheelchair ultra-marathon of 139.57 km in 15 hours. He has so far completed 16 half-marathons and 13 full marathons. He is the captain of the Odisha Wheelchair Basketball Team. He is also a champion in Peer Mentoring Paralysed Spinal Cord Injury Person across the country changing the lives of about 500 persons with spinal cord injury.
Founder of Odisha Wheelchair Association Durga Prasad Patnaik who helped Nayak, said they have been planning to hold the event for the last 15-20 days. “We started playing to become independent,” he said.