Palk Bay Swimming expedition symbolizes India-Sri Lanka connectivity

Northern Provincial Council Chairman C.Velupillai Kandaiah Sivagnanam yesterday morning flagged off the 30 km Palk Bay Swimming expedition by India’s Syamala Goli symbolizing India-Sri Lanka connectivity at the people’s level and their close and friendly ties through millennia of friendship.

With her successful endeavour to swim across the Palk Strait from Talaimannar in Sri Lanka to Dhanushkodi in India on March 19, 2021, the 47-year-old ace swimmer will become the second woman in the world and the 13th swimmer overall to have accomplished the challenging feat, a release issued the Indian High Commission in Colombo said yesterday.

Syamala Goli represented Telangana in the 2020 FINA World Masters Championship in Gwangju, South Korea. In November 2020, she swam a 30 km stretch in the Great Ganges River in Patna and secured 6th position with a timing of 110 minutes.

Multi talented, Syamala, who is also an animation film producer, director and writer, picked up 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). Syamala 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.

Murugapillai Navratnaswami was the first Sri Lankan ever to swim the Palk Straits in 1954. He took 28 hours from VVT to Point Calimere.

Navaratnaswami did the swim one-way across the Palk Straits in 1954. Among those who congratulated him were then Prime Minister Sir John Kotelawala, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Queen Elizabeth.

 

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