City lady sets record, swims across 30 km from Sri Lanka to India

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Syamala Goli (R) Jubiliant Syamala displays the Indian flag on reaching Dhanushkodi
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A 47-year-old entrepreneur from Hyderabad G Syamala created a record of sorts by becoming the first Telugu lady and second lady in the world to successfully swim across the 30 km Palk Strait from Sri Lanka to India.

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She started from the Sri Lanka coast at 4:15 am today and reached Dhanushkodi in Rameshwaram after continuously swimming for 13 hours and 43 minutes.

Earlier, a 44-year-old American open water swimmer from California living in Hong Kong Edie Hu completed this 29 km crossing of the Palk Strait near Adam’s Bridge between Sri Lanka and India in 10 hours 18 minutes on 26 February 2020 in a tandem swim with Andy Moss.

Edie’s time is the second-fastest time of official record after M. Tulasi Chaitanya from India who crossed Palk Strait in 2018 in 8 hours 25 minutes.

Syamala Goli being the 3rd woman to cross Palk Strait 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.

Multi-talented, Ms 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 Mr Ayush Yadav at SATS swimming pool in Gachibowli Hyderabad. She was also trained for this feat under the guidance of senior IPS officer Rajiv Trivedi who also swam across Palk Strait in 2011.

Here is the list of swimmers who crossed Palk Strait:

DateNameGenderAgeNationRouteKmTime
1954 Mar 27Murugupillai NavratnaswamiM44Sri LankaValvettithurai to Point Calimere5927:08:00
1963 NA NAV.S. Kumar AnandanMSri LankaValvettithurai to Point Calimere5942:NA:00
1966 Apr 6Mihir SenM35IndiaTalaimannar to Dhanushkodi2925:44:00
1974 NA NAV.S. Kumar AnandanMSri LankanTalaimannar to Dhanushkodi to Talaimannar5851:NA:00
1981 NA NATaranath Narayan ShenoyMIndianTalaimannar to Dhanushkodi2913:05:00
1994 Apr NAVeerabadran KutraleeshwaranMIndianTalaimannar to Dhanushkodi2916:NA:00
2004 NA NABula Chowdhury ChakrabortyMIndianTalaimannar to Dhanushkodi2913:52:00
2011 Mar NARajiv TrivediMIndianTalaimannar to Dhanushkodi2912:31:00
2012 Mar 20S.P. MurleedharanM38IndianTalaimannar to Dhanushkodi2914:25:00
2018 Mar 24Raja Eswara PrabhuMIndianTalaimannar to Dhanushkodi2911:58:00
2018 Mar 25M. Tulasi ChaitanyaF29-30IndianTalaimannar to Dhanushkodi2908:25:00
2019 Mar 28R. Jai JaswanthM10-11IndianTalaimannar to Dhanushkodi2910:30:00
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