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Vijayawada girl set to challenge the Ganges

J. R. Shridharan

The nine-year-old to swim a distance of 10 km in the river


  • She has been swimming since the age of three
  • She swam a distance of 5 km in the Krishna in 2001
  • Her name mentioned in the Limca Book of World Records
  • She received an award from Arjun Singh in 2004
  • Her father says more fruits and nutritious dishes are added in her menu
  • Next on her agenda is the English Channel



    ONE WITH WATER: Jyoti Surekha is training herself for the river-crossing meet at Patna on November 27. Photo: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar

    VIJAYAWADA: Take her to a swimming pool to find her transforming herself into a mermaid dominating the blue waters. Developing a passion for swimming, this bubbly nine-year-old Jyothi Surekha always set the pool ablaze with her sterling performances.

    Jumping and diving into the waters, always to swim that extra foot, for the last six years, Surekha now sets her eyes on challenging the swirling waters of the Ganges.

    This Class IV student of Nalanda Vidya Niketan in the city, after having mastered the nuances of the sport, is now shaping herself into a long-distance swimmer. She drew the attention of the world when she swam a distance of 5 km in the Krishna in 2001. Surekha was just a toddler (five years old) then and many seasoned swimmers were surprised at her determination and self-confidence. Thanks to the encouragement from the Krishna District Aquatic Association and other swimming outfits like Aqua Devils, Surekha finetuned her abilities of endurance, breathing and synchronization of hand-leg movements.

    Amidst cheers of hundreds of curious onlookers, Surekha crossed the Krishna from Krishnaveni Motel to Kanakadurga ghat, covering a distance of 5 km in three laps, making a resounding announcement of her arrival to the world of swimming. Even the crew of the rescue team were awe-struck on seeing the feat of the girl.

    Says her coach Tirumali Kumar: "She clocked 3.06.20 seconds and she hardly looked fatigued. The Limca Book of World Records honoured her by mentioning her feat in the book. She also received an award from Minister for Human Resource Arjun Singh in 2004 in the young achievers' category".

    Vigorous practice

    Now, Surekha is practising vigorously to challenge the Ganges at Patna. She would be covering a distance of 10 km, a distance that she had not covered so far in rivers. "Covering a distance of 10 km is certainly a daunting task as she has little knowledge about the Ganges. But we are increasing her endurance-level and also toning her muscles. More fruits and nutritious dishes are added in her menu," says her father Surendra.

    Surekha would participate in the meet slated for November 27.

    Next on her agenda is to cross the English Channel (UK). And her coach and parents exude optimism that Surekha would emerge a winner in the endeavour.

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