Syamala Goli from Hyderabad has swum across the Palk Strait, a dangerous 30-km of choppy waters amid sea snakes and other dangerous marine creatures. She became the first Telugu woman, and only the second woman in the world, to swim across the stretch between Sri Lanka and India.
She is the thirteenth swimmer in the world to have accomplished the challenging feat.
Syamala started her risky adventure from the Sri Lankan coast at 4.15 am on March 19 and reached Dhanushkodi in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu, after swimming non-stop for 13 hours and 43 minutes. C Velupillai Kandaiah Sivagnanam, Chairman of the Northern Provincial Council, flagged off the swimming expedition by Syamala.
A Hyderabad-based entrepreneur, Syamala, apart from being coached by Ayush Yadav, was initially trained and guided for the event by senior IPS officer Rajiv Trivedi, who himself set a world record way back in 2012, did the same in just 12 hours and 30 minutes, thus becoming the fastest across the Strait.
Syamala, who represented Telangana in the FINA World Masters Championship in Gwanju, South Korea had earlier conquered the Ganga Open water, a distance of 13-km in Patna. She finished sixth in one hour 50 minutes. Also an animation film producer, director, and writer, she prepared for the Palk Strait at the SATS swimming pool in Gachibowli.
Syamala’s achievement will be recorded as a true story of grit and determination, with her training schedule being an inspiring narrative. According to an interview she gave before heading to Lanka, her day used to start at 3 am when she would prepare breakfast for the family, and then travel 17 km to the Gachibowli swimming pool, where she would swim for three hours.