Howrah resident Tahrina Nasrin, an income tax department employee, has become the fastest Indian woman to cross the 16.1kmlong Bangla Channel — between Shah Porir Dwip and Saint Martin — in Bangladesh in 3 hours 9 minutes and 58 seconds. She broke the record of Ritu Kedia, who completed the stretch in 3 hours and 40 minutes.
The 24-year-old open-water swimmer reached Cox’s Bazar on November 20 and practised over the next two days to get accustomed to the water. “The temperature of water is crucial and a swimmer needs to get accustomed to it. I found the weather quite comfortable and decided to take the plunge on Friday,” said the student of Masudur Rahman Baidya, the only man to complete the English Channel with amputated legs.
Nasrin completed the first 12km in barely two hours and was swimming fast. The wind was not strong and the sea didn’t pose any major challenge till then. Nasrin had to hydrate herself only once. As she swam through, a boat carrying her physio, a referee and an observer trailed behind.
“But covering the last 4km wasn’t that easy. The water turned choppy and wind started to blow really fast. Apart from that, there was the fear of attacks by jelly fish. Though she did not face any such attack, the sea became rough and her speed decreased. She started getting slower with time,” recounted Mohsin Kabir Limon, her physiotherapist and representative of Everest Academy — the organizer of the open water long-distance swimming event across Bangla Channel.
“We have learnt about Tahrina Nasrin’s feat and it is a very happy moment. We want her achievement to inspire other youngsters,” said Mofakkharul Iqbal, first secretary (press) of the Bangladesh deputy high commission in Kolkata.
“I thought I could break Saiful Islam’s record of 3 hours 8 minutes and 7 seconds. But I never thought it would take such a long time to cross the last few kilometres,” said Nasrin, who had swam across the English Channel (one way) on September 3, 2015.
Source: Times of India