Assam swimmer first from Northeast India to cross North Channel

Elvis Ali Hazarika accomplishes historic feat in less than 15 hours

Guwahati, Sep 21: Ace Assam swimmer, Elvis Ali Hazarika has become the first from Northeast India to swim across the North Channel, a strait between north-eastern Northern Ireland and south-western Scotland.

The 40-year-old clocked a time of 14 hours and 38 minutes to accomplish the historic feat in Europe.

A ‘North Channel’ swim, according to the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association, covers a distance of 34.5 kilometres (21.4 miles).

Sources say that the degree of challenge for swimmers attempting to cross the route is very high as the course is characterised by fickle weather, choppy waters, tough currents and abundance of jellyfish and dolphins.

However, the Assam swimmer has been determined to raise the bar this time as well as he has been from time to time to create significant records to make his state and the country proud.

“I have been waiting for this day since a long time. After a lot of efforts and hours of pushing myself to work harder, every day, I successfully have become the first Assamese (Northeast) to cross the North Channel by swimming it in relay – Northern Ireland to Scotland,” the ace swimmer informed through social media.

“We had to go through a lot of challenges. Specially, the huge jellyfish that were accompanying us all the way! We are the first Asian relay team to cross the North Channel and I am the first oldest swimmer from India to have crossed the North Channel to clock a time of 14 hours and 38 minutes,” he said, adding, “It’s a dream come true and a proud moment for all Indians and Assamese people.”

After crossing the North Channel , Elvis posed for photographs with the Indian Tricolour and a traditional Assamese gamosa with the words ‘Joi Aai Axom’ written on it.

Last year, Elvis became the first Assamese to swim from Dharamtar Jetty to the Gateway of India in Mumbai.

In 2018, he swam 29 kilometres of the 34-km English Channel, again becoming the first Assamese to achieve the feat.

In August 2019, he became the first Assamese swimmer to cross the Catalina Channel.

He had then embarked on his journey from the United States to swim across the Catalina Channel and reach Mexico after covering 80 km within 10 hours and 59 minutes.

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