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Priest felicitates first Gujarati to cross English Channel

Written by: Staff

Ahmedabad, July 23 (UNI) Sufian Shaikh (16), who recently crossed the 34-km wide English Channel in 12 hours, was felicitated by the chief priest of Swaminarayan Temple here today.

Sufian, an eleventh standard student at the St Xavier's Loyola School, has been swimming since he was three, his father Mohsin Shaikh told UNI here.

''It takes both grit and luck to swim the Channel, which is narrowest between Dover in England and Cap Gris Nez, near Calais, in France. It was 17-18 degrees celsius, when the boy swam to the next shore. Swimmers have to face strong oceanic current and sharks too.'' ''Sufian has been practising up to 12 hours a day under the watchful eyes of his coach Kamlesh Nanavati. He had earlier swam 35 km distance between Chorwad and Veraval along the Gujarat sea coast,'' Mr Shaikh said.

While Mr Shaikh is a professional artist, his wife Qamar has also been a source of inspiration for the boy.


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