Swimming Against The Tide: This Maharashtra IPS Officer Creates World Record
- Ayodhya Prasad Singh
- Published on 3 Apr 2023, 9:00 am IST
- 4 minutes read
- ‘Ironman’ IPS officer Krishna Prakash became the first man in history to swim from Gateway of India to Elephant Caves.
- He completed 16.2 km swim without taking any break and that too against the waves.
- As part of the ‘Drowning Prevention Awareness’ campaign, he motivates the young swimmer to win an Olympic medal.
Ten kilometres open water swimming was introduced in Olympic in 2008. But no Indian ever qualified to compete in the event. However, that scenario might change soon. A 1998-batch IPS officer, Krishna Prakash, might inspire the first Indian to fit the bill. After all, he has been creating records one after another.
Recently he became the first person in history to swim from Gateway of India in Mumbai to Elephanta caves a distance of 16.20 km. People have been swimming from Elephanta caves to Gateway of India which is easier because they ride on high tidal waves. No one had dared so far, to swim against the waves.
Mr Prakash’s feats are an inspiration to budding swimmers. Speaking with Indian Masterminds, Special IG of Maharashtra Police, Mr. Prakash said, “There are many drowning cases in India, because unlike other countries, learning swimming is not compulsory in India. This expedition is dedicated to Drowning Prevention Awareness”.
Mr Prakash wanted to show the world that swimming against the waves isn’t so difficult. One only needs to learn it properly and sweat a little. India has a lot of water bodies including inland and seas. “Indians don’t do much open water swimming. My intention was to encourage them,” said Mr Prakash.
AGAINST THE POPULAR ROUTE
Elephanta caves to Gateway of India is a popular route for swimmers. But right from the beginning, Mr Prakash wanted to swim against the tide. He covered a distance of 16.20 Kms in 5 hours and 26 minutes without taking any break. After every hour, he only took water bottle and energy gel from the boats running alongside and changed his freestyle swimming to breaststroke for 10 seconds.
He practiced 10 to 12 times and took coaching for some time in the swimming pool for this expedition. But he was swimming in the sea for the first time after 2018. “I have always tried to do something that people can follow later. I never succumb to pressures. That helped me a lot here too.”
Though he won the improbable task, it was not easy for him. Mighty waves hindered the progress, salty water was very irritating and fear of deep sea was always there to discourage him. But he kept his nerves.
“Initially it was little difficult for me. The waves were drifting me back. But gradually once you get the second wind where you acclimatize the surroundings, then it was easy. Fear of deep sea goes away the moment you stop thinking about it. Somehow I managed all this,” said Mr Prakash.
Mr Prakash believes that Indians are good at long-distance things like running etc. He hopes that his adventure will inspire young ones to bag an Olympic medal in swimming.
Young swimmers should try open-water swimming with proper safety provisions. Do this in groups. One should not try to cross the body’s threshold limit. Your eyesight should be very good in open water swimming and you have to constantly look ahead. There is a cardinal principle one should always follow — release all the oxygen before taking next breath while swimming. Many people also make the mistake of upward swimming, we should do downward swimming. Hip should be up, body should be down. Our hand should come out of the water and go inside the water rotating 180 degrees, he says.
Mr. Prakash is world’s first IG rank Ultraman and Ironman and the first Indian to finish RAW (Race Across West America). He won the Ironman triathlon in 2017 and Ultraman in 2018.
An avid lover of athletics, he organised India’s first road marathon in pandemic time in Pune. He followed it up with a cyclothon and now plans to organise an ultra running event in Lavasa city. He has been swimming since he was 8-years old.
END OF THE ARTICLE