Renowned Bangladeshi swimmer Kshitindra Baisya calls retirement

Kshitindra Baisya, a 67-year old swimmer has announced his retirement as he hopes inspire younger generations with the mystical and relaxing aura of the country’s waters. He told AFP, “I didn’t have much idea about the beauty of this country until I swam dozens of its rivers.” Born in 1952, eh is not just an open water swimmer, but also the member of the 24-hour club.
He taught himself swimming at the age of 18 and once he started, there was no looking back. What started out as a rejuvenating activity transformed into passion and motivated him to swim long stretches within four years. At the age of 22, he completed an open water swim in Jagannath Hall Pond at Dhaka University that lasted for 93 hours and 11 minutes.
Though he had registered a 108 hour 5 minute swim in the aforementioned pond in 1976, he received recognition in 1978 when he swam 74 km of India’s Bhagirathi River. Despite of multiple records in pool, he prefers to swim in channels that connect to the Bay of Bengal, nearly 700. His winning mantra includes yoga, regular basic exercises, diets filled with bananas and dates and his special swimming technique of breaststroke with head above water.
Apart from numerous such milestones to his name, there was one swim that he had not conquered: he Bhugai, Kangsha and Maghra rivers in Bangladesh’s north. Previously, in 2017 and November 2018, he had tried to complete the swim marathon, but couldn’t. However, on September 5, he completed the 185km stretch in 61 hours without any break.
Fighting sleep, fatigue, and polluted water, Baisya swam for two successive days and nights. He said, “It was a difficult task as the water was almost stagnant due to a lack of monsoon rains. On top of that, parts of these rivers were polluted, with garbage floating around.” As he accomplished one of the most memorable feats of his life, he knew it was time to retire.
Currently, he has shifted his focus on teaching swimming to young kids. Considering the fact that more than 150 million people live by the sea, it is imperative to stay ready for any possible threat. On a note of determination, passion, and love for the country’s waters, he said, “I truly hope young swimmers will be motivated by watching what I do at this age.”

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