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Bula ecstatic after Seven Seas swim

August 23, 2004 00:30 IST

Bula Chowdhury, who became the world's first woman swimmer to conquer the Seven Seas, said she felt on top of the world after achieving the historic feat, which is expected to get into the Guinness Book of Records.

"Even a world champion would not have finished the Palk Strait course, which was the hardest amongst the Seven Seas I had crossed. Thanks to my fellow Indians' wishes I have got into the Guinness Book," Chowdhury told a press conference in Chennai.

However, a spokesman of the Sahara India Parivar, which sponsored her attempt to cross the Palk Strait, which separates Sri Lanka and India, said documentary details about her achievement would be sent to the publishers of Guinness Book.

"We have sent some documents regarding Bula's world record to Guiness. Now we will make a full presentation of the case. They will go through it and get back to us," he said.

The 34-year-old Bula crossed the 40-km long Palk Strait, from Thailaimannar in Sri Lanka to Dhanushkodi (Tamil Nadu), in 13 hrs and 52 minutes on Friday.

"The Sri Lankan half was tougher since both the tide and wind were heavy but I faced a lot of challenge just about five kilometres from Dhanushkodi due to strong waves and wind which made me take more than two hours to cover this stretch," Bula explained.

"Setting this record is a dream come true for me," she added.

"When I touched the sands of my motherland, I felt elated and felt I am on top of the world. This was possible thanks mainly to my husband and coach (Sanjib Chakraborty) and my ten-year-old son," she said.

Chakraborty, a former Indian international swimmer, gave a complete narration on his wife's feat and said "her decision to start the swim at 2 am instead of 6 am was the main reason for her success".

Asked to explain as to why they did not seek the help of Swimming Federation of India, Bula said "the Federation said it was not possible for them to depute an official".

Meanwhile, J S Somachandra, A FINA referee from Sri Lanka, who was the observer, said, "Bula never showed any sign of fatigue at all throughout the course and responded very well to the tough conditions."

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