Uninterrupted and unassisted, just the way he wanted it to be, 66-year-old Khitindra Chandra Baishya has successfully completed a 146km swim down the Kangsha River in 43 hours.
Khitindra set off from the riverbank near the Sarachapur Bridge in Mymensingh's Phulpur upazila at 6:50pm last Friday. He reached his destination under the Mogra Bridge in Netrokona's Madan upazila at 2:15pm on Sunday.
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In his youth, Khitindra swam for 93 hours and 11 minutes in the pond of Dhaka University's Jagannath Hall on September 16, 1974 Dhaka Tribune
Those who have known the sexagenarian for a long time were not at all surprised when he declared he would swim the distance in an attempt to become a Guinness world record holder.
The current Guinness record of the longest swim in open water without flippers is 225km by Veljko Rogošić across the Adriatic Sea from August 29-31 in 2006. The Croation took 50 hours and 10 minutes to complete the record swim.
Feats of swimming in Khitindra's youth
The 66-year-old Khitindra had taken up arms during the Liberation War of 1971.
In his youth, he swam for 93 hours and 11 minutes in the pond of Jagannath Hall at Dhaka University (DU) on September 16, 1974. He also swam for 108 hours and five minutes in the same pond in 1976.
Later in 1980, he crossed 74km of the Bhagirathi's course in Murshidabad district of India in just 12 hours and 28 minutes.
His latest undertaking in the Kangsha river was witnessed by representatives of the local administration, the media and sports personalities. A boat carrying the dignitaries followed the swimmer throughout the course of the distance.
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A boat carrying representatives of the local administration, the media and sports personalities follow Khitindra as he completes his swim down the Kangha River Dhaka Tribune
On completing his swim on Sunday, Khitindra told the Dhaka Tribune that primarily his plan was to set off from Sherpur's Nalitabari upazila, but it had to be changed due to various difficulties.
“Perhaps this will be my last swimming feat. I've done many such feats in my life,” he said.
He also thanked the organisers of the event.
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Khitindra Chandra Baishya in the midst of his successful 146km swim down the Kangha River on August 6, 2017 Dhaka Tribune
The Phulpur Upazila Muktijoddha Command and Madan Upazila Nagarik Committee jointly organised the swim.
Event convener Dewan Modasser Hossain, the former mayor of Madan municipality, said they took the initiative to assist Khitindra in fulfilling his dream of becoming a Guinness World Record holder at his age.
Born in 1952 at Jahangirpur village under Madan upazila, Khitindra retired as an additional director of the Civil Aviation Authority in 2012.