Elvis Ali Hazarika from Assam and Rimo Saha from West Bengal successfully crossed the Catalina Channel in the United States in a relay. In the process, Hazarika also becomes the first from Northeast India to achieve the feat.
They took 10 hours and 59 minutes to achieve the feat braving sharks and other sea creatures in the relay.
“I’ve been waiting for this day since a long time. After a lot of efforts and hours of pushing myself to work harder, every day, I successfully have become the first Assamese to cross the Catalina channel by swimming it. We had to go through a lot of challenges. Especially, the Dolphins, Whales and Sunfish that were accompanying us all the way,” an excited Hazarika said after the feat.
They started at around 11 pm on August 14 from Catalina Island and reached the shore at Rancho Palos Verdes in Mexico on August 15 covering a distance of 21 miles.
The effort was in commemoration of 73rd Independence Day. It was also to pay tributes to two Guwahati youth from affluent families who were lynched in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district last year.
?♂️ Elvis Hazarika becomes the first Assamese to cross Catalina Channel in the US, he was accompanied by Rimo Saha of West Bengal who swum along with him.
The duo dedicates the feat to mob-lynching victims Abhijeet & Nilotpal. pic.twitter.com/o4p2Ab0hZc
— The Bridge (@TheBridge_IN) August 17, 2019
“This is my gift for all on the occasion of Independence Day. I thank all my friends and family besides Rimo Saha for the constant support and encouragement,” Hazarika added.
In June 2018, Hazarika had swum 29km of 34 km of the English Channel in an attempt to cross one of the most difficult challenges for the swimmers from across the globe. He broke into the swimming world at a very young age and won medals in several national and international events.
Altogether, he has won more than 60 national and international medals since the 1990s.
On the other hand, Rimo said that it was his biggest achievement. “I am proud for my biggest success in my life. Just a few hours ago, I crossed the Catalina Channel from Catalina Island to Mainland Los Angeles. The biggest achievement after my English Channel,” Rimo said.
Again on August 18, Rimo is going to swim the Catalina Channel with his English Channel teammates. Rimo had crossed the English Channel last year.
“We need more support and blessing to create Asian record,” he said.