Sayani Das of East Bardhaman, West Bengal has created history with her name in the Channel record book by crossing the turbulent English Channel from Dover, England to France coast with a timing of 14 hours 08 minutes. It was an exciting news for ‘Bengal Ameteur Swimming Association’ and the people of Bengal to feel proud for this talented young girl.
Sayani is a 19 year old BA student (History) from the Serampore College, West Bengal. She expressed to media that she has been nurturing this dream from very little age which came to fulfilment on Tuesday, 25th July 2017.
On 29th June, she faced a trouble of getting Visa, but on 8th July could manage to travel to England after the solution of Visa problem. Her target was to reach England much before 16th July to get accustomed with the atmosphere there. The 16th of July was the date of her first appearance in English Channel, but she could not started on the 16th due to bad weather; rather she started on 25th July.
‘Bengal Amateur Swimming Association’ has made congratulations to all – the swimmer, the team of Boat officials and ‘English Channel Swimming Authority’. The ‘English Channel Swimming Authority’ granted Sayani a ‘special permission’ to start at 1300 hours. The authority told in their statement that their permission was unique on the basis of bad weather continuing in the region for a week.
Several well-wishers stood beside her dream. The State Sports Council also supported her. ‘Sanghati Club’ of East Burdwan stood beside Sayani – the local club of Satagachia, Kalna, East Burdwan has carried out all the costs of travel and visa for Sayani, his parents, and the coaches for this England tour.
Sayani shared some of her experiences of London after returning back with the title, “Initially it was good. But after swimming for around 10 hours continuously, I had to face chilled water, which had a tremendous undercurrent. The temperature reduced to below zero all of a sudden and my hands and legs almost got choked. Still, I did not take the help of my support staff for that was the initial obstacles I had to overcome. Around half-an-hour of swimming I had to face the bites of jellyfish! And it gradually started increasing a lot and it became difficult for me to continue swimming.”
Sayani Das was the student of noted Para-Olympic swimmer ‘Masudur Rahaman Baidya’. Masudur Rahaman Baidya, who passed away in 2015, could not cross the English Channel because he could not afford his expenses. But, he infused his indomitable spirit into Sayani when she was younger.